So I have this aching back. I've stopped doing my favorite yoga classes because my back can't take the faster paced classes. Now, it seems, I may reduce my practice even more.
In a counterintuitive turn of events, I have discovered that my back does much better with NO yoga. Yeah. Weird, right?
Ever since I started practicing Bikram three years ago, I've believed in it's healing powers. My creaky knees got better, my tight elbows and shoulders opened up, I felt great. As I took my practice to new places, I continue to see positive changes in my body. My mid-spine, though far from supple, is much more flexible than it used to be.
For all these reasons, I continued to practice when I jammed my SI joint. My studio owner, the chiropractor, advised me to go back to the Bikram-like classes (the hold/rest system as opposed to vinyasa) while my back was healing.
When I repeatedly came out of the hold/rest classes in more pain than I went in, I went back to the studio owner and talked to him. He said that maybe the heat, in this case, was causing the pain by creating swelling in the joint. He then suggested I do only Yin classes.
The problem with the Yin classes is that there's usually only one a day and it's usually late. So I got a Yin book and decided to do it at home. It was fine. It definitely didn't hurt to do the poses without heat, but I still wasn't seeing improvement in my back. It wasn't worse, but not better, either. But I kept on doing the yoga because everything and everyone said that it was the thing to do.
Last week, we were on vacation. I didn't do a single yoga pose the whole week and my back feels a lot better. It's still achy. I still don't have a full range of motion, but I also don't have a searing pain down my thigh anymore. I can sit with relative ease and I can even bend at the waist again without pain.
I think I may have a yoga hiatus until this joint is back to normal. I would never have even considered it if I hadn't had such marked improvement in my back without the yoga. This is the first time in months that I've been able to get out of bed without pain.
It's the last thing I ever expected. But maybe this is what my body needs to have happen right now. I'm going to give it a try and see what happens.