Stressed? Try Yoga
I am not a flexible, graceful or relaxed person. Most of this is because I have scoliosis and underwent spinal fusion surgery a little over seven years ago. This means that I have two titanium rods in my back (no, I do not set off metal detectors at the airport, and yes, of course I’m curious on if magnets will stick to me.)
Clearly, I am a very stiff person, which also causes a lot of tension and knots in my back. It’s always recommended that I do yoga to help with flexibility and back pain.
According to the American Osteopathic Association, yoga can lessen chronic pain such as lower back pain, headaches, carpal tunnel and arthritis. It can also lower blood pressure and reduce insomnia. Other benefits include increased energy, flexibility, strength and tone, balancing your metabolism, weight reduction and cardio and circulatory health.
Those are just the physical benefits. Mental benefits of yoga include calmness, body awareness, concentration and stress management.
Everyday, I will complete two different yoga routines. The first will be during the day for strength, flexibility, core work and a bunch of other skills that sound very hard. The second will be before bed for relaxation. All of the videos I used can be found on the YouTube channel Boho Beautiful.
Day 1: This first video was actually very difficult for me. I collapsed a few times and had to take a break, but got back to it. Afterward, I was very sore, but not in any pain. I felt energized. The nighttime routine I chose was very relaxing and helped clear my mind.
Day 2: My legs and ribs were sore all day, and either routine didn’t make it any better. However, it was easier than yesterday.
Day 3’s notes started with, “My hamstrings and ribs are actually killing me, but in the best way?” The first routines are getting easier for me, but the night routine was very difficult. It was a lot of bending and flexibility, which will probably feel great for everyone else’s backs.
Day 4: The name of this video (The Waistline Crusher) sounds terrifying and I was eating peanut butter Ritz crackers when it started. Afterwards, I was all sweaty and afraid to stand up for awhile, like the girl in the movie House Bunny who thinks her back will be like a noodle if she takes off her back brace. And, if we’re being honest, I didn’t do the nighttime routine because the World Series happened and I spent all night happy-crying (which is also proven to be a stress release, so…)
Day 5: I had a really, really hard time with balance today, but I still felt pretty worked out afterward. I did a routine for back soreness before bed, and it was fantastic. Anything that can get my back to crack is the goal.
Day 6: I spend the day at the Cubs Rally in Chicago, so I repeated the exercises for back soreness from yesterday.
I don’t know why it took me so long to do this! I’m definitely going to keep it up. It made me feel great and energized, like I’m really getting a workout, but still relaxing. And I’m sure it’ll be easier to keep it going when I’m not distracted by the Cubs everyday!