Friday, July 23, 2010

super hero pose

This is the kids in supta virasana, a pose that escapes me in my current spinal state. It doesn't say in the manual to stick your tongue out while doing this pose. But. It's summer, and we forgot to sign the kids up for camp. We thought, hey our kids sleep late, which is true. Like until nine on some quiet reverent mornings. So why would we pay money to wake them up and schlep them somewhere when we don't have to? Of course now they wake up at the crack of ass, decline to say good morning in favor of: Do we have any plans today? And then groan as Daddy and Mommy blink and stutter. Next year my babies. Next year.

Meanwhile, will I ever be able to get supta virasana back? 
Enter my new SI belt. It's the most fashion-forward item in my wardrobe these days, a velcro and woven meshy foamy thing that fastens around my hips to compress my SI ligaments and stabilize my spine. My new holistic dentist recommended it to me. That's right. My dentist. 

See, it's only a short while after learning that pasture-raised animal products are good for you and soy is bad for you until you glean some scary information about fluoride that makes you want to hightail it to a distant pre-industrialized century, your world is so topsy-turvy. And when I heard that there's a possible connection between jaw-grinding and back pain, that was the end of my conventional dentistry days.

After filling me in on the sordid history of fluoride and giving me his "not-so-secret tooth oil formula" recipe, Dr. Liu told me that it's possible that jaw-grinding can cause back pain, but it's also possible that back trouble can cause jaw-grinding. So he asked me about my back pain, specifically, when it began. When I told him it was shortly after Stella was born, he went and got an SI belt and had me put it on. 

After four years of failed therapies and dead ends, the only thing I could do was giggle. The pain didn't vanish but the support I felt was golden. Dr. Liu's explanation was simple: My SI ligaments loosened with pregnancy and childbirth and never quite knitted back the way they'd been previously. Yoga was worsening my symptoms with all the stretching, bending and twisting. 

So I wear the belt and follow a strict list of Don'ts that includes not bending forward more than ninety degrees, bending backward, bending my knees toward my face more than forty-five degrees, twisting more than twenty-five degrees, or even crossing my legs at the knees. This leaves a lot more than supta virasana out of my yoga practice, but it's okay. A wise teacher told me that yoga is my bitch, not the other way around. 

So while compressing my hip ligaments provides intense muscle spasm relief (can I hear a hallelujah?) it tweaks my left side just a little. So we work on it. And I am told to let the small stuff go. Because there's more than one way to strike a super hero pose.

Just om, gargle and rinse.


hubs said...

thanks for the blog baby!!! Just FYI - when i was at the bank today, the teller gave me a vasectomy! badum bum.

elise said...

it took me a while to understand that comment but I got it. from henny on down to vasectomy. which isn't a bad idea from what I hear. HEY NOW!

Amelia Plum said...

my knees hurt just looking at those photos. hope that SI belt continues to work its magic on you. are you going to elaborate on this japanese sword wielding spiritual warrior/back specialist in a soon to come post? please?

Justicia said...

I remember that pain-free Supta-V you found with props on the top floor of your house :)

elise said...

we'll see amelia! and justicia, yes, you're right. props to me. get it? props. thanks for commenting meanwhile!


Anonymous said...

Hero’s pose is one of my favorite. I love to lay all the way back when I do it. Yoga guru Leeann Carey says that it’s a great one to do after lots of standing poses. She has a great free yoga video on hero’s pose that I thought your readers might like: