It’s good to bend every once in awhile

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I’m about as inflexible physically as they come, some people might say I’m inflexible personality wise as well but that’s a topic for another day!

Even though I walk 2 miles daily, and occasionally run, I still have extremely tight leg muscles which have started to cause me some real problems as I’ve gotten older. Last fall after raking leaves for several hours I started having back twinges, which turned in to extreme leg pain. I finally ended up limping off to the doctor when I could barely walk after flying home last Thanksgiving. It was bad.

The diagnosis was sciatica and I was given a dose of steroids, which were marvelous but really only a temporary fix. Let me digress for one minute here. Has anyone else ever taken steroids? It was my first experience with them and I must say they were energizing! It was like Samantha from the old Bewitched TV series had twitched her nose and put me in hyper speed! I was cleaning, organizing, fully animated! When I told this to the Doc when I went back in she told me when she was on them she got 3 speeding tickets!!

Anyhoo, once the dosage was over my pain returned, so I was then sent to physical therapy which is what finally helped me recover. What a long haul just for raking a few piles of leaves! That’ll teach me!

What I learned in physical therapy has continued to be helpful by giving me some exercises to strengthen my core and and attempt to stretch my leg muscles, but honestly my legs are still very tight. So just recently I decided I needed to venture out of my comfort zone and try something new, so yoga it was.

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Now I knew next to nothing about what to expect when I went to my first class. This was probably a bad thing because I was totally taken aback by the “new-ageness” of it all, and really had to fight the urge not to giggle, but I’ve found after going for the last few months, and becoming used to the routine, that I really enjoy it and look forward to class. I’ve only taken Gentle Yoga and Restorative Yoga, because I am in no way ready to twist into complex pretzel shapes, but I have noticed a bit of a difference in my flexibility, and, not to sound like I’ve drunk the Kool-Aid, but I do feel a little bit zen at the end of class!

~~namaste~~

an aside:

At the end of my first class, when the teacher had us place our hands together in front of our hearts, bend our heads and say “namaste”, my shoulders were quaking with laughter because all I could think of was when Hurley and the gang from LOST went back to 1977 and became new recruits for the Dharma Initiative. 🙂

DHARMA new recruit photograph

DHARMA new recruit photograph (Photo credit: gluetree)

My New Exercise Toy!

A few blog posts ago I mentioned that I had a bout with sciatica pain. Part of my treatment was to go to a Physical Therapist twice weekly to get some soft tissue massage (terrific!), get hooked up to a machine for some electric stimulation, and learn some exercises to strengthen my core and stretch my leg muscles.

It was amazing how much the therapy helped and I can tell a big difference in my core by the very simple exercises I was taught. One of the tools I used to help with my exercises is something invented my Joseph Pilate called the Magic Circle. I am not much of a gym rat or a group exercise buff, so I am kind of out of the loop on things like Yoga, Zumba and Pilates, so if you’re already familiar with this piece of equipment I apologize, but for me it is a revelation!  It’s amazing how something so simple can gently help strengthen and increase the flexibility of so many muscles.

So since my PT was coming to an end, and I still can’t really return yet to an all out exercise program, I decided to buy myself a little after Christmas treat!

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My Magic Circle arrived today and I eagerly took it out of the box and did some exercises right away. I think anything that gets me this excited about exercising was well worth the $25 I spent on it!

So like any new convert I wanted to spread the news of my discovery,OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

but not everyone in our household is as exciting as I am!