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I am two weeks into my yoga experiment, and I share the results…
Two weeks ago, I started yoga.
I was getting a bit fed up with neck and shoulder pain, brought on by tension and bad posture. It was becoming a pain in the neck.
Coincidentally, a buddy of mine was thinking of starting a yoga group for a bunch of guys and I agreed to join to experiment if it could be a solution to my problem.
Another buddy offered a room in his house for six of us to start the class. We begin the class at 7pm on a Tuesday evening. We committed to a four-week stretch, with an expectation we’ll continue in 2012.
The group is myself, Andy G, Andy D, David, Mike and Bob – a bunch of average guys from a Cotswold village.
Our instructor is Anne who has been doing yoga for 20 years, and the reason why we chose her is because she started yoga because she too suffered from back pain, and, she offers a simple and flexible style where we’re not expected to be tying ourselves up in knots. This yoga style is all about suppleness and flexibility.
So we got started, and to be honest, I wasn’t sure what to expect.
We did a number of stretches and relaxation techniques. These were intended to stretch the back, legs and neck. Anne talks a lot about creating more room between our joints and vertebrae. They’re quite simple moves that anyone can do. A lot of it is about lying on the floor and concentrating on breathing. Easy!
Because I was doing it with a group of buddies, I didn’t feel self-conscious about some of the strange positions we were getting into. Sticking my ass in the air with a bunch of strangers might not have been as easy-going.
So I am two weeks into the experiment, and the results so far have been great. I have no pain in my back and neck, and I already feel looser and more supple. I really enjoy the class; spending time with my buddies and feeling great health benefits afterwards.
I am already confident that yoga will be a great solution, and preventative, for my back and shoulder pain.
But wait, there is an effect I hadn’t expected which is even more powerful. I can sleep better! Yoga has taught me how to relax and switch off my brain. Lying in bed, when I am not 100% exhausted, is a breeding ground for unhelpful thinking which keeps me awake. But practising breathing techniques through yoga has helped me learn how to switch them off and get to sleep far quicker than before.
So here’s the thing: yoga is wonderful for relieving and preventing pain, and getting a good nights sleep. At least it is for me. And in such a short time, too!
I’ll share my latest results at the end of the fourth week.