Last night I went for a run after work, so I began my 30-minute practice with some of the poses from my regular yoga routine. After I run I do a sequence of stretches aimed at keeping my legs relatively flexible and my knees strong. Some are actually physio stretches to which I add the ujjayi breath, and some are typical runners stretches like the calf stretch and ankle circles. Then I move into cat, mountain, standing forward bend, and so on.
I had been thinking of continuing on with my regular routine, but My Yoga Online was calling to me seductively. I wanted to continue the enchanting process of discovery. So I set up my laptop table in front of the mat, and searched for a Hatha (the root of all other yoga forms) yoga class that was about 22 minutes. Using the easy search boxes on the Video page, I found a 20-minute class called Short Hatha Flow, and let er rip.
This was another class with Martha Waal, of Get set for a good night’s sleep fame. I really liked the level of difficulty (beginner) and relaxed pace of the class. Again, I would have like to stay in each pose a little bit longer, but there were some nice spaces for checking in with the breath and overall sense of self throughout the practice. I started out with a stiff ache in my left sacroiliac joint (from the run), and the practice released the ache, with rag doll, and a lovely floor sequence that really got into the lower back with side twists and knees hugged to chest.
In contrast to this lovely way to loosen the SI joint, consider this “medical” approach, from the Sports Injury Clinic:
Treatment of SIJ Pain: What can you do to treat sacroiliac joint pain yourself?
- Rest from any activities which cause pain. (That is, don’t run! Not!)
- If the surrounding muscles have tightened up, use a warm-pack to help them relax. (Nice.)
- Don’t heat if an inflammatory condition is suspected.
- Anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen may be helpful. Always check with your Doctor first. (While it’s important to reduce swelling, we also want to make sure not to numb the pain rather than address it.)
- Try wearing a sacroiliac back belt. (Yeah, that’s gonna happen!)
Or, do yoga and experience calm, inner peace, kindness towards self and others, and at the same time release the tension in the joint.
The class ended with a short sivasana (corpse pose, or final resting pose, for those who are new to yoga). I followed that with the closing sequence from my regular practice (since I still had two minutes to do), which includes seated forward bend, butterfly, a variation of triang mukhaikapada paschimottanasana (thanks to Iyengar for the Sanskrit), and a seated twist. With the TMP, I do the forward bend, but then lay back fully and stretch out the bent knee that way too. I swear this is essential for preventing my IT band from spazzing out when I run! I finished with another physio stretch for my knees, which involves sliding the knee caps up towards the thighs.
Once again, I felt very grateful to Yoga Outreach for the Reach Out Challenge, and to My Yoga Online for this amazing offering of teachings. Having done five of their classes now, I am noticing a bit more about how it all works. It seems many of the classes were recorded by My Yoga Online especially for the website. What tipped me off is that the lovely studio is the same, with beautiful wood floors and creamy painted radiators and arched windows (see picture). This innovative website was founded in 2005 in Vancouver, BC, by renowned yoga and wellness experts Michelle Trantina and Kreg Weiss, and business entrepreneur Jason Jacobson.
Thanks to my friends and family who have pledged 50 cents or a dollar a day for the 30-day Reach Out Challenge. If you haven’t done so and would like to sponsor me to raise money for Yoga Outreach, you can use the online donation link. Or phone me at 604.251.6337 or send an email to kyrempel [at] gmail [dot] com. Thanks!