Okay, so I have survived two weeks of yoga classes. That translates into six classes of my body being stretched, contorted, and squeezed like salt water taffy. Today my hips felt loose when I walked. I'm not quite sure that's a good thing??
Here's the thing. I have two loose hips and a loose shoulder. What's that mean you ask? Well, let's put it this way - I can sort of pop them out. I don't think it's a dislocate though.
In fact, when I was a wee bairn, I asked my Uncle Lorne, who was an industrial first aid dude who'd seen icky gory things, to put his hand on my hip. I then proceeded to 'pop' my femur out from my hip and asked innocently 'Uncle Lorne, why does it do that?' It took him a while to answer as he was trying not to chunder. He also looked rather pale, if I recall correctly. So much for being Mr. Seen-It-All!
My first attempt at running was in my twenties. Ohhhh so long ago. Things went ok for a while, then my right hip started hurting a lot and would just involuntarily pop out. Not a good thing. I went to a physiotherapist at one point because I couldn't walk any longer. (These are the times you realize just how much you need your hips!) He pulled things back into alignment, then told me the dreadful news. 'You may never be able to run again.' Oh the drama!
Actually, at that time I was like, 'Oh. Uh. Ok. Guess I'll just hit the gym again!' I would; however, miss the bonding time with my Moeder. I happened to be living back at home again and going to college. I used to run very early in the morning, in the dark. The parental unit were worried about me doing that, so Mum would ride her bike beside me. It was very cool.
Anyways, it wasn't until three years ago that I decided to give running a try again. I had been in the gym quite a bit again, after a 4 year hiatus, and for some reason I just thought things would stay in place this time. The neat thing is my hip didn't bother me! Of course those first few steps were just a preview of what was to come in the form of the wonderful world of triathlon.
There were times when my hips would give me heck over the last three years - that's when I'd get me arse back into the gym and 'tighten' things up a bit. It would appear my hips like to stay tight. As do my hamstrings, calves and glutes. They are quite persnickety about this. Of course, physiologically speaking, this is not necessarily good for the body when doing Ironman distance triathlons. Hence the reason I thought it would be good to join a yoga studio and see if I could stretch things out.
I wanted to do this during the training season, but it's hard enough fitting in all the swim, bike and run training without squeezing in yoga classes. I even dropped my beloved weight training. (I really need to find a very rich person to support me so I can pretend I'm a pro and train all day!! But that's another story.)
One of my Dad's favourite sayings 'tighter than a cow's arse in fly season' would be an appropriate description of just how tight my muscles are. There are several moves where this point is emphasized.
The first is when we put our arms out in front of us and place one bent arm underneath the other, then are asked to 'wind' our hands. Hmmm. I like to think my biceps are too huge for this move so I can just barely touch my hands. However, I can feel my rhomboid and traps straining and pulling. So much so that my spine cracks because the muscles are being stretched so much. Huh. I just had the image of a torture chamber stretching machine enter my head...
Oh, then there's this really good move where we are in the plank position. You then lift one leg straight out behind you, then proceed to twist somewhat at the core so you can drop that leg, with bent knee, over the other leg. Holy hannah does that stretch out the old hip flexor. I'm sure, had there not been the sound of my Darth Vader breathing, you would hear my muscles and tendons creak and squeak under the strain. I'm sure this is one reason things are moving about now.
Last class we did something the instructor termed 'the rock star pose'. I have seen many a rock star and I gotta say, I don't think any of them do this! I can't even explain the moves, all I know is part of me was facing downwards and the other part upwards with one leg stretched out, arms everyhwere and a bent leg. All muscles quivered simultaneously as I tried to hold this.
My body is seriously wondering what in hell is going on. Part of it feels great, the other part is saying 'Hey, what are you doing?? We like being inflexible!!'
Ah well, I have 10 more weeks to see how things go. All in all I truly love the peaceful state one can get into in yoga. At least when I remember to breath and unclench my teeth that is...
Peace out and aum my friends!