Saturday, June 12, 2010

Morning Yoga



I re-injured my back mountain biking a couple of months back and have been trying to play through it. Finally, alas, I’ve been forced to deal with it head on and take some time off. Well, not off exactly, but focused. And the primary point of this focus has been on morning yoga.

Yoga and stabilization exercises were the cornerstone of my rehab last year. A year after the injury I felt as though I was 90% back. After my Mexico trip in March I allowed my focus to wane a little. I was still doing both but not with the same fervor. I wrenched my back a bit in a small crash but it was pain that I could deal with so I kept trying to perform and ramp up my biking mileage. The pain, however, has steadily increased to the point where it’s no longer possible that it’s residual. Something new is wrong.

My standard policy on most injuries is to rehab first and see doctors later. My theory is that the rehab is going to happen, one way or another, so you might as well try it first. This keeps me (and clients) out of the doctors’ office 9 times in 10. After a week it seems to be going well again.

I hadn’t been totally avoiding yoga but I hadn’t been doing actual classes or videos. As a trainer I usually don’t need these things. I know what I want to do and, in fact, almost always train harder when I’m alone and not doing a video. Probably due to my sports background I’m more intense by myself. My sets are more focused. I also concentrate better and, thus, recover quicker between exercises. This competitive nature has the opposite effect on yoga, where intensity is not the objective. Classes and videos slow me down, reduce the intensity, and increase its effectiveness. A lot.

Now, like all those months when I was acutely injured, each day begins with a yoga class (in video or in person). I’m going to keep this up until the pain is gone. I’m so much better than I was a week ago that I find it hard to conceptualize how I went so many years not doing yoga at all.

pic: romney in the canyonlands

8 comments:

screwdestiny said...

I wish I was like you, where I was able to train more efficiently on my own, without the help of another person. But alas, I always do a lot better when I'm going by a video, in a class, or with a personal trainer. I just don't push myself as hard when I'm on my own. Maybe someday I'll get there.

InsaneXer said...

Can you create an imbalance by training the stabilizers too much or does it just happen with the big prime movers?
Hope your back heals soon!

Rick said...

Is the P90X routine good for beginning yogies also trying to rehab a lower back injury?

Rick said...

I was doing P90X and got some great results, then I stopped for about a month. The one caveat is that I wasn't doing the Yoga at all, but a double dose of Kenpo each week instead. I wanted more cardio. I was playing basketball recently and tweaked my back the day before I was going to restart P90X.

I've been resting it for two weeks now with very little recovery. I hate doctors, so I'm going to try Yoga now. Is the P90X routine a good one for beginning yogies?

Steve Edwards said...

90x yoga is definitely not beginner yoga but that doesn't mean you can't start with it since in yoga part of the process is to stop when you need to. It's your practice. Be very careful with your injury, however. Depending on what is going on yoga could make it worse.

Hassan, you stabilizer muscles can be overtrained, as in exhausted, but they have a much higher percentage of slow twitch fiber so it's both harder to overtrain them and to grow them. I've never heard of a stabilizer muscle imbalance but I've also never seen anyone train stabilizers with very heavy weight.

Steve Edwards said...

90x yoga is definitely not beginner yoga but that doesn't mean you can't start with it since in yoga part of the process is to stop when you need to. It's your practice. Be very careful with your injury, however. Depending on what is going on yoga could make it worse.

Hassan, you stabilizer muscles can be overtrained, as in exhausted, but they have a much higher percentage of slow twitch fiber so it's both harder to overtrain them and to grow them. I've never heard of a stabilizer muscle imbalance but I've also never seen anyone train stabilizers with very heavy weight.

Ted said...

So...what are your fav yoga vids Steve?

Steve Edwards said...

Ted, sorry I forgot to answer this. Lisa mentioned this, so thanks her.

I should first point out that I'm doing mainly "easy" yoga in the mornings, so I'll often do harder classes later on. I like to mix it up but my favorite video teacher is Rodney Yee (sorry BB trainers but it's none of your primary diciplines so I don't feel bad). But I should add the yoga is even more personal than most workout forms so just because I like someone it shouldn't mean squat to you. I do like getting many influences, from all of our trainers, to Yee, to Gurkmha (or something) who does this weird brand of Kundalini. I actually blogged on this. If I didn't link to it above just click the yoga label and it will be there.