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Yoga After Injury

We have all dealt with an injury at one time or another. In the last few years, I have dealt with back muscle pain that ranges from moderate to severe. I started my yoga practice many years ago with hyperflexibility and little strength, so rehabbing my back involved strength training (which is now a passion of mine).

Now that I am often able to practice yoga without pain, it has been an interesting comparison on the mat versus six years ago. My planks are no longer modified, and I can jump back to chaturanga (which took many years of practice). I can hold armbalances with greater ease, and have noticed muscles I never had before.

Going back to the early years of my practice, I was close to Hanumanasana (full splits), and loved pyramid pose. I could barely hold myself up in firefly, but at least my legs extended (which they can no longer do). As the muscles in my body tightened and strengthened, the flexibility I had come to enjoy in my practice has slowly faded away. I use props more now than ever before: a block in half moon pose and a strap for forward folds are welcome additions that I had once been ashamed to use as a crutch.

This change in my ability has been a great challenge on the mat, as I have had to re learn my limits. A sun salutation looks very different for me now versus then, and it has been a wonderful reminder that our practice never ends. We will never become masters, we simply change and grow and visit the mat each time as if it were the first. Besides, now that I’m stronger I can try out new things like dangling from this lyra hoop, and I guarantee that six years ago I couldn’t have even gotten up into it!

lyra hoop

The Wonders of Wanderlust

This year was my first time attending a Wanderlust Festival. I traveled up to Tahoe, California (the northeastern part of the state, near the border of Nevada) with 2 of my yoga-loving friends and set out to align my chakras for four whole days! Okay, so maybe that last part was a little bit in jest… but I was determined to reset, recharge, and refuel myself while at this transformative festival filled with yoga, music, and folks from around the globe who celebrate yoga.

Check out my instagram or the Facebook album I created for all the photos from the event.  Here is my favorite one from the weekend, wearing a tank that we got during wine tasting one evening (who says you can’t enjoy a little wine when you’re sweating it out all weekend?)

Namaste for Happy Hour

Back Talk

Many of you that follow my journey with yoga and fitness know that I have had several instances in the last few years where back pain has left me a mess! What I thought were muscle pulls and lack of strength in my core, have turned out to be something else entirely. After another visit to Urgent Care in December, the doctor insisted on x-rays of my spine to see if my issues were more than muscular.

Here are a few of the xrays (and now you know my birthday – yay!). The printed report that came with the xrays have preliminary diagnoses based on what the technician saw in the photos. Tentatively: I have very mild scoliosis (my spine curves 17 degrees more than it should) as well as degeneration in 2-3 of the discs in the lower part of the spine (L4, L5, S2 to be exact).

While I should probably be concerned, I’m actually thrilled to hear this news. I’ve been misdiagnosed with QL muscle tears, imbalances in my hips, and all sorts of other things that have not been adequately resolved because we haven’t been treating the right issue. I can’t wait to see my Orthopedic doctor this month and start learning ways that I can continue my path of training and improving my body. This also means I will be able to share some things I learn along the way for those of you (and there are many!) who also have chronic back pain.

There will ALWAYS be challenges in your life, but it is how you respond to them that will have the biggest impact.


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Practice Makes Progress

Handstand Progress

Even though I am working hard at my CMM (Certification in Meetings Management) at the Anaheim Convention Center this weekend, I am still trying to find balance by working out daily. I did some kick-ups to the wall to test out my handstand late last night and got about 5 seconds airtime.

Milestone: 800 Instagram Followers

Thank you!

Last week I hit 800 Instagram followers. I am so grateful for the community of folks that encourage each other on social media. Thank you for every like, share, follow, and glance at my content. Follow me @tallgirlyogi

So you think you’re tall…

There was a great blog I came across that I wanted to share, written by a tall woman to her (baby) daughter on what she’ll have to endure when she gets older. Check out “A letter to my tall daughter” from All the Tall Things.

A Letter to my Tall Daughter

September is National Yoga Month!

September is National Yoga Month! What does this mean for you? It means the opportunity for some free yoga classes in your area. Check the full listing at the Yoga Health Foundation‘s website. The Yoga Health Foundation is “a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization, fosters an awareness of yoga’s proven health benefits and provides individuals with actionable guidance and tools to enhance their own well-being. The foundation coordinates the national (and global) awareness campaigns Yoga Month and Yoga-Recess.”

This is a great time to try yoga, or share it with someone you love!

A new logo!

I am beyond thrilled that I have a fancy new logo to share with you all! This was custom-made for me by Mate Media (thanks, Russ!). What do you all think?