Friday, April 11, 2008


I really thought with two months of yoga under my belt I would:

1. Be able to sit cross-legged for more than 3 minutes (sometimes I can go 5 minutes).
2. I would be able to do the lay on your back with shaking your hand and legs in the air exercise for 20 minutes like the other 70+ year old Koreans. I can last about 10 minutes tops.
3. Be able to tolerate being smacked on my back for 5 minutes. No, I have my 72 year old buddy help me out and he is very gentle.
4. Be able to walk triumphantly home, ready to take on the rest of my day. Instead, I hobble or stumble home and immediately lay on the couch for a good hour to recoup.
5. Tolerate pain better. Nope, I'm still a wuss when it comes to pain.
6. Be able to twist and turn all the ways a Korean can. Now I truly think we are just built differently. I don't think I ever do some of the moves I see in yoga. Don't get me wrong, I try but my body just doesn't bend that way.

Thursday's yoga had me wiped out for most of the day. One of the day's exercises was standing in place with your arms and head swaying listening to drums chanting. This exercise lasted about 20 minutes. I was really worn out by then end of class and ready to drink my cup of tea and exit when one of the main instructors grabbed my hand and put me in another room. Oh no, there would be more today.

She had me lay down on a cushioned mat and then proceeded to press into certain points all over my body. Some of the places felt like a knife going in and she wouldn't stop even when I tried to get her to. This went on for about 45 minutes (a lifetime) and finally she ended with taking her hands and running them parallel to my body about 4 inches above my body. She said this was taking out all the toxins.

I don't know how I got home, I was in pain all over. But I must admit after a few hours, I felt better than I have felt in a long time. I don't know if this will be occurring regularly but maybe they are trying to build up my pain tolerance. Who knows. Now I understand the saying "No pain, no gain."

I am really curious now what yoga in the U.S. is like. I've never taken yoga before but I will continue when we return to the States.


Helena said...


Irishlace said...

Double OW!

I recently learned about "trigger points". They are places within the muscles that spasm causing pain that can be both acute or chronic. To release these points, you massage the area briefly. It hurts like crazy while its happening and then the muscles relax and the pain lessens or goes away. I've used this on both myself and my husband who has chronic back pain. Sounds as if your yoga teacher is using something similar, hence, the pain in the doing and the feel good afterwards. Google "trigger point therapy" for lots of info.

I'm with you I know we aren't all built alike. Plus, a lifetime of yoga practice has to to something.

Becky said...

Hellena: But I always told "it's good for your health."

Irishlace: The Koreans haven't caught on the massaging briefly. There was nothing brief about it. I wonder when she will do it again. I have a feeling this will contine.

CreekHiker said...

Becky, American yoga: There is no slapping! I had a yoga teacher who taught with the moon cycle (rare and wonderful!) New moon focused on all the "male poses." Warriors, strong and powerful. Full moon was "female time" - a blissful delight (although the men struggled with some of hip openers that come so naturally to females! This teacher would host Full Moon yoga on the beach... It was awesome.

AS far as your flexibility, it comes in slow and painful increments. It took me a full year to put my shoulder under my knee...Gosh, I wish I had kept it up!

The last think that woman did to you was Reiki (after the trigger point). It's wonderful and I would think that's what did the most good.

Oh, I should mention I would often drink a ton of water and sleep for hours after yoga. It's the body's way of getting rid of the crap released during yoga.

Becky said...

Holly: I'm going to continue yoga when we move back to the States. You mean I don't have to worry about anyone hitting the crap out of me. They tried again today and I declined. They think I'm so strange.

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