I’ve been doing yoga since I was a child. My Mom is a yoga nut, and still does yoga at age 82. We took yoga classes. We read yoga books. Then came my back injuries. The tragic pogo stick accident. Kicked in the back by a horse. Yes, I really flew through the air like a child-sized airplane. Best moment of my life. Until the landing, but that’s another story. I still took the odd yoga class over the years. I knew yoga was supposed to be helpful for chronic pain and tinnitus. As a relaxation tool. A few years ago, I found an excellent hatha yoga instructor. She always told everyone how to modify the poses if needed (e.g. position will sprain my back and give me at least a week of pain). To quote Kaa from the Jungle Book, “Ooooh, my sssssacro-iliac.” Unfortunately, she stopped teaching.I found another instructor close to my house. Told her I had back problems. Took a trial class and really enjoyed it. I modified positions as needed. After, I asked the instructor about signing up for her classes.
“You can’t,” she told me.
“You can’t do my class.”
“You can’t do the poses properly.”
“I don’t mind modifying them for myself.”
I walked out in shock. I couldn’t believe it. So I stuck with doing my own inferior yoga routine at home. My back is worse now than it was then. There are several yoga studios in the neighbourhood. I look at them and wish I could take a class. Super anxious I’ll get rejected again.
Of course the benefit of yoga for relaxation is well known. In a 2017 article How Yoga Changes Your Brain, Zuzu Perkal writes about how “when we practice deep, slow breathing, relax our muscles, and think positive thoughts, we are actually rewiring the brain. Yoga decreases stress, depression, and anxiety while increasing happiness and the overall quality of life”. She recommends trying it for at least a month and see how you do. I keep looking at the local yoga studios. And get panic attacks thinking about being unwelcome again.
Jan L. Mayes MSc writes horror fiction and non-fiction. She’s an international Eric Hoffer Award winning author, blogger, and audiologist specializing in ghosts, noise, tinnitus-hyperacusis, plotting murders, and eating cookies. She’s a member of A Writer’s Path Writing Club and The Ladies of Horror Fiction.
Photo by Erik Brolin on Unsplash