When my orthopedic surgeon told me that I needed surgery to fix my spine, I panicked. I had a 3 month old baby and a husband that traveled more than a Delta pilot. I couldn’t imagine taking the risk of invasive surgery and losing my neck mobility forever. That took me on the wild pursuit for other answers. How else could I fix myself? Diet, acupuncture, Hyperbaric chamber, Astym, salt rooms, red light therapy, chiropractic, massage therapy, cryotherapy or maybe yoga? The answer is all the above!
When using a holistic approach in healing and recovery, it’s a synergistic dance of all different modalities that make your body work and perform better. We all know how I feel about Cryotherapy but let me tell you how I feel about Yoga. My body craves it! It needs that elongating of the spine, the stretching, and the challenge it brings to my muscles and balance. It is also a systemic detox, and a time to make myself just stop and breathe.
It’s one of those activities that when I give myself time to do it, I leave with a new promise to myself to become a daily yogi! With my hectic schedule of being a mom, wife, and CEO of a franchise wellness company, I am lucky to get in a yoga session once a week.
What I’ve learned with my injury is that movement equals blood flow, which equals circulation, which equals less inflammation. When doctors told me to cease activity in the worry that I might make my spine worse, I ended up hurting more when I sat still.￼￼ Of course you should always listen to your doctor, but also listen to your body. Trying new things, keep being curious on how your body can feel better and heal faster. ￼
Yoga not only gives me muscles, but it also provides me pain relief. There are so many different types of yoga practices, but the below are the most popular and my favorite.
Ashtanga is based on ancient yoga teachings, but it was popularized and brought to the West by K. Pattabhi Jois (pronounced “pah-tah-bee joyce”) in the 1970s. It’s a rigorous style of yoga that follows a specific sequence of postures and is similar to vinyasa yoga, as each style links every movement to a breath. If you live in Atlanta, you must visit Ashtanga Yoga Atlanta. https://www.ashtangayogaatlanta.com
Hatha yoga is a generic term that refers to any type of yoga that teaches physical postures. Nearly every type of yoga class taught in the West is Hatha yoga. When a class is marketed as Hatha, it generally means that you will get a gentle introduction to the most basic yoga postures.
Hot Yoga, made popular by Bikram Yoga, is held in a hot and humid room — usually set between 95 and 105 degrees Fahrenheit. Hot yoga can be any type of yoga practiced in a heated room where the focus is on detoxification with a sequence of poses. VINYASA Vinyasa (pronounced “vin-yah-sah”) is a Sanskrit word for a phrase that roughly translates as “to place in a special way,” referring—in hatha yoga—to a sequence of poses. Vinyasa classes are known for their fluid, movement-intensive practices. Vinyasa teachers sequence their classes to smoothly transition from pose to pose, with the intention of linking breath to movement, and often play music to keep things lively.
It doesn’t matter which one you try or incorporate, they all have the same outcome.
• increased flexibility
• increased muscle strength and tone
• improved respiration, energy and vitality
• maintaining a balanced metabolism
• weight reduction
• improved athletic performance
• protection from injury
• boost in circulation and oxygenation of blood
So shouldn’t doctors start prescribing yoga as a natural “medicine”? As the country struggles with our opioid epidemic, I’m optimistic that our medical professionals will “push” other alternatives instead of just drugs.
Per the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Roughly 21 to 29 percent of patients prescribed opioids for chronic pain misuse them. Between 8 and 12 percent develop an opioid use disorder. An estimated 4 to 6 percent who misuse prescription opioids transition to heroin.”
If you struggle with pain either from injury, overuse, autoimmune or joint diseases, try something new. There are so many modalities available to us. See what your body craves. ￼
Come see me at Icebox!