Looking to return to yoga

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Yulaw
Posts: 19
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2010 4:30 am
Location: North America

Looking to return to yoga

Post by Yulaw »

Hello all I am, for all intensive purposes, an old beat-up and injured martial artist and not that it is a big deal on a Yoga site but it is Chinese martial arts (Xingyiquan, Sanda, Taijiquan) and qigong.

I am going on 50 and I have been dealing with and injury of the knee for 6 months now. 3 doctors, 2 knee draining sessions, 3 sets of x-rays an MRI later they finally figured out I have a torn ligament in my knee. I have lost a lot of flexibility due to lack of activity and I have gained a bit of weight too.

I do not think I could handle Power Yoga at this point that is what I use to do. (I know many do not think it is really yoga) and I did a bit of Kripalu and something the teacher called classic Hatha, but it has been years

My main goal is a return of my flexibility and maintaining health and it is mainly to benefit my martial arts. I was reading about Yin Yoga and it looks interesting and there is a seminar coming close to my area in about 6 months. I was wondering if anyone could give me more insight into it and if it would be a good choice for an old beat-up and injured martial artist that is now over weight too.

I have also been doing some web research and I am going to buy the book Yin Yoga by Paul Grilley.

Thanks
Bernie
Posts: 1152
Joined: Sat Sep 23, 2006 2:25 am
Location: Vancouver

Yoga for the knees

Post by Bernie »

Can yoga help? Certainly! Can yin yoga help you? Yes, but...

You have described many physical challenges that you have right now, and these are to be respected. Before embarking on a yogic journey, I would suggest you clearly think through your intention; are you wanting to get healthy, or are you seeking high performance?

I am going to assume the answer is, health. Even if you are seeking high performance, you will want to regain your health first anyway. (The question in the back of my mind is, did your practice in martial arts contribute to your current physical challenges? If so, perhaps you were too focused on performance in the past at the expense of health. I will leave it to you to mull that over.)

Yin Yoga can assist in strengthening the connective tissues that were damaged in your operation and by other prior activities. You can read a lot about how to use Yin Yoga and its benefits here in this web site, but also your idea to read Paul's book is good too. Just be aware that before you start to work on greater range of motion, first let your current injuries heal. Focus on stimulating and mobilizing gently these areas. Don't go to far too quickly.

Yang yoga is also a big plus at this time too: again, go gently. The intention is to strengthen the muscles that will support your joints. Your intuition about NOT doing power yoga right now is a good one. Stick to gentler hatha classes or even restorative classes until you are pain free. Then slowly work towards the more challenging classes. Strengthen the leg muscles around the knee with standing poses, chair poses and gentle stretches like Saddle (perhaps just one leg at a time.)

There are several other posts in this forum about the knees that may help.

http://www.yinyoga.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=444
http://www.yinyoga.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=489
http://www.yinyoga.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=81.

The best advice: talk to a teacher. Explain to her the challenges you have and see if she can give you specific instructions for your knees and watch you as do the poses. (It is difficult to do this via the internet - best to get someone to watch you!)

Good luck!
Bernie
Yulaw
Posts: 19
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2010 4:30 am
Location: North America

Post by Yulaw »

I do plan on a full recovery before I start Yoga and I am looking to return to health. And as strange as this may seem, no martial arts did not cause my injury. The first was caused by a rather stupid move on my part. I was in a hurry to get to a meeting and jumoed down a flight of stairs and fractured my heel. The second (knee) was cause by two things, one being additional stupidity. I hurt it moving to a new house with a repetitive stress injury and then, since I had so much to do I did not listen to the MD and continued to do the work necessary and…well… managed to tear the cartilage.

I have not yet had any operations and I may not need one, I will know more the end of this month. It may be a cortisone shot, it may be surgery, I don’t know yet.

There are not any Yin Yoga teachers in my area as far as I know but there will be a seminar in my area in the fall that I am considering. However I recent remembered that a woman I use to train martial arts left to pursue becoming a yoga therapist. I will have to see if I still have her number and giver her a call.

Thanks you for the video links
Yulaw
Posts: 19
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2010 4:30 am
Location: North America

Post by Yulaw »

It came as a complete surprise to me but I was killing time checking the WebPages of the yoga schools in my area and I found a Yin Yoga class about 15 minutes from my house. Prior to this the closest I found was 2 hours away.
Bernie
Posts: 1152
Joined: Sat Sep 23, 2006 2:25 am
Location: Vancouver

Yin close by

Post by Bernie »

Great to hear! You may want to let the teacher know about our Yin Yoga teacher directory: she/he can get listed there so that others can also find her/his yin yoga classes.

Cheers!
Bernie
Yulaw
Posts: 19
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2010 4:30 am
Location: North America

Post by Yulaw »

When I go I will mention it, Thanks
If you truly want to be at peace, you must be at peace right now.
--Thich Nhat Hanh
Yulaw
Posts: 19
Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2010 4:30 am
Location: North America

Post by Yulaw »

I am doing better thank you and I am actually just seeking health, I'm too old to care about high performance any longer :D

And my injuries or at least the most recent were not so much high performance but stupidity. However injuries I had in my youth were likely due to high performance and not allowing proper recovery time. And I don’t heel like I use to…or it could be (edging 50) I finally decided to give my body time to heel :). My knee (torn Miniscus not ligament) is taking a while to recover but I am on the mend

I am taking time to recover and my target date to try Yin Yoga is summer 2011. I have been in contact with the school and so far everything seems fine
If you truly want to be at peace, you must be at peace right now.
--Thich Nhat Hanh
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