1. Alan has completed the new Pain Recovery Program. To read or share it, use this updated link: https://www.tmswiki.org/forum/painrecovery/
    Dismiss Notice

Lay off or push through the pain?

Discussion in 'Support Subforum' started by Josue, Feb 12, 2013.

  1. Josue

    Josue New Member

    I'm finally getting to the point, after many months, where I feel confident I can do just about anything physically. I finally took that step and just said F it. I started playing full court basketball and now I'm on a Bikram Yoga rampage. These were amazing steps for me, if one can imagine going from light exercise, to full on playing basketball. My body feels great and I am definitely getting stronger. Sarno suggests doing the most rigorous forms of exercise, and I'm game for anything right now! It feels amazing.

    But I am unsure how to approach certain yoga poses and stretches. I try to ignore the teachers when they talk about this and that being good or bad for your back. Most of the yoga feels great, but there are those poses that I know will bring on pain. Should I lay off or push through this pain? The pain varies and some days I feel like I am more flexible than others. I don't know if I should stop stretching when I feel pain, or if I should push even harder, since like Sarno says, "your back is basically normal". It seems like these certain poses, and they are always the same ones, feel like the stretches I would do for physical therapy, which I have long since abandoned. Should I stick to "full body" exercise like basketball, surfing, water polo, swimming etc.? The yoga is totally full body, but at the same time I think there are some "back stretches" in there, which Sarno says to avoid.

  2. yb44

    yb44 Beloved Grand Eagle

    I think if you practice yoga for fitness and because you enjoy it, that's okay. I can appreciate that some of the poses remind you of PT exercises. You are doing these poses because you like to, not because you should, according to a PT. I still do reformer Pilates despite the studio being used by people with a range of alleged structural issues. I do it because I enjoy going out once a week and engaging in this activity. It makes me feel proud that I have stuck with some exercise regime for 2 solid years. In the past I had always given exercise up after a short stint and settled back into my couch. Last week someone came in and described how her back had been hurting her. The Pilates instructor asked if she had done anything out of the ordinary to have caused this pain. Nope, nothing out of the ordinary, she replied, just a different swimming stroke at the pool. It sounded as if this person swam for professional reasons. I didn't comment but thought to myself, hmmmm, could this be TMS yet again? Pilates instructor gets annoyed when I mention Sarno or anything mind body so I just mind my own beeswax and enjoy my routine.
  3. Josue

    Josue New Member

    Thanks yb44 I think that is a good attitude to have. I totally know what you mean about listening to people out there in the world. It's tempting to step in there and start bringing up Sarno and what not but people are so stubborn ha ha.
  4. veronica73

    veronica73 Well known member

    Hi Josue,
    I've had the same experience with yoga. I practiced yoga for years before I had TMS but after becoming aware of TMS I realized how much some yoga teachers talk about being careful of hurting yourself, etc.

    I haven't been going to yoga much anymore for this exact reason. Not all classes are like that but at the gym I go to, most are.
  5. Lori

    Lori Well known member

    Yes, most yoga teachers are very physical-minded. I go to a yoga class occasionally, but I have to ignore when she "gets physical" in her comments.
  6. Dee

    Dee New Member

    I am in a very similar situation. About three months ago, I also said "F it" and went back to very challenging physical activity. This includes Spin, Zumba and yoga. I also have felt great and am getting stronger. I agree that yoga has been the most challenging and the activity that has kept me somewhat fearful of my back and shoulder pain.

    I took a "beginner's workshop" last month, which I found very helpful. It helped me understand how to do the poses properly, and it helped me understand why we do some of the poses. It also provided me with examples of modified poses I can do until I am a bit stronger. This alone helped me feel less fearful and confident that I'm doing poses correctly and that I don't have to force myself into difficult poses if I'm not ready.

    I have gone to several yoga classes taught by different instructors in the past few weeks to see what my options are and what I like best. I can say that two of the three instructors were not my cup of tea. They kept pushing us and having us hold difficult poses for a very long time - without giving us any modifications, etc. Some were very uncomfortable - or virtually impossible - to hold for an extended period, especially if you were new to the class or just didn't have the strength. When I discussed this with the yoga workshop instructor, she told me to avoid those types of classes. You should be offered modifications and not feel pressured to get into certain poses or hold them for an inordinate amount of time if you can't do so.

    In short, my advice to you is to experiment with different instructors and find one who is accommodating and doesn't force you into poses and who offers modifications - if you need them. You should feel comfortable in your class - not fearful. I felt like I was being bullied in one of those classes, and the instructor actually came around and pushed on our backs to push us deeper into a pose. This was very scary to me. According to the workshop instructor, this is a yoga no-no and those types of instructors should be avoided. Best of luck to you!
  7. Dee

    Dee New Member

    One more thing. In the past my physical therapist had told me that I couldn't take yoga because I would use the wrong muscles, hurt my back, etc. So I had a serious fear of yoga. But in taking all of these different classes, I have found that the back or shoulder pain may come back for a little bit during or after the class, but so long as you are able to tell your brain to knock it off, it will go away. The more yoga classes I have taken, the more the pain has lessened because I won't allow my brain to convince me that I am hurting myself. This has even been effective in those classes with the crazy instructors who were putting us in very difficult poses. In the past, I would have been in pain for days afterward, but not any more.

Share This Page