Thursday, October 11, 2007

They have some nerve.

My pecs, I mean. I lost track of where the comments were that i wanted to answer on the topic of backbends, so i hereby start a new thread to answer, in brief:

Julie is right - the surgery screws things up. But not irreversibly, i am convinced, or rather hypothesizing. I hope i am right. Unlike julie, my surgery happened before i discovered ashtanga, so i have no direct comparison regarding before versus after. I will say that i have never experienced any nerve dullness or sudden nerve re-awakening. On the other hand, under normal circumstances, my pain awareness threshhold is high. Perhaps that makes it hard for me to connect with the necessary feelings in my pecs.

Unlike julie, also, ustrasana is easy for me, as is lagu vaj and bhekasana. They don't add much to my mix for me because the problem is not my chest so much as my armpits. So, i guess it is about the insertion between pecs and...something else? Also, my delts are relatively overdeveloped, and so they seem to block my pits from opening up. Ustras does not address that.

I totally agree with julie though that we, she and i, that is, need to compensate with extra contraction of the spine, itself. I anticipate that this will be a long road, longer than if i were merely trying to soften tight muscles.

The ball is a huge help. HUGE!!! It forces me to shape my back in the way it needs to be shaped and molded. It gives me a template for reaching my arms up and back while in a back arch.

My bottom line: if i could learn supta k, i can do this too. Supta k seemed imposisible. At one time so did mari c. Now i can put myself in supta k and i clasp wrist in mari c and find pasasana logical and doable next step. Thus, the impossible can be possible.



Julie said...

:) You have no nerve damage? That must be because they didn't "core you out" the way I was for the Alloderm reconstruction. I am finally getting some sensation back but it is overwhelming when it happens... in fact, it is a bit scary. The whole stretching through the arm pits thing is why I request an adjustment in Supta Virasana everyday.

YC said...

Julie...I have no idea about nerve damage, which makes me suspect I have none. I definitely have sensation on my skin - which if I had a sex life, would be important, haha. Or maybe not haha. Maybe just TMI.

Tell me about the adjustment in Supta virasana - why does this help the armpits? I have done Supta Virasana (Vajrasana?) exactly one time, on Sunday in the first Intro to Second class I ever took, and I felt it in the outside edges of my deltoids only. Maybe I DO have nerve damage?

laksmi said...

oh, um, yc, i'd like to weigh in and say that i've said a number of times that the replacement cans might have been the cause of your urdhva difficulties. god. you know how sensitive i am.

Julie said...

Supta Virasana isn't a traditional pose in second series..or, rather, it isn't now. Supposedly it was in second right before Bhekasana "back in the day" and, so, at our studio we still do it.

Supta Virasana is reclined hero pose (both legs bent back, laying down)... so if the adjuster does downward dog over you, they can push their heels back pretty far and it stretches the entire sides of your body out... from the waist up through the armpit and into the upper arm... I have to use a lot of strength for the adjustment when I get it and really concentrate on balancing the stretch with engaging the muscles... what this has done is allowed a slow controlled stretch and allows the scar tissue to loosen up a bit.

In general if I don't get this adjustment during a practice, backbending is much more difficult for me. Fortunately for me, my teacher and all the assistants are aware that I will wait out an adjustment in this pose and always come to help me.

At first Dr S. really didn't like me doing it but he told me I could do anything except Mayurasana (EVER) awhile back and so I really make every effort to control the stretch.

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Northern Westchester, New York, United States
I live by a duck pond. I used to live by the East River. I don't work. I used to work a lot. Now, not so much. I used to teach a lot of yoga. Now not so much. I still practice a lot of yoga though. A LOT. I love my kids, being outdoors, taking photos, reading magazines, writing and stirring the pot. Enjoy responsibly.


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