Over the last few weeks my physiotherapist has been encouraging me to let go of my supports that have helped me move around.

First we got rid of the leg lifter to help me get into bed, then the walking frame. I am afraid the last time I used it was to wind wool. Now we are looking at more important supports firstly there is the bed. It’s an orthopaedic bed which allowed me to get a reasonable nights sleep when I wasn’t allowed to weight bear on my right leg. It became an important part of my life as at first I spent most of my time there.  It became my refuge when I was tired and in pain as I could adjust it for comfort in short a place of refuge. I now sleep in our own bed, not as comfortable but it can be adjusted by banks of pillows. I occasionally hop back into it for a snooze but I am trying to get out of the habit. I am being encouraged to use one crutch and balance my standing by weight bearing on my right leg.

So one by one they go, supports that are aiding my recovery. Letting go can be a little daunting, but unless I do I will not make a full recovery. 

This letting go of props whether it is in recovery from an injury, yoga or anything else that uses props or training support to advance there is a time to let go and become ……

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About 3 months ago I had a fairly fit toned body and it was about to get fitter and more toned. I had started swimming again after a long break and that together with a regular yoga practice (Flow and Astanga) plus walking  meant I felt good and was looking forward to some charity hikes and possibly an open water swim in 2015.

Looking good, feeling good and ready to take on the world. Then December the 1st and wandering home from the Edge swimming pool in a smug inattentive haze and bang flat on my back with a broken hip socket, facing two operations, a couple of weeks in hospital and many months recovery and rehab. I will state here and now my treatment in the hospital and since has been fantastic.

The emotional roller coaster of the hospital stay and subsequent upheaval at home when I finally came home settled. My husband and I have settled into a caring routine which we manage in our own idiosyncratic way and a fitness regime worked out by myself and the physio to keep everything moving and reasonably strong.

The body, however, does not bear much lying around before muscles lose tone and bits once reasonably well toned are not. My Astanga eppuletes have gone, my legs are now slender and graceful but not much muscle, my arms are seaweed like and there is a rounded softness to my my middle that wasn’t there before.  I haven’t put on much weight as my starving, healing body scoffs everything I put in it. I look at my new body and wonder…..

The next move is down to me, do I want to keep this new style body, do I want to go back to the body I had before December 1st or do I want a different one. All possible and all a bit like choosing the fairy road one is easy an paved path but will probably end up costing me my health down the road, one is an a clear path well trodden but probably an ego trip and one looks tough and is a mystery….

Now I have seen videos of people with broken legs doing a modified Astanga sequence and similar. Marvellous, praiseworthy and a great testament to commitment to practice and Tapas. However, I have read three articles in the last few days that have made me think.

Is this commitment one of discipline and practice in a healthy none-attached way. For example missing the odd daily practice because of family commitments and not feeling guilty. Or is it a must have in your life that makes your day spiral down into darkness if the practice doesn’t happen.

I was once in the ‘must do my practice or else’ space, but after a couple of months helping my mother with her life, it became obvious that for my own health’s sake I needed to allow myself time off and my current situation forbids me to do a lot of poses (if I ever want to walk again). Funny thing is, the small bit of yoga I can practice is joyful as parts of the body ease open and become stronger. My meditation and breathing keep me calm, cheerful and cold free.

So to finish, I feel yoga should be part of and fit into your life, not your whole life.

May I recommend the following three articles for mind food 🙂

http://yogaforhealthyaging.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/truthfulness-satya-as-first-step.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed:+YogaForHealthyAging+(YOGA+FOR+HEALTHY+AGING)

http://www.yogajournal.com/slideshow/5-yogis-overcame-addiction/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_content=story2_title&utm_campaign=myyj_02052015

http://www.morgansportstherapy.co.uk/uncategorized/how-to-be-an-unpopular-yoga-witch/

6th of January seemed a long way away when a card with my first physiotherapy appointment was given to me as part of my collection of appointments, instructions and drugs on my departure from hospital just before Christmas.

I’d gathered the instructions the physios on the ward had given me and organised them into a sequence of movements designed to keep my legs gently active, reduce the risk of thrombosis and help keep the muscles strong. There where a couple of abdominal and buttock strengthening exercises in there as well (had to be careful with these as there is a large, lovely scar on my lower right abdomen) oh and pelvic floor stuff too. The upper body wasn’t forgotten so tricep dips and a bit of pulling and punching with the dyno bands. All good stuff and is basically a practice called Powanmuktasana a set of joint releasing actions.

Good thing though was before the accident I had purchased a pair of Nee-Jis from my good friend Matt Ryan and had been using them to ease my 62 year old knees in Astanga Primary series poses. After the accident I used them to release stiffness in my knees due being bed bound. This how I am using them at the moment. On the left side I put the Nee-Ji in the crook of my bent knee and did a propped up Janu Sirshasana without folding forward (big no no at the moment) and on the right (the injured side) I just put it under the knee and pressed down. These actions work on the muscles, attachments and ligaments around the knees. The result is both knees are gradually releasing nicely

So I went to the physio, showed her my routine, my Nee-Ji’s and what I did with them and we had a happy half hour working through improvements to what I was doing plus a new exercise with a paper towel role under my knee, that was damned painful so we tried it with the Nee-Ji, which is not so bulky, perfect (exercise was pressing the knee down and trying to lift the heel off the bed). So adventures in mobility over I came home for a snooze happy in the knowledge that I was making progress, my physio was pleased and my Nee-Jis where helping.

If you want to know more about Nee-Jis check out this website http://nee-ji.com. Please not I am not sponsored by Nee-Ji and purchased my own pair for general use before my accident.

At the beginning of December I was hit by a car when crossing a road. Thats all I really want to say about that aspect of it.

The result was that I smashed my right hip socket and suffered a couple of very minor injuries (scratches and bruises) I was extremely lucky.

I was taken to the Trauma unit at LGI and I can honestly say that the care I was given was excellent, from the Surgeon who repaired my poor shattered hip socket to the lady who cleaned my room. Kind, friendly, encouraging the staff made my mostly bed bound stay as comfortable as possible they where lovely.

After 2 1/2 weeks of their care it was decided (Christmas is a big ship out time in hospitals) to send me home. I have been given a set of simple exercises to do to keep my legs healthy and can now sit up in a wheel chair for a short time, hop around short distances using a zimmer frame and anticipate my physiotherapy, which starts on the 6th of Jan.

I am going to use this blog as a record of my journey down my healing path, a record in the laboratory of my healing. There will be the physical, asana, massage, Reiki and Physio (I will take any tools that help). Also the cultivation of quiet and calm through meditation and breathing. There will also be tears, tantrums, setbacks and frustrations, I would not be human if these did not occur.

So, with a calm heart, let the first steps begin.

Yesterday me and my beloved took a day trip, we did a Bess of Hardwick trail covering Hardwick Hall, Old Hardwick Hall and Bolsover Castle.

Hardwick Hall was decked out in all of it’s glory, like the amazingly rich and powerful women who owned her decked in her Elizabethan gown. Glowing with rich colours, graceful ornaments and the glitter of gold, silver and rich stones. Glorious.

Old Hardwick hall was a beauty in underwear, if you can imagine all the workings of an Elizabethan costume under the sumptuous fabrics. The bareness giving reign to the imagination. Seeing the wall without plaster, viewing the kitchens from above through the vanished floor. My favourite parts of a building are the kitchens an privies. Hardwick hall has a brilliant set of bread and pastry ovens, suggesting wealth enough to be able to afford someone to cook not just daily bread but be able to cook pastry (very tricky in a wood/coal fired oven). Intriguing.

Bess was a pretty hardheaded business lady, she passed down a significant heritage to her children both in money and titles.

Her grandson William, completed and extended on rebuilding a castle within the estate of Bess called Bolsover Castle. Although crenelated it is really a pleasure palace and though much of the grandeur has gone hints remain. Wall panels with cavorting gods and goddesses, fat cherubs ramble round the top of panels, bare walls. Two bread ovens and some odd cupboard like rooms that had to be privies but where discreetly bare. You can almost cat a hint of lavish perfumes and silk as you Rome around and as William loved horses, the wiff of horse as well. An aesthete and pleasure lover William managed to survive the Parliamentary revolt and rebuild his castle after civil war.

So why do I know I have grown up? Because in my youth I would have dismissed Old Hardwick and Bolsover Castle as boring and uninteresting and Hardwick Hall as wonderful and how things should be shown.

Now I view these three sites as Ladies in various states of dress, Hardwick in full splendour and Old Hardwick and Bolsover as in their underwear all intriguing and wonderful with a tale to tell.

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Today my thoughts in this place are about silence. Silence between people, not the forced silence of a request to ‘be quiet’ but that lovely velvet space that occurs between friends and lovers when there is no need to talk, just sit and enjoy each other’s company. So next time you are in the situation where talking falls quiet, let it, smile at your friend or partner and enjoy that silence