Updated: May 24, 2021
Our Practice – More Back Care
I suffered for many years with back issues. I have had two surgeries and was facing a double fusion about 10 years ago. With the concurrence of a great surgeon (the kind that operates as a last resort), I embarked on some significant life changes and regimes to avoid it. First, I changed my car. I drove a low sedan that was super fun to drive and hell on my back. It got so that when I got into the car the pains would shoot down my legs. By chance, I noticed when I drove our pickup truck, the pain was far less. So, after much angst (I loved the car), I changed to a small SUV which really helped. I then began a regime of PT (with a new therapist who specialized in sports and backs). I had been to so many therapists I usually knew exactly what they were going to do-this was different. Some of the exercises the new therapist had me. do I have incorporated into my classes and personal practice. I also worked with my chiropractor and acupuncturist. All these changes, combined with a relentless commitment to strengthening my core and back on my own, resulted in me being pain free (almost all the time) and avoiding the surgery. It took a while, and a lot of work, but I maintain it now through my own practice and only see the professionals on rare occasions. I believe that many back surgeries are performed unnecessarily (of course not all) and trying alternatives first is a worthwhile option.
Last week I shared my top three core strengtheners. This week I share some low back strengtheners.
After warming up (cat and cow, child pose), and perhaps doing the core exercises from last week, try the following:
1. 2-3 Sun Salutations (both down dog and up dog are back strengtheners)
2. Locust (3 times)-windshield wiper legs after
3. Camel (2 times)-to rabbit
Finish with lying on your back, knees to chest, supine twist, savasana.
Meditation - Family
I spent several days last week with my husband, two sons (Sam and Luke) and both of their grandmothers. We celebrated my oldest (Sam) son’s one-year delayed graduation ceremony from Furman University. During the time we spent, I found myself musing on how fast time flies and how grateful I am to have two grown boys who are not only accomplished but more importantly, kind, compassionate and interested in improving the world around them. Please do not think I am purporting to be like the Cleavers or some other idyllic family! Trust me, there is plenty of discord from time to time and a good part of it generated by me and my need to control things (have I mentioned that I am working on it? Yoga helps). I was also incredibly grateful that both boys (Sam and Luke) seem to truly enjoy time spent with my husband and me and their two grandmothers. Of course, Sam had plenty of opportunity to enjoy his friends and his brother served as his “on-call chauffeur”.
Take some time this week reflecting on the power of family. While not always easy, time spent with family is so important and (hopefully) rejuvenating.
"There are two gifts we should give our children. One is roots, and the other is wings" – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
I did not know who Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was. He was a German poet, playwright, novelist, scientist, statesman, theatre director, critic, and amateur artist. Some of his work focused on botany as well as plays, poetry and other literary pursuits.
Nurturing with Food – Abbie’s Spinach and Strawberry Salad
I was asked to make a spinach salad for one of my best friend’s daughter’s bridal shower. As with all my recipes, I researched several, tried some combinations, and came up with this. Usually, I am not a huge fan of fruit in a salad, but this was savory enough for me (avocado, onions and radishes help with that), while also pleasing my friend Barbara (who has a real sweet tooth) and her daughter Abbie. It was an unseasonably hot day for June and I think this really hit the spot; it appeared to be a hit, there was none left!
I think this salad is just right for super-hot summer days and evenings as a side dish or a main dish topped with some grilled tofu or chick peas (or for my non vegan friends, grilled fish or chicken). For non-vegans, I suspect adding some feta cheese would also be delicious.
Link to recipe: