Sunday, February 24, 2008

Supta padangusthasana - Sciatic and Gluteal Muscle Pain Killer

"The pain" - it don't go away, but pain it coming down, and it did in a remarkable way this Friday after the yoga therapy session with Nuvana. We tried a wall and belt supported suptapadangusthasan for nearly an hour and the pain subsided signficantly. Every week a different pose has a different effect. Two weeks ago I couldnt even lift up the left leg. So it seems like as you progress through this journey of pain, different poses create the impact of lessening the pain. What a concept! I observe, I bear and I understand my body more and more... So with some help I created a video for you to watch. There is some raw footage of another pose I did two weeks ago with Nuvana that had made an impact. Some kid yogini videos for fun. Enjoy the music and may love and peace be the center of your life.


The Yogi

Yoga Therapy Video:

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Physical therapy for Gluteus Muscle and Sciatic Pain

My next step in this pain saga moved on to getting some physical therapy. About a week and half ago I saw Emily at Bethany Physical Therapy
She is also a certified yoga teacher with experience in Iyengar and Anusura style. At my last visit this Thursday the following happened.

My left hip seemed to have rotated forward and right hip backwards and the muscles around it have strained/inflamed causing these shooting pains down my leg. She helped re-align with some posture adjustments and then the following exercises were recommended (and I reproduce with her permission)

1. Paraspinal Release with Left Obliques
a. Place both fo palms on a 3-4 inch block and place your feet directly in front of you.
b. Pull your shoulder blades down and ack and dig both of your heels into the floor as you bring your hip up and off the floor by pushing through your arms.
c. Once u lift up round your back by tucking your bottom up or in
d. Then side bend your trunk to the left so that you left hip comes up. Pelvis is turned to the right. Abdominal muscles are engaged
e. Maintain firm contact with your right arm and right leg so that you feel your right inner thigh
f. Hold the position for 4-5 deep breaths
g. Repeat 2 more time per day.

2. Standing Un-resisted Wall Reach
This is similar to an Utkanasana but with your bottom on the wall for support support, arms not raised but touching your knees and the back rounded as you take 4 deep breaths expanding you back as you inhale and then reaching forward on your knees and legs as your exhale, so you are eventually looking down on your knees.

She recommended hip opening type yoga exercises. So I was back to Nuvana's place on Friday evening for another Yoga Therapy session. And what an amazing change. Please come back for the next post along with a video.


Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Gluteal pain -- in physical therapy

I have been off regular yoga classes, but continued my yoga therapy on my own and since last Sunday the pain had subsided quite a bit. It was helping but not eliminating the pain. My physician suggested physical therapy. I was fortunte to find a therapist who is a also a certified anusura yoga teacher and has also done a fair amount of Iyengar. I had an enlightening meeting with her today. I have been so absorbed with the elections and work, I have no energy to write about my experience today with her, but it was eye opening and it gave me a deeper appreciation of being a yogi and being self aware of my body and my muscles and what I have been doing to self correct the problems I am having. She has given me two exercises and within 15 minutes of doing those exercises I felt even better. I have become even more self aware since this morning. Not to become too philosophical about this, but yoga does do the body good, but self awareness does the soul even better. May your day bring you much peace and love, as no money in the world can buy you that. It comes from self awareness!


Sunday, February 17, 2008

Another funny yoga video

Another funny yoga video. There is a fair amount of Adult Language content. If you are in anyway offended or turned off by it please comment. I would appreciate any comments.


Friday, February 15, 2008

No Yoga Today with Nuvana

Since I am in resting mode and waiting for physical therapy to start next week (I found a therapist who is also a certified anusura yoga teacher), I didn't make it to Nuvana's place for yoga therapy. Instead she advised I roll up a towel and sit on it while I work and try a supported "supta padanga gusthasana" on the stair case at home. Worthwhile try. I have mostly just tried to relax the leg with the pigeon pose folding of my left leg. The pain continues to sustain itself and experts tell me it could be sciatic pinched nerve.

I do plan to attend her her back-care class at sunset yoga center tomorrow which should be less taxing and more rest-full. In the meantime enjoy another one of my iyengar yoga video picks from youtube. It has no music but a nice set of surya namakar. And for those of you interested in expressing an opinion please visit my alter ego at May the sun shine in your life with vigor and energy of surya namaskar pose! And sunshine is renewable energy!


Iyengar style:

Ashtanga Style just for kicks:

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Another inspirational yoga video

Well folks my journey with pain continues. It has subsided but not gone. I will be going through additional physical therapy. Its unclear what is wrong with my leg. I just hope its not a disc problem. I may need an MRI. Whatever it is I know I will overcome. I am in resting mode right now but I keep performing certain stretches that keep the pain in control. I changed my office chair so the back is better supported. So I ramble.....

In moments of pain and despair, I go out searching youtube for enlightening and inspirational videos. I found this one by Jim Bennitt, who teaches tantra-hatha yoga in chicago. I thought was a nice combination of yoga poses and a short discourse on yoga philosophy. May love and peace be the center of your life...


The Yogi

Yoga by Jim Bennitt

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Morning Yoga in bed with Tara Stiles

As I recover from the sciatica pain and misery, my weekly yoga classes are on hold, here is a video from Tara Stiles, a cute sexy Ford model. I have personally tried this and it has kept my yoga routine going. I hope you enjoy this video. Any comments to any of my posts would be much appreciated.


The Yogi

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Yoga Therapy - the gluteus muscle saga continues

It was back to yoga therapy yesterday evening with Nuvana as I continue my journey of pain. First we tried supported supta=padangagushthasana, dandasana on the stairs and half uttanasana on the wall. They were all very painful. We finally settled on supported chair twists that brought some immediate relief. Then two straps around a pillar, one below the waist and covering the painful area, one around the upper back for support, left (painful) leg straight and right leg bent, raised and pushing agains the pillar, hands on the pillar pushing back... 15 minutes of this action brought some badly needed relief. This position seems to bring the most relief. I went a second time with the same action. I will be practicing this all day today. Pain -- It does a body good!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Managing pain and suffering in your life

Written and adapted by "The Yogi" from various sources including B.K.S. Iyengar’s “Light on Life"

We often focus on the past or the future to avoid experiencing the present, because the present can be painful, full of hardship and difficult to endure. The pain and hardship is actually there as a teacher because life is filled with pain, hardship and struggle. In the struggle alone, there is knowledge. Only when there is hardship do we see the light – the light at the end of the tunnel. Pain and hardship is our guru that shows us this light!

As we experience pleasures with joy, we must also learn not to lose our joy when the pain and hardship comes. As we see goodness in pleasure, we should learn how to see good in pain. Learn to find comfort in discomfort. We must not try to run away from hardships but make every effort to move through and beyond it. This is the cultivation of tenacity and perseverance, the stretching and pushing of ourselves with calmness. This is the spiritual attitude towards life, the essence of Yoga. While we don’t actively seek pain or hardship, we should not run from this inevitability that is part of all growth and change. By facing pain and hardship head-on, we learn to balance and adapt to the world that is always moving and unstable and we learn how to become tolerant to the permanence of change and difference.

Endurance and patience is needed to convert an unbearable pain and hardship into a bearable one. The act of bearing is an acceptance of adversity and suffering in our life and allows us to overcome such suffering. It resolves our anxieties and helps us get on a path where our life gets better, more fulfilled and the light at the end of the tunnel appears closer and brighter. It leads to inner peace and freedom giving optimism that life can only get even better.


Enjoy this video...

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Journey of pain -- Sciatic, Gluteal Muscle.....Ever tried accupuncture?

My journey of bearing this gluteal muscle pain continues and it has now become sciatic. At my last massage Jeremy suggested trying accupuncture for relief. So today when the pain became more severe I called up Angelic Healing, and made an appointment with Brett, their resident accupuncturist and herbalist. I was apprehensive at first, but when he started talking about doing the "pigeon pose" and "child pose" I felt immediately at home. The poking of needles was scary at first. He put needles on my right arm, right upper shouler, left and right upper hips, left hand, right foot and then 25 minutes later turned me over and put needles in the back, sacrum, both calves. Every time a needle was inserted I could feel a reaction. That was expected!

I can tell you honestly, it brought immediate relief in the thighs and hamstrings, as they had just tightened up with sciatica pain. I could do the child pose a lot easier after the treatment. I went home a lot more relaxed. I continue to use the strap, do a variety of therapy poses all day long including in my office, so I can manage this horrible pain. Tomorrow is another evening with Nuvana and I look forward to it.

So I have learnt a lot more about pain lately. Both physical and mental. I can say it is just too hard but then rather than succumb to it, I have been trying to deal with it the best I can.


The Yogi

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Managing the pain in the butt -- Gluteal muscle pain!

So I suffer the butt pain for three days. I miss Nina's yoga class Monday evening. Tuesday afternoon -- I have had it. I have to do something more than just a strap around my butt. So out come my props with support from kids, the two yogini's always there to help. Here is part 1 of the series... enjoy, I would love comments and please don't try this without supervision of a certfied iyengar yoga teacher.


Friday, February 1, 2008

Yoga Therapy for Pain in the Gluteal Muscle

The last three days I have been walking funny with this pain in my butt and the crushing massage from Jeremy on Wednesday made little impact. The pain simply got worse. It didnt help that I have to lug around this 40 pound back pack I carry with me to work. It includes my light weight Sony laptop (yes it recently lost to Apple's new MacBook which now claims to be the lightest in the world) but old electronic relics, papers, files, notebooks, my soon to expire passport, cell phones, batteries.. an accumulation of junk really. I am conditioned to carry weight on me. Oh! I digress again, but I think there is a connection of this bag to my chronic lower back pain. Imagine how much pain the 60 pounds of fat I carried on my body must have caused? Disgusting, self torture, but wait a minute I just had another "eureka" moment! I need to get rid of this back-pack and I need to lose another 10-20 pounds.

I visit Nuvana's house every other Friday evening for a family yoga session. This includes personal one-on-one yoga training from the goddess of iyengar yoga with my 5 and 7 year old and her 3 and 1 year old climbing all over me while I am in practice, using me as a human play structure. She just returned from India after spending 2 months in Mumbai, which included teaching yoga therapy once a week at the center run by Jawahar in Bandra (I have to visit him on my next trip) and 2 days in Pune at the Iyengar center during the recently concluded Annual Day. So with the pain becoming unbearable, I had to call her and she graciously invited me to come over this evening for yoga therapy.

Yoga Therapy?
I had a serious pain that needed immediate fixing. First came the made in india yoga strap just below my waist and around the "gluteus maximus" (see for more details). The belt had to be wrapped around so that it could be tightend in the anti-clockwise direction. Yes, the direction makes a huge difference in relieving the pain, so both directions were tried and I settled for the anti-clockwise direction. Then came a "half uttanasana". It hurt to push back and stretch. So we moved to the staircase in the living room, one of the props used in the yoga practice. I was sitting on the end of the stair case with my legs stretched and her feet pushing my feet, with my knees pulled in to stretch the calves. A few minutes of it brought immediate relief.

I then moved on to a badhakonasa, sitting high on 3 blankets, back supported by the wall and one step of straps around each leg to support the thighs. It was followed by strap supported Upavishtakonasana (strap aound the foot and worn around the lower waist above the thighs and then tightened in the opposite direction of each leg). We ended with a highly supported supta padangagusthasana. Within 90 minutes the pain had dissipated significantly. I could perform a highly strechted out Half Uttanasana on her wall ledge (another important prop) with much more ease and a lot less pain.

I came home more relaxed. I have a strap around my gluteus maximus ala butt, tightened in the anti-clockwise direction. I am relaxed, with less pain, lounged in a couch potatoe pose writing this blog and watching meaningless television, "Gardening with Ciscoe Live on NWCN channel". Its a video moment really, and one of these days, it will appear on this blog. I figured we get enough visual stimulation with TV/Video so reading some bad english writing for a change would be more preferable.

Life would be a lot more painful without yoga therapy and magic of Nuvana. Thanks Nuvana and welcome back!


The Yogi

NOTE OF CAUTION: If you are a novice or new to yoga, or even if you are an experienced yogi, please do not try what I described above without proper supervision of a trained and certfied Iyengar teacher who specializes in yoga therapy. If you are in the Portland metro area visit for more information or visit to find a certified Iyengar yoga teacher in your city, state or country. It will change your life!