Yoga Modifications for Harrington Rod

Halasana

Image by CarynNL via Flickr

Monday, June

Today I did the Ultimate Stretch Workout. The modifications I made were in Ultimate Stretch Series Part Two.

Halasana – Plow pose – while I was able to do plow pose when I was younger; it took some practice to be able to do it and my rod made it difficult to come out of the pose. Currently, I will not attempt it until I am stronger, and have a spotter to help me get out of the pose. I don’t want any injuries.  🙂

In place of plow I am doing lunges. Not a substitute for plow, but I need to incoprporate them into my daily practice.

Here is a great review of Halasana in Yoga Journal, complete with photo, beginners’ tips, modifications, etc.

Urdhva Dhanurasana – The other modification I make for myself in the second series is – I do not do Wheel pose, instead I do the modification in the video.

Meditaiton

I did the Sa Re Sa Sa meditation (practicing daily until the June 15 Full Moon), instead of the Guru Ram Das meditation on the DVD.

Kabadshe Full Moon Meditation

Yogin with six chakras, India, Punjab Hills, K...

Image via Wikipedia

The next Full Moon will be on June 15th. Time for a Full Moon Meditation such as Antar Naad Mudra (Also called Kabadshe Meditation) Click on the link above for photos and details of the meditation practice.

This practice is done to the Antar Naad Mantra, also known as Sa Re Sa Sa. Listen to an audio clip here.

Complete Mantra:

Sa Re Sa Sa, Sa Re Sa Sa, Sa Re Sa Sa, Sa Rung
Har Re Har Har, Har Re Har Har, Har Re Har Har, Har Rung

Translation:

That Infinite Totality is here, everywhere. That creativity of God is here, everywhere.

More Information:

Here is what my master said about this manta, “Saa is the Infinite, the Totality, God. It is the element of ether. It is the origin, the beginning, and it contains all other effects. It is subtle and beyond. Har is the creativity of the Earth. It is the dense element, the power of manifestation, the tangible, the personal.

These sounds are woven together and then projected through the sound of ung or complete Totality. This is the base mantra of all mantras. Adversity melts before this mantra. It gives you the capacity of effective communication so your words contain mastery and impact. This mantra helps you conquer the wisdom of the past, present, and future. It brings you peace and prosperity even if it wasn’t in your destiny.

This mantra takes away negativity from within oneself awakening the Infinite Creative energy to burn away obstacles to achieving higher consciousness.

This cycle of the music and mudra is a key to opening the flow of Kundalini. The new awareness will give you the authority to make the right choices to conquer the ugliness of life. You will be peaceful and secure.”  – YOGI BHAJAN 2003

I’ll be practicing in Antaar Naad Mantra in Buddhi Mudra – daily leading up to the Full Moon, and then using the Full Moon Meditation version of mudras – Prayer Pose, Lotus, and Reverse Prayer Pose – synchronized with the mantra, on June 15th. I enjoy this meditation and moving the awareness thru the chakras. This is one of several practices which are beneficial to those with Flatback Syndrome, such as myself. One of the basics of Yoga Therapy is to do those practices which move the energy thru the region of discomfort or pain. As I continue this blog,  I hope to categorize the Meditations, Yoga sets and Kriyas which have helped me the most with living with a Harrington Rod. I’ll also detail modifications I have had to make in my yoga practice to not injure myself due to the surgical implants in my back.

Speaking of chakras, I found these pretty Chakra Cards at SundariSatNam – a yoga center in Vermont.

Extreme Knitting

Julia Hopson of Knit Wits, Penzance, Cornwall ...

Image via Wikipedia

A week or so ago I posted a photo of a woman who knitted with the world’s largest knitting needles (posting again today, just because I love it so much!)

Today I saw a woman knitting with big needles, but not nearly as long as the world’s largest needles! I remember seeing some fantastic things by a gentleman named  Ivano Vitali. Mr. Vitali knits on huge needles, with yarn he makes from paper. I think he is form Firenze (one of my favorite places in the world!), beautiful photos of Ivano and his work here, check out his website and here is a newsclip from Italy

My other big news is today is my sister in law and nephew’s birthday! This morning there was a Crazy Hail Storm. There has not been another storm like this one in ten years – exactly ten years ago today when my nephew was born! Such a special guy, and he has a very special mom, who share’s his birthday! Happy Birthday You Two!!!

Yoga Challenge – Today

Day 23 – Thursday, May 26, 2011 – This morning I completed the Kundalini Yoga Series for the Pituitary Gland. My back definitely is improving. I think I am walking somewhat more ‘straight up’. My energy level is better, less pain, and improved range of motion. I am feeling very grateful. I am curious if the key will be doing two extra hours of yoga, or if one extra hour a day will be enough. The shape of my back certainly is improving.

Movers and Ma Rollers

A grasp of fresh air

Image by Bindaas Madhavi via Flickr

I’ved miss a few days logging my progress in my 100 Day Yoga Challenge, and then I missed a few days of the Challenge all together! So, I am going to forget the more distant-recent past, and start with yesterday.

🙂

Tuesday, May 24, 2011 – I completed the entire Kundalini Yoga Ultimate Stretch Workout DVD, and wore a pedometer all day at work.

The institution I work for is hosting a fitness initiative  this month, encouraging folks to increase their walking. We’ve had the opportunity to join groups, by department, have been given pedometers, and are tracking our steps daily for four weeks. The idea is to double the distance you walk during the last two weeks.

I joined my department’s team, “The Movers and Rolllers” (I don’t know what that means!) and I must admit I thought this was an interesting activity – partly becasue I thought it kind of discourages folks from walking too much the first two weeks. This notion was reinforeced by my first day of wearing the pedometer.

By the way – It is a relatively cool digital pedometer which will convert my steps into miles, kilometers, and even calories burned. Yesterday, without doing any extra intentional walking, I walked 5.6 miles while at work. However, today I just walked 2.1 miles, so, I am kind of relieved. I don’t think I will be up all night long those last two weeks pacing the floors!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011 – I walked up 4 flights of stairs and back down again with a couple members of The Movers and Rollers. I did the “Pituitary Gland Series“, along with the Meditation for Perspective & Emotional Balance this morning and again tonight. I love this set. I think it is a perfect combination for helping my flatback.

Another technique I have been using is lying on top of two tennis balls which are tied inside a tube sock; this is similar to using a Ma Roller.

I place the device on a soft surface and lie down with one ball on either side of the spine. Then I place my feet flat on the surface I am on to help control the amount of pressure exerted onto the device. I don’t practice this on the floor because the floor is just too hard and produces too much pressure on my rod. This technique seems helpful with the constant state of spasm my paraspinal musculature is in.

Frank Davis' home-made guitanjo

Image by hellokitty2399 via Flickr

I just finished watching Suits: The Art Guys a “Cool Film”. If you haven’t seen it – click on the link above  and enjoy. You can read The Art Guys final say about the Suit Controversy here.

I haven’t posted an update on how my yoga challenge is going the past few days. I have been working on a template for my Yoga Challenge daily log. However, I will say that the day after the day my back had no pain or stiffness, things digressed. I know it is all part of the reconditioning of my back and I am still excited. Today I did Charan Jap for 3 miles in 43 minutes. Then Frank & I went out for Watermelon Gazpacho, Vegan Breakfast Tacos and Fresh Apple, Celery, Ginger, Mint Juice at Heights Ashbury Coffeehouse.

We were both thrilled to have fresh and tasty food.

Yesterday I walked 2 3/5 miles and did the Ultimate Stretch. On Friday I did the Ultimate Stretch too.

Greetings

quan yin

Four days ago I began a 100 Day Yoga Challenge to help me get my back into shape. I have had a consistent yoga practice for over 30 years, but this past year I had a frozen shoulder, so my yoga practice dwindled while all efforts were ‘shoulder’ oriented. I was diagnosed with Scoliosis in 1973, and subsequently had corrective surgery which included deformity correction, spinal fusion and the placement of Harrington rod instrumentation on September 14, 1976. I will be telling my story, but the focus of this blog will be 100 days of yoga to stretch, strengthen and revitalize my back. I have a yoga routine I use every morning which I will detail at a later date. I will be including some video journaling of my additional yoga and meditation practice for this challenge, as well. For now I am increasing my practice with the help of practicing along with yoga DVDs/sets.

Here is what I have used the past few days to support my endeavor:

Day One: Wednesday, May 4, 2011 – The Ultimate Stretch Workout

Day Two: Thursday, May 5, 2011 – The Ultimate Stretch Workout

Day Three: Friday, May 6, 2011 – Kundalini Yoga for Beginners & Beyond
I did both sets on this DVD:
Set 1: Rise and Spine
Set 2: The Five Tibetans
and also the Meditation for Deep Relaxation

Day Four: Saturday, May 7, 2011 – Charan Jap with the mantra HAR HARAY HARI WAHE GURU (2 miles)
Warrior Workout – the warm up, the series, the Meditation Har Har Har Har Gobinde

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