My back is back! Phase one of backyard sanctuary finished!

This is before the work.
These pics are after phase one of work!
Here’s a few pictures of what all my non-yoga free time went to in the past two weeks.

Yyyyeeessss! YYeess! Yes! I felt like an Herbal Essence commercial as I moved through my first asana practice in two weeks yesterday. My body was giddy with excitement and moaning with pleasure as my muscles finally were stretched and strengthened, contracted and relaxed. It was like starting new in that I’d lost a little bit of strength, but also like picking up without missing a beat as my muscles were more than happy to stretch open.

Today, I awoke earlier than usual, 6:30, and donned leggings, a long sleeved quick-dry shirt, and a hot pink Lucy jacket. Complete with homemade crocheted hat and running shoes, I was ready for a romp in the cold-in-the-winter-morning-canyons of San Diego. This four mile loop, which I usually run, I walked today with Loki, my dog, mostly to save my back any additional stress now that its feeling better. As I entered the thicket of live oak and sage, I was filled with the magical feeling that comes with exploring the natural world in the wee hours of the morning alone. Slowing down for the trail was wonderful; I noticed so much more than I usually do! How the light changes the green color of the oak leaves from dark to light, how the creek meanders so slow it’s almost stopped, how much trash is actually in the canyon, and how many times my dog stops to relish in a new and wonderful scent. As I walked, I contemplated my practice yesterday. I expected it to be harder to come back; hanumanasana felt too easy, almost too yummy. Handstands were right on par. What gives?

Some physical activities are funny like that for me — I’m better at them if I give myself a little break. When I was a gymnast, it was always amazing at how much tumbling strength I had when I got back from a vacation. In fact, we noticed that trend for our entire team of gymnasts. Tumbling was better after a break, but balance (on that four-inch balance beam) was way off. I didn’t notice my balance off yesterday, but I did notice a small cry of resistance from my upper arms and triceps during the late practice chaturanga.

Taking time off of yoga is difficult for me, but it was necessary. My back actually healed from the incident two weeks ago relatively quickly — within the first weekend. But I wanted to give the injury more time to heal than I thought was necessary, because I’m usually one to jump the gun on those types of things. When I really thought I was ready to practice again, last week, all my free time went into yard work — first prepping the yard for the landscapers who we paid to till and grade the back yard (we have a lot of dirt to push around), then to prep the yard for my parents arrival, then to work with Mom and Dad and learn how to put in a sprinkler system, lay sod, and plant about half the yard. Whew! So I have half a planted back yard now — woo-hoo! Phase one completed, and what’s better, when the sod is ready to be walked upon, it will be the perfect location for outdoor yoga classes. Keep your weekends open for that 🙂

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