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Advise required

Sheryl Y2010-07-04 21:28:38 +0000 #1
Good day everyone;

I am a working adult and started practising yoga since 1 1/2 years ago. I took up yoga as I have neck and shoulder pain due to work stress (I am a stressful person anyway). I have moved on to a new company for more than 1 year now, where it is more relaxing.

For the first few months, I only practised an hour a week, then, the duration increased to 3 to 5 hours a week (hatha, gentle flow, hot yoga, yin yoga). At the same time, I also go for 1-hour morning walk once a week.

Up-to-date, besides flexibility, I don't see any improvement in my neck and shoulder pain. My yoga club membership will expire in May and I still can't decide if I should renew it for another year. Or should I try other exercises such as dancing and swimming ?

Appreciate it very much for your advise. Thank you.
Pandara2010-07-04 21:38:30 +0000 #2
Hi Sheryl,

Welcome to the forum. First of all be careful what you say (I am a very stressful person) it becomes your reality. Nicole posted a nice quote on how our thoughts become our reality.

Onto your question about the pain. Remember yoga doesn't claim that it will always alleviate all aches and pains of all people all the time. It is the people who present yoga who make these claims most of the time and wrongly so as well sometimes.

Yoga can help you, but yoga is a slow process, after breaking my wrist in 2000, it took me more than two years of yoga to gain strenght in my wrist. However, my wrist is not pain free, I still experience pain in it when I do asanas which require my full body weight on my wrists. But, the pain I am experiencing today in my wrist is nowhere near the pain I experienced in the beginning after breaking my wrist. What I am trying to say is that the process to alleviate or eliminate pain through yoga can be a lenghty process.

What you need is perhaps more in the line of yoga therapy and here there are wonderful people on this forum who can help you with that or refer you to the appropriate therapist near you. Neck injuries are so delicate, that even I as a yoga teacher refuse to take people into my classes with neck injuries. You need a specialised yoga therapist for that. (I presume you had a neck injury, if it is only stress related neck pain, then perhaps you need more relaxation.)

Good luck in your search.
InnerAthlete2010-07-04 21:38:56 +0000 #3
Hello Cheryl.

When a student has a therapeutic issue it is not advised to simply walk into a building that has the words YOGA on the front door. Yoga has become so popular that it is commonly misrepresented as asana (the postures) or choreography. Nine times out of ten the "yoga" that is commonly offered in classes is not therapeutic in nature.

In a therapeutic approach (high blood pressure, knee injury, neck problems, low back crunchies et al) the approach should be customized to the student and to the dis-ease. A one-size-fits-all approach may alleviate some things here and there but it is not inherently recouperative.

If you could illustrate what you are doing in your practice (and you may tel all or limit it to the poses) then you would be more likely to get feedback on how those things may or may not support you getting "better".

Generally speaking, doing the same things in one's life usually manifests the same results. I note you've changed employment situations but to get to the root of your neck stuff you may need to look deeper, be patient, and accept great change into your life with the utmost joy possible.
Sheryl Y2010-07-04 22:23:43 +0000 #4

First of all, thank you for your prompt feedbacks.

I attend mostly hatha yoga that includes sun salution, warrior pose, triangle pose, to name a few. The instructor advised not to practise head stand and some other poses as they will increase more pressure to the neck. I can feel the strain on both shoulders when I am practising downward facing dog pose. I also feel the strain on my neck when practising fish pose.

*And I never hurt my neck before.



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