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Morning Stiffness

josephny2010-07-04 22:18:04 +0000 #1
Hi,

I just joined and know extremely little about Yoga.

I've taken a number of Bikram classes, and occassionally do yoga with my kids. (Wish I would do more.)

But, every morning I do a part of what I learned in the classes on my own, which helps keep the tremendous lower back pain to a managed (i.e., not maddening) level.

What I find though is that each morning's stretching feels like I haven't stretched in years -- range of motion is almost non-existent and stiffness abounds.

My belief was that with daily stretching, I would get more limber and the body would be less stiff (upon waking).

Can anyone shed any light on why this may be happening?

Thanks very much,

Joseph
InnerAthlete2010-07-04 22:32:35 +0000 #2
Hello Joseph and welcome.

I will try to shed light as you request.

In the act or process of sleep the front body falls very deeply into the back body, the being falls deeply into the past. Those things behind us represent the past.

There is a large web of connective tissue in the back body referred to as fascia. This fascia runs from the occipital ridge down to the big toe (it may in fact be two sheaths rather than one). It obviously encompasses the entire back body.

When we wake we are coming out of sleep, out of the past, and waking into our present (some into their future). The fascia of the back body needs to be gently awakened from the depth of its rest - typically 6 hours or more. It is for this reason Purna Yoga has a Morning Series designed specifically to release and awaken the fascia of the back body.

As we age we have a longer past, more behind us. So it would be logical to expect that over time as we age this awakening might be more involved, especially with unresolved issues from the years behind us.

I am not a Bikram practitioner or teacher. I am familiar with the practice and, absent of high heat and intense "doing", I do not find the practice to be therapeutic. If you do in your body then that is perfectly fine. We all have a unique path and it is "your hundred years" to spend as you see fit. No matter, the practice one chooses should be one that serves the student's life.
josephny2010-07-04 22:47:07 +0000 #3
Quote:

Originally Posted by InnerAthlete



Hello Joseph and welcome.

I will try to shed light as you request.

In the act or process of sleep the front body falls very deeply into the back body, the being falls deeply into the past. Those things behind us represent the past.

There is a large web of connective tissue in the back body referred to as fascia. This fascia runs from the occipital ridge down to the big toe (it may in fact be two sheaths rather than one). It obviously encompasses the entire back body.

When we wake we are coming out of sleep, out of the past, and waking into our present (some into their future). The fascia of the back body needs to be gently awakened from the depth of its rest - typically 6 hours or more. It is for this reason Purna Yoga has a Morning Series designed specifically to release and awaken the fascia of the back body.

As we age we have a longer past, more behind us. So it would be logical to expect that over time as we age this awakening might be more involved, especially with unresolved issues from the years behind us.

I am not a Bikram practitioner or teacher. I am familiar with the practice and, absent of high heat and intense "doing", I do not find the practice to be therapeutic. If you do in your body then that is perfectly fine. We all have a unique path and it is "your hundred years" to spend as you see fit. No matter, the practice one chooses should be one that serves the student's life.

Thank you very much for the detailed response.

I wish I understood this greater.

I have very little experience with any Yoga or Ayurvedic medicine, and am certainly not set on Bikram.

I went a number of times to classes and remember the first several positions, hence that it what I do in the mornings. I find it helps keep the back pain at bay, but I suspect there is much more effective things I could do.

As to the the past, I am aware of my extremely active dream activity (while sleeping), and frequently wake to participate in those dreams. I have never connected past conflicts with back pain or stiffness.

Is there a web site with some very basic Purna positions I could do that might provide a better waking (or in-shower, as I do now) process?

Thank you again very much.

Joseph
Hubert2010-07-04 23:05:09 +0000 #4
Changing my diet, (no refined sugars, reduced amount of dairy), adopting a more relaxed attitude towards my job and personal life, regular physical exercise, all these made that stiffness almost totally disappear. I say almost totally as weather, and certain days (moon cycle) still affect me (although I am a man )

For my low back pain, sleeping on a hard surface (floor, plus a thick blanket), did wonders. (paired with restorative asana)

I'd avoid foods with strong inflammatory effects as a first step. (google /nutrition facts)

PS. I find InnerAthlete's answer really interesting - I'd surely apply to a Purna yoga course if I had any in my vicinity.
InnerAthlete2010-07-04 23:14:53 +0000 #5
Joseph -

To my knowledge there are no web sites posting Purna Yoga poses. In brief, Asana is not effectively (or often safely) conveyed via the internet or photographs (without the supporting contact hours with a teacher). So the short answer is "no". I realize this goes against the grain of Western yoga, Yoga Journal, and Google but we simply do not have the same perspective on the transmission of yoga.

Hubert -

The fact that you've got a quote by Aurobindo, assuming you've read some of the Master's work, bodes well for your taking to a Purna Yoga workshop, class, or construct. It is application of Aurobindo's philosophy that rounds out the four elements of Purna Yoga.

Where are you located?

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