On Monday I hauled myself down to the physical therapist. I haven’t written about him in awhile. So just to bring everyone up to speed, this is a guy I see every 6-8 weeks that is helping me advance my postures for competition.
What I learned was that once I ramped my practice up from 3-4 days a week to 6-7 days a week there was a dramatic improvement in my postures. You’d expect that, right? But then I hit a spot where my weaknesses started showing up and just going to yoga alone wasn’t going to take my postures up to the level I wanted them at for competition. Hence the physical therapist.
The first four months I’ve known him have been spent on strengthening my hips. We agreed that would get me the most bang for my buck straight out of the gate. So I did whatever he told me to for about four months and now I see real differences in my standing bow. My alignment has improve immensely.
But there’s still work to do and namely it’s with my floor bow.
I hauled my trusty Bikram book with me so I could show my PT a picture of floor bow and compare it to mine. We used the picture on top of page 144 if you’re interested. I already knew that one of my issues was going to be lack of mobility in my thoracic spine, and I was right. One of the goals I have is to get that area more mobile!
To accomplish this, I came home with a giant foam roller. I’m supposed to lay on this thing every day and do some work on it. I don’t really want to go into what work because: (a) I probably won’t explain it well and (b) you shouldn’t try this at home. But look at this roller:
Of course I already tried it out for today while I was with my PT. It was amazing! Stuff was snapping and popping, but in a good way. It was actually hard work when I was laying on it, but I fel soooo amazing when I sat up. Also, sitting up was hard to do. I am very inflexible in my middle spine. I had to roll off of it if you want to know the truth.
In addition to this, I have some leg/glute work to do that my PT thinks will strengthen the muscles needed to do a better bow. When I noted how much work he was giving me, he noted how I will email him and tell him he didn’t give me enough. Touche. I have a lot of work ahead of me, but I’m excited to see how it goes. Overall, we had a great session. My PT knows next to nothing about yoga, but in some ways this is very good. He brings a fresh eye to the postures and really breaks them down. Then he looks for parts of my body that are strong/weak in relation to what the posture calls for. He said he’s learning a lot from our sessions too!
My next bow picture is coming up in a couple of weeks. I’m not expecting any significant differences, but I am interested in seeing what June and July will bring given the work I’m getting ready to do. I think I’ll get a picture of standing bow the next time I do pics. That’ll make me feel better. My standing bow is not bad.