Yo-Ho-Ho – at last
I admit it has taken me some time to be wholly convinced by the benefits of regular yoga practice. Despite practising with Jo-Yo for well over a year I had not actually noticed any major improvements in my physical well-being. Yes, I feel a little less stiff. Yes, I can bend myself a little further. But I could not have reported anything more significant.
That was, until this weekend.
On Saturday Mr Outdoors and I joined one of his sons and a group of some 10 other men on a hike along the Five Sisters of Kintail. The expedition included three Munros, one Munro top and a Corbett. So, as you can appreciate, there was a fair amount of ascending and descending.
While my legs are usually up to the job of climbing mountains it is my lower back that always causes me pain. Within the first 500ft of ascent I can feel a grumbling discomfort that stays with me until the summit. Over the years I have tried all sorts of different postures: walking upright with my hands on my hips; bending slightly forward while leaning my weight though my hands and on to my knees; and even gorilla style crawling on steeper slopes when the pain gets too much. But nothing had worked. . . until now.
For the entire 7.5 hour walk I felt not a flicker of discomfort in my back. Nothing. It was a total revelation and simply added to the joy of such a fabulous adventure in Scotland’s fabbie outdoors.
Now I finally believe Jo-Yo when she tells me that yoga is ideal for stretching out all those tight running muscles – and for strengthening my core muscles and subsequently my lower back muscles.
It seems amazing to me that just an hour or two of yoga each week can make such a big difference. I wonder how much more I’d improve physically if I could just manage to squeeze in another session a week. It’s no wonder that Jo-Yo looks so great!