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Yo-Ho-Ho – at last

Written by Fiona June 09 2009

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.

Perfect posture: Jo-Yo

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!

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