8 Jan 2012

Half-Primary, Primary and Indian Hospital

I couldn’t get any sleep between Tuesday and Wednesday night, so when my alarm rang at 3 a.m I wasn’t ready for my practice. It was so hot night, but I couldn’t decide, should I keep the windows open or close and my fan on or off. If windowns are open or fan on, I can catch a cold very easily and I made that mistake already once here. But now it starts to be so much warmer that I can actually keep my windows open all the time.
I slept a couple of hours and then practiced at home half-Primary. Practice was better than I expected and I did some extra stretching for hips, too. For me it’s always so challenging to practice alone, I just really like to practice in the middle of the packed room. But it was okay to be at home, keep the door open and see the sun rising while practicing.

I had lunch with Bubba, Yan and Maria. Our Mysore family got a new member, when Shanti from Melbourne joined us. It was funny, because my friend Maria is called Shanti too, so we had female and male Shanti. We went down-town, to one restaurant, which used to be Guruji’s favorite restaurant and the thali there is so good. It was fun to see that group, because it has been a while since I have hang out with them.

This morning when we were waiting outside the shala around four, one Asian girl looked pretty lost, walking around and having a scary look. She came to look at us (about thirty students packed in front of the gate) and Aki, a Japanese girl, stood up and asked, what was wrong. It was so funny, because the girl started to speak some strange language and Aki said to us that she is Corean. No problem, two students stood up and the problem was solved. This just shows, how international it really is here.

My practice today was ok. I got very good from Sharath in Supta K, which of course made me smile. Urdva Dhanurasana is still horrible, but every second upward-facing dog starts to be better. I feel quite strong during the practice and the practice is more stable than in the beginning here. The energy with the first group is so good, we all are quiet, Sharath’s just walks around, does adjustments and you can hear only breathing or every once in a while ”Head up!” or ”Straight legs!” or some other small advices. It’s intense and deep, there is no show, it’s just very basic practice shared with many students. Beautiful…

After practice I took my friend to Vikram hospital. She injured herself outside the shala and we went together to the hospital, because nobody wants to go alone to Indian hospital. Her toe is broken, so it’s going to be around six weeks modified practice for her. After her X-ray, we went to another wing of the hospital, so that I was able to get my MRI. This time everything worked pretty fast and I was standing the scans in my hand within half an hour. And the final bill with doctor’s written report was under 100 euros!

The report was pretty horrible to read. I have four buldging discs on my lower back (L2-S1) and two of those are large plus compressing nerves. And my neck is not strained, there is one bulge (C6-C7), too. I knew that my back is not okey, but I had no idea, that now my neck is also falling apart. And there was reported also lumbar spondylosis.

I went to speak with Sharath about my results and we made a plan, how we will continue with my practice. I will leave some poses out and Sharath will be specially adjusting some poses for me. He understood well, when I said, that I don’t want anybody else to touch me. He asked me, if I have a lot of pain and I asked, if he could recommend some doctor specialized in back injures, who could check my scans and talk about, how I should continue with everything. I mean, I am going to practice for sure, but I want to know, which poses should be left out, should I have a break and is there a risk that I could get paralyzed.

I can take a break from yoga, if it’s so serious, but I won’t do that without good reason. I have tried so many things with my back, that I know, that taking time off isn’t really going to help me. I will get really nervous, I don’t sleep and my body will get stiff. My back likes me to move and be happy. I know, that I won’t lose any skills, because those asanas, which I have already learned are always there (at least in modified form). But I need to get a professional opinion, what I can do and what I can’t do.

So I will speak with Sharath’s doctor friend and let’s see, what he will say. Yoga is always there in some form and I am fighter. This is just one more bump on my yoga road. And there is so long way to go…


  1. Are you sure that a Dosa Masala won't fix things?? :-)

  2. Hey, if this helps, I have lots of deteriorated discs that act up at times. I have an excellent senior teacher who understands how to work with me (and I won't let anyone else do it most of the time either because I have been set back badly at times by careless adjustments. My advice: you probably can practice in a careful modified way, with Sharath's expertise and your own sensitivity to your body guiding you. Yoga will help you. But maybe take some anti-inflamatory medicine like naproxin sodium (alevel) or ibuprofin (motrin or advil). That will help too. Post a reply if you want me to email you offline and I'll try. Don't freak out, really you can work with this.

  3. Thanks for you comment!

    I have been taking anti-inflamatory medicine for the night, if my back feels bad and my practice has been partly modified during half an year. After my injury in Sydney, I started my practice literally from zero again and now it's Primary.

    I would love to hear more about your experiences. You can email me: sparksdiaries@gmail.com Thanks in advance!

  4. Andrew... Masala Dosa can't fix this, because overweight is bad for back problems!