Some friends and I get into a discussion about stretching after one of our South Coast Boardwalk runs. Some do yoga in Barbados and get out quite often to feel the fresh air and run. Running by the sea is another means of exercise for our group. Regarding the discussion on stretching, some say we should do it before the run and others say we must do it after. They argued that when our muscles were warm, we would better avoid injury. After all is said we don’t reach a consensus, but we agree on one thing. Stretching is essential when working out.
Beyond the Curve
About six months prior to this discussion I resume my weekly runs. However, with every run, no matter when and how long I stretch, my lower back is stiff and slightly painful after. For most of my adult life I’ve experienced stiffness and mild back pain when standing for more than a half hour. The natural curve of my back is a bit exaggerated and I thought that back pain was natural. Something that came along with my shape.
Plunge: My first class of Yoga in Barbados
Enter Josianne, a fitness-buff friend of mine who’s a personal trainer, teaches yoga in Barbados. She runs and does everything in between AND is on my case to try yoga. Liking the flexibility that the “yoga-people” I know tend to have, I decide to try yoga soon. I take my first yoga class four months later. It is intense but I have fun holding my body in the different poses. There is this ONE pose that keeps coming up all the time though. Downward Facing Dog. We seem to do this more than any other. I don’t think much of it….at first.
Downward Facing Dog
However, I come to the conclusion after about four sessions, that there is something special about this Downward Facing Dog pose. A few days of research later my suspicion is confirmed. This particular pose helps to relieve headaches and insomnia. It improves digestion, lessens back pain and strengthens the body in many other ways. I decide to use this yoga training to work all those muscles. The ones that don’t get worked when I lift weights or run. Five weeks into training Yoga in Barbados with one class per week and I find that I can stand longer without the backaches! Also, now my back feels fine after a long run and I’m just on my fifth class!
For more on the many benefits of this pose click on the picture below of this lady in the Downward Facing Dog pose.
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