For those not in the know, WWE is the name for what used to formerly be known as WWF. WWE stands for World Wrestling Entertainment, but it used to known as WWF, for World Wrestling Foundation. Since their acronym was the same as the World Wide Fund for Nature’s (the one with the cute panda symbol), the confusion got to be too much. I don’t remember how the story went down, but evidently the name changed after one too many panda or gorilla searches resulted in The Grave Digger instead.
All my life, I’ve been strong. Well, until a twin pregnancy. And after the twin pregnancy, and just the twins. My back got compromised enough to where when I picked up my 18 month old up at an angle from a friend’s staircase, I felt a click in my back. By that night, it was unbelievably stiff, and by the next morning, I couldn’t move without crying. Getting off the bed took probably five minutes of agony and incremental movements, and it took me more than a week to gingerly recover. And as anyone who has ever hurt their back before can tell you, once you’ve jacked it, it is more vulnerable to repetitive injury.
It was some time after that event that I fully committed to yoga. Up to that point, I would say I was a situational practitioner, practicing like crazy for a few months, injuring myself, and then being off the mat for at least a couple. I’ve seen a lot of great changes in my strength, my flexibility, my ability to bounce back after illness or injury since that point, and it just keeps getting better. I’ve also seen great growth in my emotional and spiritual well-being, but that isn’t what this post is about…so let’s talk about my back.
I had known that my back was stronger, and that when I hurt it a little, I would feel better by the next day again. But, finally, my strength got put to the test. Like how Tigger bounces everyone in an unprovoked or unannounced way (the book is better, but here’s a little clip from the movie) or a wrestler might drop down on a vulnerable opponent, I was lying face down on my bed reading when my now 6 year old suddenly ran into the room and threw herself down on my lower back. I heard the click, I felt the spasm, and I thought “Oh crap. How am I going to teach two classes tomorrow?”
Well, maybe not much of a spoiler, since I’ve been leading you to this point, but the next day while I was achy, I was fine. The day after that, it was like it never happened.
So, maybe you worry that you aren’t “strong enough” to do yoga, or to move your body. You can be. It may not be dramatic enough to support a 50 pound missile slamming into your spine with velocity, but everyone starts somewhere. You can get stronger a little bit at a time, gradually ramping up as ability increases.
If you are already active, where did you start? If you aren’t active yet, what’s holding you back? I invite you to share in the comments, and email me if you want to get active, but aren’t sure how to start. Or, just come to my Beginner’s class!