Help: Advanced yogi on 3 year hiatus

Hello to all who are you reading this and a special hello to David
and Fuji who have been instrumental in my yoga practice. I have been on a
pause from yoga and all physical activities for the last 3 years due to work,
family, stress, anxiety. I am now mustering up the courage to start all over
again. I have been practicing all kinds of yoga for many years and would
consider myself advanced, however, not anymore. My body has been carrying 30
more pounds on it than usual and I just recently have been dealing with
sciatic pain in my right side (davids sciatic/lower back classes have been
wonderful!). Now to get to the point :slight_smile: I don’t see any challenges for
classes available to intermediate/advanced yogis that are coming back from a
hiatus of practice. I would greatly appreciate any and all advice and
guidance. Many thanks and blessings. ~Aimee

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Hi Aimee. I’ll pass this on to Fiji. She will be the best person to respond.

Hi Aimee,

First of all, it is fantastic that you are coming back to your mat. Starting all over again does seem daunting but it really is not as much of a challenge as your mind tries to build it up to be! I have found that once you establish a solid practice, leaving it for any length of time does not actually put you right back at the start. You know the foundations of the poses, how to breath, how to listen to your body and to have patience. The flexibility, stamina, and lightness your practice once had will return with a bit of time and effort. I have a class called back to the mat, just for people in your boat! I would also them reccomend doing intermediate practices but allowing your self to modify, and rest occasionally. Doing some of the same classes again and again can also help you notice how quickly things come back to you!

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I appreciate your thoughtful and inspiring words Fiji! :slight_smile: Should I be at all concerned jumping back into my practice with the sciatica?

With any injury, you want to allow yourself the perspective of healing. I am of the opinion that meeting yourself on the mat, even with injury is very benefical. I have found that injury actually teaches me how to practice in a very authentic way, with presence as a non negotiable!

People often avoid movement when injured, and this is actually causes a build up of connective tissue around the sheath of a muscles, facia. This build up, which we usually break up each day with normal/functional movement, can eventually lead to restriction and stiffness around the injury that is hard to overcome.

It is important to meet your resistance, take the breath into the area of discomfort and soften as much as you can. By moving with such mindfulness you may even learn what caused the injury!

Thanks for this question - I was searching for something similar, which was what to recommend for a person who used to be approaching advanced and had practiced for years too, but now has gained 15 pounds and spent the past 14 months in a complete tailspin and ignored any kind of self-care needs including doing yoga. LOL As Chicken Little says, TODAY IS A NEW DAY. :wink: “Back to the Mat” for me, along with Fiji’s other recommendations. I hope you found what you needed and are well and happy, Stranger! :smiley:

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Hey Aimee, do you have any access to iyengar where you are? I had to take time off after a SI yoga injury and found the community and practice so safe and healing and loved the focus on alignment. Because Iyengar has stringent teacher training and teaching requirements it’s not often taught in it’s fully traditional form online. I’d suggest trying to get to a class or two or getting some of Iyengar’s asana books to help you safely align and modify. Also Fiji has a 14 day challenge on now that is pretty adaptable except for a couple lifts ime. happy new year be kind to yourself!