Wednesday, September 14, 2011

A pain in the neck

Over the past few months, I've started having neck, shoulder and back pain. It's not constant, it's more of an on and off kinda deal, but it sure gets in the way. I don't need to see the doctor to know the cause: a 25+ pound human that likes to be picked up, carried, worn on my back and breastfed. Josias actually isn't very clingy, unless he's sick, but he is a toddler and does need to be picked up and held frequently. Sometimes it's not for his comfort, but to prevent mayhem from ensuing.

My husband suffers from chronic shoulder pain, so once I started feeling poorly, I was terrified that it was the same thing. Is shoulder pain contagious? I was so sure that my posterior parts were doomed that initially I didn't even attempt yoga as a way to deal with it. After a few days, though, I decided to give it a try. 

My first ailment was my upper back and shoulders. I tried several poses, including cat-cow, cobra pose and my favorite standing poses. That felt pretty good, but I wasn't out of the woods yet. Then it came to me. Dolphin pose!  It worked like a charm. After about three days of incorporating the above-mentioned poses into my practice, I was good as new. Or, as a good as an almost-forty, mother of a toddler, can reasonably expect to be.

This week a new ache arrived. Neck pain. In addition to the mama duties that brought on the shoulder and back problems, I think sitting at a computer for endless hours a day contributed to the latest discomfort. Fortunately I have a private office as well as yoga-friendly (or at least tolerant) office mates, so I could practice a few poses. But, neither my body nor my intuition was giving me clues as to how to deal with this one, so I consulted the Yoga Journal website, where you are able to find poses that will help with specific problems - both physical and emotional. In addition to the usual suspects, it suggested puppy pose for neck pain. I would have tried this pose for its cute name alone, but the fact that it promised relief from neck pain had me sold. After practicing the poses recommended by Yoga Journal, I was still feeling a bit stiff, but went back to work.

It wasn't until I arrived home a few hours later that I realized the pain was totally gone! Yoga to the rescue once again! Now, if I could only get my husband into puppy pose, maybe he would feel better.