Therapeutic Yoga and other Easy Exercise

by Mary on September 26, 2016

Pebble mosaic at Winthrop Physical Therapy

Pebble mosaic at Winthrop Physical Therapy

I’m certainly not feeling very fit these days for the author of a blog named Fit and Fed. But there are still some things I can do as I work through my back injury.

Last month my husband and I visited Winthrop, WA., for our anniversary. A lot of the things we’d normally  do like hike or paddle were not going to work for me, but the outdoor pool at Sun Mountain Lodge was wonderful. First thing I did when we got out of our car was to swim under the dark sky streaked across by the Milky Way. It felt so good to move freely in the water after all that time in the car. And it was the first time I’ve seen stars from a pool, let alone so many.

I found a therapeutic yoga class taught by Stacey at Winthrop Fitness and Physical Therapy. Stacey and the folks in her class were welcoming, and I enjoyed doing an activity with the townies.

Free zucchini time at Winthrop Physical Therapy

Free zucchini time at Winthrop Physical Therapy

Stacey gave the class a sincere yoga spirit. I liked her readings and thoughts about appreciating our bodies for what they can do at the present time, and the miraculous nature of our bodies as a manifestation of the intelligence of the universe (or God, or however you want to put it).

My husband and I were the youngest members of the class, which didn’t stop the 70+ y.o. ladies from kicking my rear. I know, I know, yoga is not competitive, though my ego is. I’ve always had a challenge in keeping myself from trying to copy the yoga instructor whether it’s good for me or not, and this time I had to try to not compare myself to the other folks in the class too.

deer from our window at Sun Mountain Lodge

deer from our window at Sun Mountain Lodge

At home I’ve been going to a gentle yoga class taught by Julie, a PT assistant I’ve worked with. Both Julie and Stacey have all kinds of tips for making yoga work despite limitations. Tree pose can be done next to a wall, touching the wall with the hands to initiate balance or maintain it. For the warrior poses, I press my legs against a wall to provide support. I bend my knees to make down dog pain-free, and rest my arms on a low wall so I can bend forward without stressing my spine.

I’ve stopped swimming because it was messing up my shoulder. Probably it was compensating for the lack of strength in my leg. I tried walking in the water at the pool but that too caused pain. I found one activity at the gym that I can do: ride an exercise bike.

I’ve been a hater of exercise bikes in the past, frustrated on those few occasions when I was told that an exercise bike or swimming with a kick board were the only exercises I was allowed to do. But this time it’s been so long since I’ve been able to get aerobic exercise that it feels really good to get on an exercise bike and give it a spin.

Still, it’s still hard to motivate to get to the gym just to exercise bike for a short time, and I’m not getting there every day. Tomorrow I see my doctor to assess where I’m at and what to do next. I’ll report back on that soon.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Jo September 26, 2016 at 1:49 pm

Mary, I am reading your blog while I am on an exercise bike right now! Years ago after I injured my arm and was in a cast, my husband found an old exercise bike on the online “free market” by us. We brought it home and he rigged up a little stand so we could rest computers and books on it. Because it’s old and clunky, there are no real technological issues (nothing computerized) and it’s fairly portable. And it was free, so we didn’t feel like it was a big investment. It sits in our laundry room, so it’s not glamorous, but I use it to keep up my leg strength through the winter months and when I just need to blow off a little steam. My teenage sons even go down and do it occasionally (mostly so they can watch movies and we won’t nag them–but at least they’re exercising on rainy days). I hope you find a way to get your healthy dose of exercise while your back is healing up. Here’s hoping you feel better soon.
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Mary September 26, 2016 at 5:43 pm

Thanks Jo! Sounds like you have a good and thoughtful husband finding that bike and making a reading stand for it! Yesterday I rode one of my son’s bikes around the neighborhood, it felt really good!


Melissa September 27, 2016 at 2:44 am

Good luck at your doctor appointment. Swimming under the stars must have been magical. I admire you for persevering on finding a way to exercise and keep moving despite so many obstacles that crop up. Sending you healing thoughts and hugs and prayers!


Mary September 27, 2016 at 3:09 pm

Thanks Melissa!


Deborah September 30, 2016 at 7:46 pm

indoor bikes can be a great option when you are injured. You can stream all kinds of fun cycle classes now and that really helps.
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Mary October 1, 2016 at 8:43 pm

Hmm I hadn’t thought of that. Perhaps with the screen on it, or by bringing a tablet/phone and laying it on there? Thanks for the good idea, though it may take me some time to work up to that!


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