Let me introduce you to Stroga!
Without a doubt my Yoga / Stretching (Stroga) Routine has greatly improved my life. I can exercise, garden, bike ride, paint, fold laundry and more without going in muscle spasm because of my daily Stroga routine.
I have combined what I know about Yoga and Stretching a created my own Stroga routine. I am going to upload a video (hopefully soon) of my routine.
I do my stroga routine a minimum of 2 times a day, but normally I do it atleast 4 times. I stretch first thing in the morning and before bed without fail. I exercise most days and will do yoga before and after exercise. I also will do it before and after any strenuous activity like gardening or housework. Without stretching my back would go into muscle spasm.
Along with a calmer back, I have also improved my balance and I used to suffer from extreme dizziness that has more or less disappeared.
So where does this leave you? Where should you start?
I tried various Yoga classes at my gym which are good from an instructional standpoint but you need to be careful. Many of these teachers aren’t true Yogis and they also gear their classes towards a “gym crowd,” making their classes athletic. I injured myself in many yoga classes despite modifying a lot of poses. Which is crazy! The point of Yoga is non-harm! No injuries!!! I am glad I tried them because I learned a lot about poses and which ones were good for my body. If you have the money, you could benefit from yoga classes with a skilled yogi but they cost bucks and aren’t covered by insurance.
A good place to start is the DVD Yoga for Stress Relief with Barbara Benagh. This DVD goes through many gentle stretches and poses, many of which I was able to do in the beginning. There were some poses that were painful so I skipped them and focused on poses that I was able to perform.
I would also highly recommend two books: Yoga for Fibromyalgia by Shoosh Lettick Crotzer and Yoga as Medicine by Dr. Timothy McCall. I’d get Yoga as Medicine first, if you’re not going to get them both.
Below is a link to find yoga classes in your area: