The last time I had done the Surya Namaskar was on September 7th 2016, With my upper arms in pain, I had stopped doing Yoga last year. I did just 10 Surya Namaskars in our hotel room at Luang Prabang, Laos to show solidarity with my dear friend Anu and her son Sid who were participating in a Yogathon. By doing 108 Surya Namaskars they were bringing awareness about child trafficking in 2016 and raising funds to support education for children at Care for Children, an NGO run by the Art of Living foundation in 2017.
Once we got back from Laos, I went and got myself checked by Dr. Bharat Inder Singh who made me do some neck exercises that hugely alleviated the pain in my upper arms, but I still couldn’t put any weight on my arms and couldn’t get back to Yoga. Then in Jan 2017, we went to Chennai. While there, I realised that I couldn’t lift my arms straight up and I couldn’t bring them to my back. The pain was really bad when I tried to take them back. So when we went to meet our dear friend Dr. Mani Ramesh, a well known orthopaedic surgeon, I jokingly told him that my arms don’t have the full range of movement. He immediately made me undergo an MRI and diagnosed the problem – my right collarbone had curved downwards. There were only two solutions – surgery or physiotherapy. I opted for physiotherapy and over the next two months, underwent really painful physiotherapy … my mother and mother-in-law were in tears many days as I would almost cry out in pain. But the range of movement slowly started coming back. Now am able to almost raise my arms straight over my head, and take them behind my back and clasp my palms. There is no pain in my upper arms, but there is still a long way to go before I regain the full range of movement.
We got back to Gurgaon by the end of June and I initially thought of going to the Sivananda yoga classes like before and then when I attempted to do some of the asanas at home, I realised that I needed some personal attention and that I won’t be able to do a general yoga class. I reached out to my old Yoga teacher who would come home and he had the old slot of 5 am available. It’s a month since I have been doing yoga again …. and just yesterday for the first time, my yoga teacher made me do the Surya Namaskar. I was able to do it nearly right, except when I had to put the weight on my right arm while doing the Ashwa Sanchalanasan. I supported my weight during that asana by putting my knee down. It was a huge sense of relief and achievement that I was able to do the Surya Namaskar again and ten rounds of it.
While recovering the full range of movement in my arms is a few months away, the impact of yoga is huge. I am just kicking myself that I stopped doing yoga as we started to travel in 2015 for ShikshaDaan, otherwise I probably would not have had this issue to deal with at all. A huge price paid for an invaluable lesson – stick to yoga and stay fit.
I am also realising that one must do the exercise which one enjoys .. Krishnan loves to swim, while I love to do yoga and walking. Of course both of us love to cycle, but it will have to wait a little longer as I get a twinge of pain in my shoulder-arm joint as soon as I hit a bump.
For now – enjoying the fact that I am able to do the Surya Namaskar again.