In October 2014 my shoulder pain was it’s worse. I knew a medical diagnosis was required. The x-Ray and assessment by the orthopedic consultant revealed that the most likely cause of the pain was an impingement on the rotator cuff, bone calcification was ruled out, which I was told was good news !
I was recommended physiotherapy for period of 7 days and given a series of exercises that were required to be done 2-3 times daily; as long as no pain was felt. Some exercises had to be done with a physio band, or Swiss ball, against a wall and another from the top of a door frame.
I leant the importance of stretching exercises and only when stretched without pain would the shoulder strengthen.
My 3 favorite stretches include
1. Anterior Shoulder Stretch
. Grasp something above such as a door frame
. Move forwards, leaving arm behind to stretch in front if shoulder
. Hold position 20-30secs and repeat 3x
2. Posterior Shoulder Stretch
.Place one arm across the front and pull it in tight with the other
. Hold for 20-30secs and repeat 3x.. Should feel a gentle stretch in the back of the shoulder but no pain
3. Supraspinatus stretch
.Place the hand on the lower back and use other hand to pull the elbow forwards
. Keep hand on lower back
. You should feel a gentle stretch at back of shoulder
.Hold for 20-30 secs, repeat 5 x – if painful discontinue
I went back to the yoga studio after a 2 week break and recalled my consultants words, “no headstands! ”
I continued my practice mindful of my injury, this meant fewer rounds of surya namaskara, less time holding sampat and santolan and an attempt at eka hath santolan on my right side was totally out of bounds. Over the next 8 weeks I gradually felt strength returning and now 12 weeks later I am working on greater mobility and strength.
Slavica Gokul is a certified Vinyasa, Hatha and Power yoga teacher through Total Yoga in Bangalore, India. She has been an aspiring yogi for more than 20 years. She dedicated herself to consistent practice 9 years ago and while residing in India from 2012-14 underwent teacher training.