Last September I was in a car crash that resulted in my vehicle being ‘written off’ – and I felt sort of the same way. Luckily I left the car wreck – with bumps, bruises, and only whiplash. This term whiplash isn’t a medical term, It’s actually used to describe neck pain following injury to the soft tissues of the neck ligaments, tendons, and muscles. It is movement beyond the neck’s proper range. It is caused by a flexion-extension motion of the neck that pulls and strains the neck muscles and ligaments. A doctor may use the more specific terms of cervical sprain, cervical strain, or hyperextension injury.
Yep – a yoga instructor with whiplash – thankfully, as a newly Level 1 YTU Certified Teacher, I had skills for self care! Well, I did use some pain killers. I was in shock and emotionally hurt. I was not able to stand, sit up straight, or even put on a shirt. My spine was in a full on C shape. However, I could put on pants, pet my dog, and breathe. So I breathed, and read my Yoga Tune Up® Manual, my Trail Guide, and planned my recovery and classes.
I used the YTU Therapy Balls daily from feet to shoulders. I massaged every muscle I could – what I learned in YTU was that the body has a conversation with itself and it has memory. I thought I’d recover positive muscle memory – well, the body also remembers trauma. Every time I hobbled into a car my breath was shallow. If someone was driving too fast, or bumpy I could see and feel my accident and the blunt forces of the car rolling. I needed to practice my Yogic Complete Breath and coax recovery into my body.
So I had time to practice the Yoga Tune Up® poses, minivinis, ball work, and pranayama. My most favorite and what I am so proud that I can do today is Revolved Abdominal pose. It proves my spine is healthy and my core is strengthened from every fiber inside and out – I have something deep inside me that is strong and helped me recover. I am not in panic mode when I drive, I can sit, stand, all in excellent posture thanks to all the types of self-care I learned as a YTU teacher.