There's No Place Like Ohm

12:29 PM

This is what happens when I try to do yoga at home.
Right after my wedding, I got into yoga. I wanted to find an exercise routine that worked for me and that I actually wanted to do every day, and yoga had always sounded appealing to me. After finding a Groupon for a studio down the street from my apartment, I decided to actually give it a shot.

As far as yoga studios go, mine is pretty intense. It permanently smells of incense, has pictures of the Dalai Lama and other notable Buddhists all over the walls, and my instructor leads us in chants with a harmonium before class and rambles in Sanskrit a lot. In other words, get on my level.

My instructor, Pierre dropped out of college to live in the mountains and study yoga and alternative medicine. Andrew pictures him as bald with a feather earring and constantly wearing harem pants, but this is only one-third true. Pierre is bald, but does not possess the other aforementioned qualities... He is thin and soft-spoken, and says "You're doing great!" when I am, in fact, not doing great at all.

I mention Pierre because he has been a big encouragement throughout my yoga journey. Ever since I was a kid, I've been inflexible. I could never, ever touch my toes - partially due to my slightly curved spine - and the "sit and reach" presidential fitness test was a complete joke. I couldn't even touch the stupid lever you're supposed to push.

But despite my tight hamstrings, very long legs and hips that just don't understand how to move, Pierre has always had confidence in my abilities. He even said, "I used to be just like you!" but I firmly believe Pierre emerged from the womb doing a sun salutation...

I'd begun to make some great progress right before I went in for surgery (of course!) I built up some muscles, toned up my legs and stomach and could even touch my toes! It also was starting to help my endo pain a bit, even though I tended to hurt right after working out. After three weeks of post-surgery inactivity, I lost a lot of that muscle but didn't lose weight... What good is surgery if you don't lose weight?!?!

Anyway, I was super eager to get back into the studio, especially since I got two yoga mats and new workout clothes for Christmas. (My family gets me.) I knew I would mostly be starting from scratch, and with the incisions in my belly button and lower stomach still healing, it wouldn't be an easy process.

Throughout the beginning of class, I stumbled about like a newborn fawn and slowly reminded myself how to do poses that I used to do with ease. (It's amazing what you can do that those without curved spines can't!) Pierre, who didn't know about my surgery, must have noticed something was up because he didn't push me as hard as he usually does. It might have been the look of pain on my face every time I had to lay on my stomach...

After yoga, I felt pretty beat-up again. For two days after, my belly button felt bruised, and I decided to take it easy for a bit. My abs were starting to come alive, though, and my pain was still staying at a minimum, so that definitely made me happy. And it felt good to get out of my living room and move around a bit.

Want to use yoga to fight endometriosis but aren't sure where to start? Here are a few poses that you might find helpful:

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