We make a lot of funny shapes in yoga. At times it may appear there is no actual utility in them. Really, how often do you need to stand on your head anyhow?
These shapes, postures, poses, they are strengthening in ways that might not be obvious.
I celebrated a victory yesterday, because of yoga. I finished collecting the last of this year’s switchgrass straw bales. Every year I pick up all these bales, on our incredibly steep farm field, by hand. They get loaded on pallets, on my trailer or truck, and then are immediately sold to other farmers or go in the barn. Thousands of repetitive lifting and twisting movements, walking up and down uneven terrain.
The victory was because this is the first year that I did this without wearing my knee braces. Knee braces that protect my knees because I have no Anterior Cruciate Ligaments (ACLs) anymore. I destroyed the ACL in my right knee nearly thirty years ago playing tennis. The left ACL went 8 years ago when I jumped off my bulldozer onto uneven terrain. Both gone.
My knee braces no longer fit properly. This became apparent about a year ago as the shape of my legs shifted due to yoga. These x-rays were taken as part of the process to custom fit new braces. Then I got mired in frustrating discussions about how the actual order was to be made, insurance, etc. They were never ordered. I had no properly fitting braces to wear as I farmed this spring. And I didn't miss them.
I am “brace-less”. Because of and thanks to yoga.