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Ask Dean #1 – August 22

This is the first post for the Ask Dean section, in which I answer questions that you all have regarding fitness, yoga, or dieting. Remember, I’m not a life coach, so don’t ask me about chakras, your relationships, or other shit that I can’t help you with.

Question #1:
Hi Dean, I have been performing yoga for close to a year. I mix it with fast pace walking, and 3 x a week with a personal trainer. About two months ago I bent over and when I straightened up, my back hurt like all holy hell. Since then, it has really hampered my practice. I have tried muscle relaxants, rest, ice, heat…and still it persists. It is not an old mattress either that is the issue. Any suggestions? I have a strong core as I can do sit ups till my eyes bleed. Hope you may have some useful suggestions. Thanks, Scott

Hey Scott. It sounds to me like you seriously tweaked your back and that you’re trying to push through your workouts as usual without giving yourself proper rest. You’re going to have to give yourself a break for a couple weeks. I know that it sucks, and the last thing that an active guy like yourself wants to do is to take a break, but if you keep going, your back problems are only going to get worse. If it feels good, you can do some light child’s pose or forward folds to help relieve some of that pressure in your low back. If the pain persists after a couple weeks of taking it easy, I would suggest seeing an orthopedic or physical therapist.

Question #2:
Hey Dean,

Started following your blog and FB page and videos b/c I am an athlete and have always been bad about stretching. Like you say above yoga definitely has helped my hip flexors and hamstrings but my shoulders are still very very tight (i lift and am a competitive tennis player).

Care to share some of your PT and deep tissue routine?

Thanks,

Steve

Hey Steve. I would love to share some of that. I’ll make a series of videos over the next week about shoulder mobility. You can see them on the MFY YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/manflowyoga. I’m currently uploading the first of the series now, which focuses on the lacrosse ball. Basically with this, the goal is knead out the knots in the muscles that affect your shoulders, including your pecs, your traps, your neck, sub scapular muscles, teres major and minor, lats, and whatever other gunk you have around your armpits. Slow and painful is the key to effective self-administered deep tissue massage. Avoid the bone. Happy massaging.

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