Back Story

My Sketch Book, Yoga

Yesterday, it was my sciatic nerve release monthniversary. It was exactly one month since my sciatic nerve untrapped itself.


A few days before that – in the middle of May – I went to this amazing yoga workshop with Wendy Teasdill, it was called the Eagle and the serpent. Wendy and I both have a strong connection with Tibet, its culture and spirituality and we are both fascinated about the connections between yoga postures and animals. I had a great day in her company.

I had a lightbulb moment there, and my understanding of my own back changed and so did my daily back-care routine. My sciatic nerve released itself a few days later at around 6am – exactly one month ago yesterday – after 2 years and 7 months of being trapped.

Having regained so much back mobility at once felt incredible. I didn’t experience such an ease of movement with my right leg and lower back for… well 2 years and 7 months! I was very pleased with that.

I still had this nagging pain in my right shoulder that has been bothering me for the last few weeks (since having this hacking cough for a few weeks three months ago) which brought me back to the chiropractor a week and half later. She burst my bubble a bit by telling me that my sciatica was the least of her concerns about my back, as I have spinal degeneration and my spine is closing in.

This is what I remember of the x-ray of my back that she took a while back, from the bottom up:

I have two vertebrae fused together – S1 and L5, in the lower back.

Anatomy of the Lumbar Spine

I have a few discs about to blow and three vertebrae slowly fusing with each other, a scoliosis causing a big curve in my back which was worsened by an old compressed fracture from childhood.

So I had this week and half to enjoy a better back before I went to see her and she gave me a reality check. My back was starting to stiffen up a bit when I went to see her so she didn’t see it at its best…

I feel lucky though, because I know what to do to manage it myself. I know how to stretch it with yoga, how to modify postures and how to use Breath control Exercises (pranayama) to relax and manage pain.

Chiropractic treatments help too, to get the bones back into place.

It’s been a long journey of self-discovery I have been on, thanks to my back problems. It’s been a bumpy ride with pain, depression, fear, darkness, a lot of trials and errors.

Some of the things I have learned along the way though are that having a positive mindset about it all, accepting where I am at right now and having faith that things will get better are important components of healing.

I have also learned that in yoga, my own body is my teacher. I have learned to listen, to accept and to respect it. Yoga isn’t about forcing your body into all these crazy shapes. It’s about breathing. Deeply.

I don’t want to use up too much of your time with my story, so I’ll leave it there :)

Have a lovely Autumn if you are in the UK, otherwise I hope that you get some proper mid June weather :)




2 thoughts on “Back Story

  1. I am happy to read that the sciatic pain is gone – and may it stay that way! – but sorry about your continued back problems. It sounds as if you are really attuned to your body and have a good plan for keeping yourself mobile.

  2. Happy sciativersary – I can’t imagine how good it must have felt to recover that movement! I’m also impressed by the ways you’ve found to manage your condition – feeling like you have some kind of control over it must make things that little bit easier. Thanks for sharing your story 😀

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