After Spinal fusion age 12, twice under the knife for shoulder repair, and recently 2 x crushed vertebra, I was still not keen to give up Iron distance triathlons and multisport events.
Chronic back pain, a touch of sciatica and persistent unstable shoulder, replaced the enjoyment of exercise with disappointment and frustration. Even the occasional anti-inflammatory was not doing the job anymore.
I will never forget my first Bikram class – confirmation that my body aged a bit quicker than I ever anticipated. Years of demanding best from my body without investing in “healing time” has finally caught up with me.
Although I could not execute all the postures there always seemed to be another challenge in the following class. With each session, improvement was obvious.
During week 2-3 the morning back stiffness was quickly disappearing. I was surprised to notice increase shoulder strength and stability. I could run without back pain and swim without having the all familiar night time shoulder ache and riding my bike for longer was more comfortable. My training became FUN again!
I expected increase flexibility but got so much more… – Increased cardiovascular fitness, strength, and no more joint or back pain. I expected Bikram Yoga to compliment my triathlon training – but for me it’s now a core element of training and healthy living.
As a medical doctor with special interest in sports medicine it is obvious that flexibility prevents injury. But I was truly surprised at the potential to reverse chronic pain from old injuries and degenerative joint disease. And all of this whilst getting fit as well! Seems too good to be true? You up for the Challenge? You Will not be disappointed.
Dr Morne’ Pienaar
Senior Doctor Lakes District Hospital Queenstown
Doctor and Medical Director for Queenstown Regenerative Medicine