Get a roomful of people who are over the age of 50 and you will find a pretty significant number of them have shoulder “issues”. Anywhere from shoulder pain when lifting their arm in a particular direction, frozen shoulder where mobility is quite limited and those who are delaying or recuperating from shoulder repair surgery. All of these shoulder issues begs the question … how much movement, and what kind of movement, is good or bad?
Let me tell you the story about Dotty. We missed Dotty in our Chair Yoga classes at my studio. We had not seen her in over a year, and needless to say…. we wondered what was up! Dotty just turned 96 and she was always a very faithful Yoga-goer. Well, she showed up this week in Pinush’s class (see her in the front row!) Of course we had to ask her “where have you been?” She replied…
“My shoulder was bothering me for quite a bit of time. I was cautioned not to move it much, and probably to avoid doing Yoga until it got better. So I did”.
Well, we asked … how does it feel now? “It still bothers me a bit. But I have come to realize that it is probably arthritis (hello!!!!) which won’t go away. So, I better keep moving it otherwise I won’t be able to move it at all! I’m back to Yoga!”
What I learned from this 96-yr old wise woman is that avoiding movement is not always the best solution for our aching joints. Joints are mechanical in nature in that they move like a hinge or rotate in a socket. Those mechanics need to be used in order to keep the joint functioning. You can see in this photo that Dotty is being cautious in her shoulder movement… but she is still moving!
Only YOU know what your joint feels like from the inside out. You have the power to explore your range of motion. Because motion is lotion. Remember to avoid sharp pain, and go gently into areas that feel resistant and continue to breathe!