Friday, October 21, 2005

I'm too old School for new age...

I’m sure many you have been dying to know what happened at my visit with the chiropractor last week. It was, without a doubt, a strange experience.

For one, she nearly broke my neck. It now occurs to me that, perhaps Jean Claude Van Damme and Steven Segal, in their amazing ability to break one’s neck simply by jerking one’s head abruptly to one side, may have actually been trained as chiropractors along with the other various martial arts training…chiropractors gone awry.

Strangely, the appointment after that consisted mostly of two distinctly unusual (at least outside the world of chiropractic medicine) activities. One involved her gently hammering my back with what looked like a miniature pogo stick and sounded like a toy gun when the trigger is pulled. The other part involved her massaging my lower back (the area of my most acute pain) rather roughly and painfully while, at the same time, just about putting her thumb in my rear end. She assured me that this was a normal “tension point” or something like that where she could tell if the massage was working. Considering that the “massage” was so painful that it made my rear end clench, I think she may have been right.

In any case, when I asked her what sorts of thing I could do at home to help keep things in line, she suggested that I pick up a pregnancy yoga video and do my best to try and do it several days a week. This is already a stretch for me…first a chiropractor (who I’d always been told were quacks, by and large) and now yoga. Breathing and finding my center and whatnot. But whatever…I’m up to try anything. I’m trying to do a good job and be healthy for this baby, so I decide to try it.

We bought the video last Saturday at Target and it sat on my desk until last night, when Owen suggested we give it a try. That’s right…you read correctly…he said “we.” Owen has been extremely supportive with all the pregnancy-related stuff. Truly, he’s been fantastic. He’s read all the books and been to all the appointments with me. So when he said “we” I knew he meant it.

We both put on our PJ pants (not being in possession of “real” yoga clothes) and popped in the DVD after work last night. Actually, I should tell you that we had a snack first. In retrospect, I’m going to go out on a limb and give everybody a little piece of advice. Chocolate chip cookie dough and skim milk is not the best snack to kick off a yoga session. Believe it or not, the skim milk is not healthy enough to counteract the effects of the cookie dough.

In any case, we began the video and did what we could to follow along with the women modeling for us. You start out sitting cross legged on the floor and practice breathing. No biggie. Then you start to stretch. Stretching, it turns out, isn’t much fun. Turns out it hurts too. I did okay with it, though not even approaching what one would call “good.” But Owen had some challenges. We did this twisty thing that’s supposed to stretch your upper body and he began to whine…and moan. We did more stretches…something called Cat-Cow….to more moaning. I thought it felt kind of good at that point. Then we did this butterfly thing, which is a lot like the butterfly thing we used to do in gym class as a kid. Owen did fine with that…and I was the one whining.

I could see him out of the corner of my eye, tongue sticking out in concentration and folded up legs fluttering away like mad, and I began to giggle. I tried to keep it silent because he told me that if I laughed he’d quit…but I couldn’t help it. Something about his long, lanky body, all folded up and trying to be graceful…it just was too much and I erupted with laughter. He gave me a shove and I fell over (I’m not a weeble…I wobble AND fall down) just as the tears began to run down my face.

We’ve decided to keep trying the yoga, even though my back was pretty much screaming by the end and my knee is swollen from it today. I’m sure, once we’re used to it, it will be good for both of us. We need to get our bodies all stretched out and strong for a successful childbirth…both of us, apparently. I’m aware of why mine needs to be that way…Owen I’m not sure. But I figure it can’t be bad for him, even though he doesn’t have a belly to feel during the exercises.

We’ve also decided to make a few key changes. First, no cookie dough right before it. We both felt a little queasy from it. Second, we have to mute the sound and put one some other music. That lady talking all about breathing all the time and opening your heart and massaging your pituitary gland from the inside (I’m NOT kidding…) was just too much. It’s too bad, though, because one of my favorite parts was hearing her name the poses in Sanskrit. But I’m willing to give it up in order not to have to listen to her telling me to massage my liver. I suppose I’m too much of a skeptic. And I don’t want my liver to get spoiled and demand massages all the time like some out of control diva. We’ve decided to do the yoga at night right before bed since were both were completely wiped out by the end of it.

It reminded me of Rachel, who took yoga in college but had to drop it because she kept falling asleep. Personally, I think she should have gotten extra credit for being so utterly relaxed. I mean, that’s the point, right?

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