Irfysio Logo

Irfysio: Prep Asana

I mentioned in my previous post that I’m presently undergoing physiotherapy for a couple of chronic injuries (shoulder and heel). It’s been a month and a half, and I have recovered upto 75%. Now, the good doctor is pushing himself for the final 25%, which is often the toughest part. (It’s like climbing Everest. You first have a slow start, then make good progress, but the last stretch – the near-vertical climb – is the toughest and patience-testing slowest.) However, he’s confident of going the last mile, and as he has told me to “leave his burdens to him”, I am too. And almost as an incentive to him to help me reach the finish line, I told him a few days back, “I’m an ad guy, and as you’ve seen, I like talking. If you help me recover 100%, trust you me, I’m going to tell the world.” Adding for effect, “I am (in)famous for that.”

So, is this series for that? Well, maybe not just yet – as my treatment isn’t complete just yet. What then? Well, I did say I like talking (read, expressing), and he does too, and we have some pretty interesting conversations in the almost hour-long session that I go for thrice a week (earlier, six days a week). So, that 10/10 in the logo up there is also for the quality of and fun in the conversations and observations we have, and not just for the treatment efficacy.

And pray, what are these conversations and observations? The new logo for his clinic, the social media updates for his clinic (told you, I am an ad guy), the networking he does through Business Network International (BNI), his following of Infinitheism and why (for growth – in various spheres), my following of Buddhism, why he chose that particular location and building for his clinic (and my hypothesis for it), why he shouldn’t have killed those lizards in his house through pest control but rather have just driven them away, how they will now come back as bad spirits to haunt him and his wife… Told ja, we don’t just say, “Now, keep your legs apart, place your hands on the bar, slowly go down, do this 15 times…

So, what’s the first Irfysio about?

As I mentioned in my earlier post too, I have had to make radical changes to my exercise regime due to my treatment: no running but walking, walking on even surfaces, adding non-heel-intensive activities (such as cycling and swimming) to my regime, and considering taking up yoga.

Ah, yoga. I’ve gone for two yoga (trial) classes, and wanting to get his inputs too, shared my reactions (more physiological) with him. Hearing my exasperating tribulations both times, he finally came up with, “Hmm, this gives me an idea. Maybe we (the clinic) can extend our services to yoga studios – offering to prepare people for yoga so that the studio doesn’t lose out on potential members who find yoga/the initial days tough…

Great marketing idea. [Hey, maybe that’s why we connect pretty well (heck, I’ve even sent him a friend request on FB): He, a marketer; me, an advertiser.]

Neat, doc. Now, can I get my 15% commission for laying the ground for that idea?

PS: The good doc’s name? Dr M Badrinath

Dr M Badrinaty, Physiotherapist

You can find his clinic here: http://arthritisspecialityclinic.com/index.php

And you can look up my mail ID in my Contact menu for my referral commission.

Irfananta Logo

Irfananta: Thoughts on Day Two of Yoga

I’ve been undergoing physiotherapy for the past month and a half for a couple of chronic injuries, the one work-related (rotator cuff syndrome due to overuse of the computer mouse) and the other sports-related (calcaneal spur due to heel-abusive running). The good doctor has managed to get me to 75% better so far (bless him) and is working even harder to take me to the finishing line (more power to him).

Apart from the exercises, he has also been “educating” me – in his opinion, the biggest part of getting better. This “education” has meant me making seminal changes, such as changing the way I sit and stand; taking breathers and doing simple exercises between work; investing in shoes that “lock my heel”; and most critically, taking up (for/from now) sports/activities that don’t abuse my shoulder and heels. The last has meant that I now go walking (instead of running), go walking at least 50% of the time on even surfaces (the road in a park compared with the road on, well, the road), adding cycling to my regime (as it does not intensely involve the heel), and considering taking up yoga.

Yoga seemed especially attractive as it is known to offer physical, psychological, and spiritual benefits. So, I scoured my neighbourhood for yoga studios and finally decided on one that was close enough and offered the gamut (asanas, pranayama, meditation). They were offering three trial classes, and I decided to take these up, although I was sure “I would 99% likely sign up before going through all the trial classes.

Below are my thoughts on Day Two of the trial classes.

You’re skidding me

You know that yoga mats have one side as anti-skid. This is the bottom one, so that you, um, don’t skid especially when trying a treacherous, er, tricky asana. (The other side typically has the brand logo, and is meant to go on top, um, for you to sit on.) Methinks they should make both sides anti-skid. I had sweat dripping and dropping from my forehead (despite having a headband) onto the mat as well as awash on my palms, preventing me from getting a grasp on the mat and thus executing any asana that needed me to place my palms on the mat. So, pretty much all of them. And I wasn’t even doing hot yoga.

Caveat yogi

If the makers can’t both make sides anti-skid, the studio guys better add a ‘Let the yogi beware’ clause during their registration process. Else, the injury count, and thus the insurance claim, from people slipping and falling during these asanas is seriously going to dent the profits they are eyeing.

No animals, or objects, were hurt in the making of these asanas

There’s a simple reason why so many asanas are named after animals: only animals can do them. Only the cobra can make the perfect arc of the bhujangasana, and only the camel can throw its neck that far back as in the ushtrasana. If the human body were meant to go through these twists and twirls, we would have been given as many limbs, or none at all (lucky snakes). Actually, it’s not just animals. There’s also non-living things, such as the plow/plough, which inspires halasana, and the sun, which begets the surya namaskar. See, both were designed for those angles, the one by man and the other by the Good Lord. And how can I compete with a creation of God?

Dogs

From yoga… to noga

The class ends, I’m a bag of sweat, my body feels more kneaded than dough, my muscles are weeping, I step out, and the owner asks me, “So, have you been able to decide (whether you’re joining after taking two trial classes)?

Here’s what I told her: “I’ll check with my therapist and get back to you.

Here’s what I’m telling you: No. No way. Not at all. Well, ok, at least not now.

It is abso right when they say that no matter how much exercise you have done before this, yoga reveals (exposes) how inflexible you really are. Now, I don’t mind my frailty being exposed (then, I wouldn’t have blogged this post), but I realised this – yoga might prepare me for awesome things (suppleness, energy, calm), but I need to prepare myself for yoga. So, I’ll take it up again/properly when I’m better prepared. And how do I plan to do that? Well, there’s an indication of that in my next (upcoming) post.

PS: My thoughts on Day One of the trial classes? Well, if it wasn’t already clear: Yoga 1, Me 0.

Irfananta Logo

Irfananta: In-possible

It’s a new month; half the year is over; it’s Doctor’s Day; and starting today, helmets are compulsory for all two-wheeler riders in Chennai, pillions included. Good enough reasons (or excuses) to start off a new series.

I give you, as the featured pic says, Irfananta. Like my blog name (Irfinity) and the other series in my blog (Irfictionary), it too is a coming together of my name and the essence of the blog/series. In fact, the name is, aptly enough, the Hindi translation of my blog name: ‘ananta’ means ‘unending’, or ‘infinite’.

And what’s it about? A couple of new practices that I have gotten drawn toward this year (and hopefully will continue in the future too): yoga and Buddhism. Things of the spiritual sphere. Yoga is widely believed to offer you unending physical health (through the asanas and pranayama) as well as spiritual well-being (through meditation). Buddhism too is held to help you quieten and strengthen your mind and thus unlock your infinite potential.

Then, shall we start on this Irfananta journey? With, interestingly enough, a slightly tongue-in-cheek piece (tongue yoga?) – hopefully showing that the spiritual doesn’t have to mean the solemn.

 ∞

As I just wrote, yoga helps make your body as pliant as a serpent’s (there’s a cobra pose in yoga – bhujangasana – and many asanas have animal names as they are inspired by the design and/or motor capability of that animal) and helps make your mind and being as calm as Kung Fu Panda’s teacher, Shifu.

However, the manufacturers of yoga mats (the place on which you’re supposed to work on this pliancy and peace) and yoga mat bags don’t seem to be similarly aligned. How else would you explain that the yoga mat, after you’re done with your practice, is never malleable enough to go back into that bag – no matter how tightly you roll it or how small you make the front portion? Or by correlation, why that bag isn’t flexi enough to take back the desirous mat without a struggle, and in most cases, not at all?

I’ve tried, tried, and then some, and have managed to put the mat back in all of once, that too after ananta sweat-drops of struggle. Beginner’s luck. All other times, I have managed na-da; in the process, feeling first annoyed, then irritated, then frustrated, and finally angry. Seriously, where is that peace of mind yoga promised me?

Animal Yoga

I am reasonably confident that, after months of huffing and puffing, I will be able to execute the halasana (plow/plough pose) and get my legs behind my head on the ground. But getting the yoga mat back into its bag after I’ve done the halasana? Don’t see that happening for, well, forever. Seriously, there should be an asana just for this. Kasht (difficult) asana? Dhairya (patience) asana? Gussa (anger) asana?

So, I’ve decided to do the next best thing. I’m getting the bag custom-made. Appropriately enough, at a nearby organic store named Moksha (salvation).