I’ve recently acknowledged that I have to back off my most vigorous Asana practice. I have a condition known as Isthmic Spondylolisthesis. It’s fairly common. Mine is complicated by a few outstanding issues, but the bottom line is: NO-MORE-BACK BENDS. EVER. No Cobra, no Updog. For right now, no running, no hiking, no biking. I need to focus on healing my back through rest and subtle strength building exercises that allow for zero extension in my lower back.

If I don’t heed this directive, I will get worse and could damage further the nerves in my low back. Yah, it stinks. But it doesn’t stink that much. I can still drive, walk, laugh, work, be happy and generally get by. I have a good life, a great family and am otherwise healthy.

Also, I am realizing that my previous Asana practice has distracted me with the immediate gratification ego offers.What my body, and the Universe, is telling me is it is time to go deeper.

Last month I discovered Yin Yoga at LifestretchYoga in Fremont. It is just what I need. The instructor has repeatedly encouraged us to enjoy “the modest endurance of a gentle stretch.” How peaceful. How lovely. How freeing. Gone is the pressure to achieve, to shine. Now it is about clearing the mind, creating space for the connection within, and sending the ego away. Creating room for peace and healing. That’s what it’s about right now. Yin, man.