On December 14, 2017 I had a new titanium should joint put in my left arm. You may have known that already, because this website is filled with information about the surgery, including a post-surgery home yoga practice. On January 4, 2018, four weeks after the surgery, I attended my first group yoga class wearing the immobilizer. It was great to be back at East Meets West Yoga! Elyssa Bourke, who works with me in the Universal Design Yoga program, was teaching, so I knew it was all good.

I walked into class and the first thing someone said to me was, " how are you going to do yoga without an arm?" It's funny, but that one statement felt very... unwelcoming. It made me think about why people don't go to yoga classes. I often go to East Meets West, and all kinds of people go there, but sometimes people are just so unaware. It doesn't take much to make someone feel unwelcome. (Alternately, it often doesn't take much to make them feel welcome!)

So back to yoga without using my arms. I did the same sequence of standing and seated poses as everyone, modified without using my arms. When the class did a vinyasa flow, or arm balances, I did child's pose, a standing forward fold, a squat or kneel, or a combination of all of these. When the class did half moon pose, I did warrior 3 because I wasn't sure about my balance in half moon pose and falling was not an option in this point in my recovery. When the class did plank pose or hands and knees, I modified the poses from my back. When I was on my back I put a small pillow under my left shoulder so it my should could relax, because even though it was supported in the immobilizer, it still felt fatigued from responding to all of the movement.

When I felt tired, I incorporated rest into my yoga practice.

It felt great!