In 2013 I had a bad back. My hips and lower back were tight and if I twisted the wrong way I would be in agonizing pain. I couldn’t sleep on my front, I usually had to sleep on my side with 3 pillows strategically placed or else I would wake up in pain, unable to move. It got to the point of being a daily discomfort, causing lost sleep and making it hard to sit in class all day. As usual, my partner came to my rescue and through a little luck and some great advice, I am not [figuratively] doing back flips!
We love book-hunting. This has become a favorite pastime, done almost weekly in Book-Offs and used book stores around Shiga and Kyoto. How is book-hunting a hobby? Our challenge is to find English graded readers for our students for under 250 yen each. Mainly we hunt for Oxford and Penguin graded readers and usually we can get them for 105 yen. Our collection is growing and we hope our students appreciate it, although the hunt is a joy in itself. One day we went to the biggest and nicest Book-Off locations in Kyoto, located in OPA shopping center on Kawaramachi street, near Shijo. As usual we were in the English book section but Chiharu decided to hop over to the magazine section to look at yoga magazines. Moments later she excitedly returned to show me a treasure she had found: Yoga for Backaches! This was the lucky part mentioned above.
Chiharu recommended I try yoga to ease my back problems and after reading the book cover-to-cover, I tried it out. To illustrate how truly life-changing this has been, at the time I couldn’t lay on my stomach nor could I get up from my back, having to always roll onto my side and use my hands to carefully boost myself up. Today, I am completely pain and discomfort free, I can sleep in any position, I’m back down to 1 pillow and I can easily bounce from upward-facing dog pose to downward facing dog pose! Yoga and my wife’s support have improved my health and I have never felt better. Next up: yogic diet to improve breathing, digestion and energy levels!
The best thing about this? I can play with my son for hours on end and never have back problems!