“Sitting down all day is the new tobacco.”

I’m currently dealing with a spine injury, and as my chiropractor put it, my neck is “jacked up” as well. “Tech neck” is the official term. People working on computers all day, sitting down all day.. they better be doing a whole bunch of yoga, have impeccable posture, stand & walk throughout the day, stretch, rest their eyes, and mask their headaches with cupfuls of coffee, because whew.. that lack of motion all day seriously screws us up!

In too many ways.

The vertebrae at the top of our spines (our necks) are supposed to have a natural curve to hold up the weight of our heads all day. But “tech neck” (sitting on our asses designing and developing technology all day) among other things, has made it so our necks are going straight, losing their natural curve. (Go get X-rays at a chiro, see if this is happening to you). It hurts.

Enter yoga..

If sitting all day at a computer is the new tobacco yoga is the new healthcare. It’s no surprise that within my 90-day care plan is a series of stretches we do regularly in yoga, two of which I’m putting visual examples of below for you. (Cat 🐈 + Cow 🐄 )

Go from a human being doing yoga to a human being yoga.

Baron Baptiste

Something I love about yoga is the names of the postures are often animals, sometimes because of how we look when we stretch that way, mimicking the actual shapes of those animals. Some are because of the innate body wisdom and physical sensations you get while in the posture. Either way, the quote above about a human BEING yoga (not doing yoga) coupled with these animal references, it’s a vibe. I’m always profoundly aware of our connection to the animal kingdom while doing yoga. They are natural yogis.

What’s also profound is how sad I felt last week getting the news from the chiropractor. I cried a lot, which I didn’t expect. I realized I will have to modify the way I practice Yoga Sculpt as well as listen to my body when it wants rest. I’ve already taken a long rest period (no intense yoga for 7+ days) and for my next 90 days, this is the overall modification I need to make.

Enter tears..

• Slow down.
• Rest more.
• Take more time to learn your body.
• Deepen spine knowledge.
• Postpone launching your classes.

Crying is one of the highest devotional songs. One who knows crying, knows spiritual practice. If you can cry with a pure heart, nothing else compares to such a prayer. Crying includes all the principles of Yoga.

– Kripalvanandji

To reframe my personal tragedy into a positive, this will force me to deeply understand the ways in which all my students bodies will be different, and learn how to instruct and support people who’ve sustained injuries.

But first, I must start with myself.

There are 5 areas of my spine out of serious alignment, and my assignment is to recover, strengthen and learn. The thing that bums me most about admitting this is that while any physical activity, especially if it’s new, can cause an injury to any body, I still feel strongly yoga is the BEST and most injury-preventative activity one can do. I still believe in yoga 100%, and always will. In fact, my chiro said to definitely keep doing yoga (or should I say, keep being yoga).

It’s not from yoga.
I got my injury during a hardcore 12-week weight training program I did with a personal trainer this fall. And while I don’t blame the weight training or the trainer, I’m a little bit blaming myself. Pushing, pulling, and lifting heavy weights, and progressively adding more weight, when I lacked the appropriate form, really did me in.

I’m proud of my physical achievements but to me, it’s more important how I feel. On top of heavy weights and bad form, I was triple dipping with Yoga Sculpt, Hot Yoga, and cycling, thus not giving my body proper rest and recovery periods. It was a 12-week push that I pushed too far. The silver lining is, I know exactly how this happened.

And, it’s fixable.

And being sad about it, forcing myself to slow down and deepen my learnings before attempting to teach others is my main priority right now. You know how they say when the student is ready the teacher appears? Well, my X-rays communicated crystal clear.

My spine is on a 90-day adjustment period.

And I can’t wait to come out the other side stronger & wiser.

Wish me luck!

Heatherlee ❤


Heatherlee is a yoga teacher in training offering group yoga fitness classes for work teams, high schools, and individuals looking to add movement, flow, and fitness to their lifestyle! To express interest in my 2023 yoga offerings (or to generally learn more about what classes are like) read through and add your name to this quick form.

Published by @Heatherlee.Nguyen

I'm a lover not a fighter but I'll always fight for more love.

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