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Day 1 - New Me Goals!

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Overall goal: Less pain + continue a set of physical therapy exercises each day I also do yoga.

My observations below are reminders for myself - not a lecture to anyone!

Informally, I've been observing whether I feel more intensity / discomfort in my "pain areas".  As Candace always remind us, we should work in a pain-free range, so, this may seem like a dangerous goal of mine to accomplish with yoga practice.  My situation may be different from others in that if there is pain, one should just rest.  I've taken a break for 1-2 months, and, the pain didn't go away on its own anymore because there's been too much muscle atrophy - my body is too uneven now. My left shoulder is higher than my right, my hips are slightly tilted when I stand, so my right lower back side is scrunched up (where I feel pain), and my right shoulder muscle is physically smaller and weaker than my left. I didn't believe this until I did some bicep curls again - I used to be able to do more curls with my right arm than my left, and now, my left arm is stronger.  I suspect everything gets worse cumulatively the more I sit and work, but since I can't always take breaks from work, I want to learn to manage this pain with a more consistent yoga practice.

Most of my chronic pain feels like DOMS, and if there is any sharp jolting pain or the discomfort level is more severe than it's been before, I immediately back off, do modifications, or do a resting pose instead.  But if the discomfort is at mild to moderate level, I feel I can keep going and learn how to relax those areas instead.

These are my "problem" areas with Day 1 status, with the details on how I am measuring the level of discomfort after:

  1. Neck: Moderate to Severe (based on my left side's tightness)
  2. Right shoulder: Moderate
  3. Right lower back: Moderate
  4. Left hip flexor: Mild


  • Neck pain (a more chronic issue for the past 2 years due to not ideal sleeping positions for the past decade.)
    • Check: Do my levator scapulae stretches and monitor my range of motion sideways
    • Day 1 Status: Left side stretch feels tight and stops at about 50 degree angle from my shoulder, but, no pain. Right side has minor discomfort but seems like full range of motion at 30 degree angle from my shoulder.
  • Shoulder pain (Related to my neck pain, but mostly between my shoulder blade and spine on my right side. Both my levator and rhomboids connect to the shoulder blade part, so it's not clear if both or just my levator are hurting.)
    • Check 1: Observe the level of discomfort in the front right of my shoulder when I do archer arms, with my right hand on the bottom.
    • Day 1 Status: Moderate discomfort
    • Check 2: See if I can reach out my right arm straight (while still in socket) and raise overhead to be parallel with my head. If I can, make sure I can do it without any "clicking" sound.
    • Day 1 Status: can't keep arm straight to go overhead without risking the clicking sound, so I stop.
  • Lower back pain on right side (quadratus lumborum)
    • Check: Right side hurts in trikonasana (triangle pose) when reaching out to the left
    • Day 1 Status: Moderate discomfort
  • Left side hip flexor (psoas)
    • Check 1: Warrior 1 with left leg back
    • Day 1 Status: No discomfort (was severe in the past when I had to take a break)
    • Check 2: Sit up from lying down in navasana (boat pose)
    • Day 1 Status: Mild discomfort

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