Thread: Racing Gear For Sale: FS: HANS Device
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Old 02-10-2007
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Slowhands Slowhands is offline
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Re: FS: HANS Device

Originally Posted by cdh
oops, sorry, may deserve a new thread
Hey Doug, you're admin, you would know! but I'm not as forum-savvy as you, so I'll just answer here, and if you think it needs a new thread, I'll let you do the clicking and dragging. Otherwise who knows where it would end up in my hands (maybe one of those late-night olive oil sites).

Originally Posted by cdh
Can you offer any info about the best way to learn yoga techniques? I have had others tell me to try it for my aching back (compressed vert from go karting on the Lime Rock autocross torture track).
Yoga is the best thing I've ever done for my body. It's a little embarrassing to me that I grew up in India but had to learn Yoga in my 40's from American instructors. but they say that yoga comes to you when you need it.

i can identify with your compressed vertebra. I fell 15 feet out of a tree when I was 10 and landed sitting up on my tailbone. couldn't walk for 3 days. But my Dad was like those Peyton Manning commercials ("shake it off, son") so I never went to a doctor! I still can't believe it. Any way, I recovered and my body forgot about it until my late 30's (youth is wonderful) at about the same time as I was developing cervical disc/vertebrae problems brought on by long hours at work. About a year and a half ago I was in recurrent pain, limited in what I could do physically, and thought that I would have no choice but surgery. But I knew several people who had painful recoveries from that type of procedure with equivocal gain. That's when my physical therapist recommended at least trying yoga first. Now, my back is near normal, and I can do whatever I want without any pain, including lifting. And I am in the best overall shape I've ever been.

As far as yoga goes, I do almost exclusively hot yoga, also known as Bikram yoga. The room is heated to 95-100 F, which takes some getting used to (the first couple of times I thought I would pass out!). But this is hugely effective in quickly relaxing tendons, ligaments, and muscles, so that the stretching is more effective. The Bikram sequence of postures places a lot of emphasis on the strength and flexibility of the back, and is quite physical and athletic, as oppposed to meditative. it will give you muscles that you like looking at in the mirror! (Check out the Sports Illustrated article on Tony Parrish of the 49ers--I imagine it's still available in their Web archives-- who does Bikram as his core work. It'll also give you an idea of the postures). However, I didn't get total improvement in my back until I added Pilates once a week to strengthen the front and sides of my core (my yoga sequence is a little lacking in the strength aspect of these areas). So my routine is now hot yoga 2-3 times a week, Pilates once a week.

In a nutshell, here is the sequence I followed:
1. Got an MRI of my back to know exactly what I was dealing with anatomically.
2. Found a sports physical therapist to monitor progress and give advice, clear me for physical activity, and refer me to a physician if necessary.
3. Found a hot yoga class (a supervised class is the only way to correctly learn these postures, and the room is heated) went at least once a week. when it's freezing outside, it'll warm you up for the rest of the day!
4. Found a beginners Pilates class, went once a week
5. Got the book "Health Through Motion" by Pete Egoscue (who worked with Nicklaus). It's a way to self-diagnose your posture problems scientifically and address them through a series of exercises that draw from both yoga and physical therapy. It'll also teach you a lot about your back and body. It's what got me started, in the privacy of my own home.

Good luck, be patient and take it slow. To avoid exacerbating the injury, do NOT go beyond what your body tells you it's ready for (yoga is good because it promotes an incremental approach). If you try hot yoga, see your doctor to be sure you can handle exercising in 100 F for 90 min (although if you're driving race cars I doubt this would be an issue). there are other forms of yoga that can be beneficial, such as ashtanga. Just go to a yoga studio and check out some different classes. this takes a lot of commitment but improvement can be noticeable in several weeks. It can take several months to reach full benefit, and you have to build a maintenance schedule into your life. But it worked for me. And IMO, yoga is the best form of exercise to address the physical demands of driving a formula car. Very similar style of muscle contraction.

(sorry about the CWC! I'm susceptible to it too!)
"All things are ready if our minds be so." -- Henry V

Last edited by Slowhands; 02-10-2007 at 03:13 PM.
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