What I really want is a masters degree in Health Psychology, and a mental health counseling license. In the mean time, I'll add to my wellness certifications, and start the process of yoga teacher training. One bucket list item I have is to study yoga therapy at the Kripalu Center, and this is step one.
Along with ad-hoc asanas before/during/after my strength training routines, my yoga practice has consisted of one simple routine, the Joint Freeing Series from the book Structural Yoga Therapy by Mukunda Stiles. During the pandemic, I decided to use this flow as my daily practice. Since the poses are single-joint range of motion movements, I created an assess-and-practice routine to track progress on movement restrictions, weakness and pain.
Repeating the same flow, at least occasionally, and tracking results, has helped me come a long way with multiple small nagging musculoskeletal problems. A little wrist pain; a clicking elbow; neck tension; shoulder weakness. I have very mild hip arthritis and I discovered some hip joint weakness that I've been able to keep track of, and also improve.
I've become a believer in assess/treat routines. I'm just really happy with the yoga therapy model of practice.
I have some imposter syndrome around yoga teacher training before I've even begun! Only a fraction of yoga is asana... and I'm concerning myself with mostly pranayama (breathing practice), asana (posture practice), and mindfulness practice. Doesn't yoga involve a deep understanding of the Bhagvad Gita, chakras, mudras, etc.? And when it comes to asana, I have been injured by poses I've come to understand as problematic (for me, and more broadly). So to see teachers in deep bends and think I have to learn to teach this... well that's just a mind dump on why I've been hesitating to do this.
But my first hours of study were this past Friday night. I jumped to the end of the syllabus and heard a lecture on the four traditional paths of yoga. In the end, philosophy is one of my hobbies. There is a lot of overlap in the ancient wisdom I've studied over the years. I was so happy to find myself curious to get back into yoga philosophy. Not every path is for everyone; feeling "less-than" because I'll feel I won't live the Bhagavad Gita 100%? I can drop that.
Practice was three different short sitting meditations, and a video on adapting sitting poses with props. I'm committing to 5 minutes a day of seated meditation. I did that twice yesterday, and this morning. I'm just taking small steps, and trying to build a few practices into daily habits.