The Flying Super(wo)man

When I was at university, I was a flying member of the University Air Squadron, part of the Royal Air Force Voluntary Reserve. Whilst it was one of the best things I have ever done in my life, I was also studying hard to achieve good grades in my law degree. This led to an awful lot of sitting: in the library; in the light aircraft; and then, relaxing during my scarce ‘downtime’. I went on to qualify as an aviation lawyer, which involved even more sitting.

Over the years, I began to experience intense lower back pain. The worst would be right at the time of day when it was most unwelcome: getting into bed and relaxing. The pain would be so intense that I would have to force myself to lie on my side just to enjoy reading my book before lights out.

After working with a colleague whose back problems were so intense, he would lie on the floor of the office and do Natarajasana (Lying Down Body Twist), I decided to explore some yoga poses to see if they would work for me. I discovered that one of the best ways to counter my pain was to try to strengthen my lower back muscles. This was when I discovered Viparita Shalabhasana (Superman Pose) and I have continued to ‘fly’ (albeit, on the ground) ever since.

(Kay Vasey, 200hr TTC, January 2017)