A 20-year-old man with a 60-year-old back-pain.

Daniel Hangan
5 min readFeb 4, 2020


That was the moment I thought “What If my body is not in balance and the problem is not my lower back but my entire body.”

As every 18 years old I was looking to extend the boundaries of my body by becoming more muscular and strong. The first thing that comes to mind “I need to go to the gym, lift big weights and drink protein shakes”.

I really like going to the gym. Little muscle growth was keeping me motivated. Training every muscle group twice a week was mandatory at the time. One day of no gym felt like -1 kg.

The only issue with the gym was that after every training my body felt like its been in a car accident.

Me after every gym session.

Settling my first weight lifting record

I used to over-train every time. 2 years into intensive training and dedicated work, I was prepared to settle my first deadlift record and show it to the world.

I eventually settled my own record of lifting, however at a cost of crunch in my lower back. I thought its something normal and continued training. I took a week off to recover and got straight back into it.

After half a year I started feeling the pain going down into my left leg and that was the moment I realized something is wrong.

I was diagnosed with a hernia and advised not to lift weights ever in my life. Unless I would like to have a hernia-removal surgery in 1 year.

The doctor prescribed me some pills and gave me home exercises to improve the strength of my lower back. I decide to stick to his advice and do the exercises at home. At that time I was dedicating all my attention and training toward fixing my lower back to get back to the gym as soon as possible.

In 6 months I could barely handle 2 hours on my legs. I was getting tired very fast. I couldn’t go to parties or festivals with my friends because I knew my back will start to hurt and I would feel awful.

1 year passed since I was diagnosed with a hernia. I tried exercises, I tried treatment with drugs (pills), I tried therapy, I tried kinesiotherapy. Nothing worked. A short 2–3-week release in my lower back and then it gets back to its normal state of pain.

At that moment I felt helpless. Only surgery could help, I was thinking.

I was still doing my morning back exercises using a mobile app called Kaia. While doing the routine I felt very uncomfortable when I got to exercises such as standing lunges (with uplifted knees). I was shaking terribly. I could only keep my balance even for 15 seconds. That was the moment I thought “What If my body is not in balance and the problem with not my lower back but my entire body.” I was already into mindfulness at that time, taking every day 10–15 minutes to meditate and balance my thoughts.

And then my mother asked me “Why don’t you try Yoga for a month and see how you feel?”

Looking for a solution, I noticed my gym has yoga classes 3 times a week. I was biased that yoga is only for girls and old people, however, the teacher practising yoga is a good looking, simple man that made you feel really good for being in his class.

I don’t know why and how, but after my first 30 minutes of yoga I didn’t feel pain in my lower back for the next 2 days. Furthermore, I felt like I have more energy and a peaceful mind.

Being unflexible sucks. It feels you will never be flexible in your life. Like a wooden stick, If you flex it, then it breaks.

I wasn’t more flexible after 1 or 2 months of yoga classes. But I didn’t feel back pain anymore.

After 3 months I stopped doing any lower-back home exercises, unsubscribed from Kaia App and fully dedicated to practising and understanding why it actually helped.

The answer to my problem

Yoga made me understand my problem. Neither was my lower-back, nor the hernia. It was everything at the same time. I had inconsistencies, unbalance and asymmetry in my lower body, middle body (core) and upper body. It hurts to realize that your body is broken and you’ve been living in these conditions for the past 2 years

However, understanding the problem is already 50% of the solution.

Photo by Hello I’m Nik 🇬🇧 on Unsplash

Today, 8 months into practising yoga I still didn’t fix everything. But I am still going. Even though I am still unflexible as a wooden stick. But oh boy. I never felt so good in my own skin, with my own body. I have a straight back. Balanced core and lower-body. I basically love my body as it is right now. My body feels like its been taken care of and it gives love back to me.

Now I am doing yoga almost every-day and I love it. It combines exercises for strengths, flexibility, breathing, and mindfulness (meditation). It’s all we need for a healthy body and mind.

About my weight. Yes, I lost weight and I am not as big as before. But now I feel much better and I don’t feel like I am missing something. I have a subscription at the gym and I don’t even go.

There is a solution for you too

If you have back pain, knee pain, problems with sleep or just a feeling that something is wrong with your body, I encourage you to try yoga for 1 month and see the difference yourself.

There is a 28-day “IGNITE” yoga challenge by breathandflow which I am currently doing. Thank you very much to BreathandFlow for sharing and spreading so much love and health around the world.

If you want to connect with me for details or questions feel free to leave a comment and I will reach out. Have a good one!