When All Else Fails....a toolbox for self help! Saguaro Clinic has been hosting mini seminars on a variety of different topics around wellness techniques. This is the topic I chose. As I try to better understand the journey to a better sense of wellness for myself. Many times I see myself reflected in my clients and students. I have observed my own journey to changing my relationship to my own being. Pain and my previous health issues used to be my defining mechanism. I was a reflection of cancer, allergic reactions to insects and medications,and the injuries that I sustained. I am not my aliments nor the machines that I own. Oh by the way this is yoga.
How do you greet your pain? Is it a source of knowledge? Is it something to always be avoided? Can pain be used to change your way of life? Do you listen to your body or do you ignore the signals being presented to you? When you experience fatigue do you ignore it? Someone asked me why they didn't hear the body say enough for right now? So let's call it ego. You've been sick for the past several days or weeks and today you have a little more get up and go! You have a long list of things to get done. As you work around the house, do you ignore the fatigue and just keep pushing to get jobs done. So guess what, you ignored the body communication on how you were doing. And then there was pain, stiffness and maybe even anger!
Do you know the many different
Friday has become one of my favorite days. I really enjoy my 8:15am class at Lohse YMCA. I so appreciate the group of people who show up each week for my class. They are just wonderful. It is very rewarding for me to see the changes in all of them. Getting over the hump in life's road can be hard, as I well know. I'm the first to say, it doesn't happen over night,but it can happen.
When injured, you never know how long recovery might take. I wanted my aches and pains to go away quickly with my first broken foot. That didn't happen and with the healing process, I became more and more protective of my injured limb. I soon discovered that the broken foot came with a sore knee and an especially sore hip. It was also accompanied with with fatigue and frustration. First a chip fracture from stepping in a covered hole,followed by another fracture simply caused by walking 4 weeks later. How do you heal a broken spirit?
My next major injury as taken years to begin to balance my strength throughout my body. The things I can do today have taken a lot of practice, patience and a general refusal to give up. Okay, so now you know how stubborn I am. The more I teach, the more I look for the language to bring awareness back into the body. When I was in PT, I was so frustrated at not being able to do the simplest exercises that I was given. The harder I tried, the worse I felt. I felt a failure around my recuperation from my injury. What was wrong with me? Nothing! What was wrong was not understanding the nature of my injuries fully.
I turned to yoga to rehab my foot,leg,hip and back. I also was blessed to become strong enough to able to practice massage therapy again. My focus in massage was directed by my own healing process. I had a lower leg that could not stand touch. I had a hip that ached very day and could keep my up half the night. Bringing the gentleness of visceral massage combined with good palpation skills, the gentle focus of yogic movement and breath and my massage therapist being willing to follow my directions; change happens.
Through the instruction of Gary Kraftsow, Mirka Kraftsow,Claire and the rest of AVI's training staff, I have continued to learn the precious gems of yoga. Yoga is not a exercise work out. Learn dharana, which is focus or concentration. Embrace the eight limbs of yoga. Respect Ahimsa, non violence to all living things which starts with you and how you treat yourself. Learn the fine line between babying an injury and getting an injury to heal through proper use of the body. If you physically can't do something then think about and imagine doing it first before attempting something new.
This week in talking with one of my clients about my work with clients, he raised a interesting point of view. I lent him one of my self help books, because I wanted him to understand the issues around his posture and how that effected his stiffness in his upper back and neck. He told that he felt a responsibility to take ownership of his illness. So both he and his wife would get on line to research the information that his doctors had told him. To improve his health, he wanted to be an active participant and not simply following what was told to him.
I have been seeing him for pain issues from a surgery that he had had 2 years ago. I come from the frame of mind that the more you know about the way the body works, the greater possibility you have of getting the desired results. If you are having issues in your treatment, then speak up. Ask questions. No question is silly. If you have been seen by a PT, do you understand what your homework is? If you aren't making the progress that you were expecting find out what may be affecting the progress. But, what works for one person may not work for you.
Healing is also a state of mind. The more pain you are experiencing the more depressed you will become. The vicious circle is now in an active mode. As the pain begins to recede so does the depression. Nothing about us is simple. We are not machines with replaceable parts. Healing does take patience.