Yoga~Me~Healthy

One Ballsey Gal.com site

In Search of……Me { 86 Days In } May 27, 2012

Filed under: Health Hopes — Working From Bed Productions @ 5:00 pm

May 17 1:30 Hot Yin~May 18 10am Hot Yin~May 19 230 Intro to wall~May 20 3:00 Hot Yin~May 21 10am Hot Yin~May 22 8:30 Hot Yin~May 23 Mysore/8:30 Hot Yin~May 24 9am Mysore/1:30 Hot Yin~May 25 9am Mysore/11:45 KYMA~May 26 3:00pm Hot Yin~May 27 2:30 On the Wall ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Evidently, my the RA has decided that it missed wreaking havoc and has nestled back, full-time, into my body. It also seems that the massive mind f&%k that tags along with, has missed it’s ol’ stompin’ grounds. What I’m really trying to say here, is that I have been experiencing a very painful bout for close to ten days now….and with it, a pretty grand funk. I’m not at the point of understanding why this is happening. Once again, I believed I was beating it. Truth be told I don’t think I’ve ever had a right to put this kind of expectation on this ‘war’ of mine. The only plan has been to keep working, day in and day out, on my body with the help of Yoga.

Some strange off-shoots have occurred, ones I never saw coming, like dealing with positive body changes, for instance. One may say, “how is your body changing in a positive way a problem?”. Well for one, I’ve become more self-conscious, which I don’t like….at all. Before, I just accepted that I looked how I looked and rarely put much effort into concerning myself about it. Now it’s kind of become something else that is distracting? Don’t know honestly.  The bloated tummy feeling has returned, which in the past was the norm. In this instance, a stress occurs, for I’ve now experienced an ‘alternative’ to the bloated tummy. I actually never knew this feeling was ‘bloated’, until I wasn’t anymore thanks to the ten-day cleanse I did. 

I have been struggling also, to recapture the joy and goodness of eating well, and have slipped back into bad habits, which for me is not eating enough. It has occurred to me that food, what I eat specifically, has some very direct link to the RA. Again, one may think …duh! But appreciate,   I’ve being used to feeling a certain way for so long, that seemingly obvious points or facts, never appear obviously apparent….though they are starting to, in bits. I’ve had this crap for nearly ten years, so it’s probably going to take a while before I can really, ‘lick it’.

I’ve hit a mental wall, not only with my health, but also with my Yoga practice. My mind just can’t seem to focus, and despite 86 days in, I haven’t improved in this area. The idea of going inwards, with the breath and the gaze, in order to calm all that is roaring within and without, is what really drew me to Yoga. Having said this, I don’t dismiss all the physical practice that I have put in, for it has shown me what I am capable of, and for this I am forever grateful. My youth, with all the sports that I did for many years, in some respects, has been awaken…..quite cool.  

My instinct has been strong lately towards something new: 

The struggles I have been experiencing with my mind and creeping depression, landed me in a few conversations lately, with some of my teachers. Serge, in particular, suggested that I try a ‘new’ practice to the YP studio, called MySore. Sounds like something I could relate to:) Here’s a link:

http://www.winnipegyogashala.ca/winnipegashtangayoga-mysore.html

This class is offered from 6am to 10 Monday-Friday, with Saturdays as a rest day. There are also no practices on New and Full Moons.  I was attracted to this initially for its structure. A teacher is present to adjust and show sequences, but ultimately its ‘Your’ practice. I love my group classes and the ease with following a teacher, but I knew I needed to be challenged in a different way, one that would face me, with me. If I haven’t already mentioned this before, these illnesses I have gathered throughout the years are ones based on much trauma experienced. My nervous system is short circuited in ways that can only be ‘fixed’ my me, and not by pain pills, booze, food etc..this I now know officially.

There are elements of exclusiveness in this world of Ashtanga and MySore, which doesn’t interest me. I am not looking to ‘join’ anything, other than maybe with my badass, authentic self. Yes I believe, and always have, that within all of us is that unique individual, like no other, who was created for a purpose. Most humans, by the time they reach adulthood, have much ‘stuff’, which lays heavily upon their unique selves. We live, and react not upon who we really are, but on what has been done to us, whether by individual(s) or by life, or both. It’s like we’ know better’, yet can’t figure out how to access this wisdom. I have this ever heavy ‘brick’ that sits like an elephant on my unique self, never allowing its  full expression. I am teased with ‘snippets’ of my kick ass self, but not enough to create a world for my family that would leave me in peace.  The only self I know is this present one, who struggles something fierce just to exist each day.  This coupled with constant pain, has landed me many a time in depression-ville.  MySore, I am interested to see, may be in part what I need, in order to help with the removal of all this waste and mucky muck.  

I will write more about my experience with MySore, as I enter into my first full week, starting tomorrow. 

Namaste

 

 

Storm Trooper { 76 Days In } May 18, 2012

Filed under: Health Hopes — Working From Bed Productions @ 1:25 am

May 6 Intro to wall, 7th hot yin, 8th hot flow*, 9th Hot Yin, 10th Hot Yin, 11th Hot Yin & KYMA, 12th Hot Yin, 13th Hot Yin, 14th Hot Flow, 15th Warm Ashtanga, 16th Hot flow

So whataya know, seems I’m not invincible after all;) I type this entry, in part, from bed today, with swollen knees and elbows…..and wrists. Not too worry Yoga, it’s not your fault, it’s yours Rheuma…whatever your name is. 90% of my Yoga journey has been experienced,  based on pure, unwavering, instinct. When I began 76 days ago, it felt right to do Hot Yin, for my body had being in, what felt like, cemented knots for close to a decade. The idea of heat and long-held stretching, felt like the right way to start to unwind this pretzel body of mine. The restorative classes (Physio-Logic~highly recommend btw), also inspired my body to open-up and ‘trust’. It seemed, around 4 weeks ago, that I was ready to move on….. to the next level. See, I am through and through a ‘systems’ gal. My mind works this way; Everything has a beginning, middle and end,  a straightforward march…right?

So with this mindset,  I slowly began moving onto the ‘next wave’ of classes. ‘On the wall’ was my first, then the ass-kicking TRX, which isn’t Yoga, yet an experience I wanted to have….and experience I did, lemme tell ya.  After a few weeks, I felt ready to try the Flow, Ashtanga classes. This is where stuff got tricky. Right off the hop, my logic began to show signs that it was in fact, flawed. I thought that I needed to do a few weeks of TRX in order to prepare myself for the ‘flow’ classes ( when I refer to flow, I mean non passive type Yoga, the kind that has one moving constantly, getting the old heart rate up). I learned that I was actually doing this back-asswards, sort of.  First off, there is no ‘right way’..per se of doing all of this, tho pretty sure there’s a wrong way…and I think I found it:)

I thought the flow classes were harder than TRX. Oh contraire. Regardless, after a few ass whippings at TRX, I tried ‘Hot Flow’. It was hard, as I’ve mentioned, but I got through it. Like anything new and hard, I was very aware that the more I did it, the better I would become.  For me, I’ve seen Yoga practice as a bit of a hill climber, and once the ‘summit’ was reached, I feel/felt that I could stay and practice, while enjoying the ‘view’.

This is still the goal, though not sure 100% if this is how it will all pan out. 

I went into the May 8th Hot flow class confident. I had done one or two before and gotten thru. My goal now, was to better my postures, connect my breath to the poses as I do them, all while building up my stamina. See I wanted to experience what I did in Yin.

At one point, after weeks and weeks of doing Hot Yin, I had a break-thru. I was able to reach goals within the class, that made the whole 60-75 minutes feel like a fun and exhilarating ‘trip’, not a ‘holy sheep dip, this is hard’ type-venture’. I worked diligently, and it paid off.

Good! Done and done!

Except then my mind began to get lazy. I started just going thru the motions. I could hear my ego casually saying, “been here, done this”, but then words of wisdom from Bonnie, my meditation teacher came to me; “Enter each class with a beginners mind”. Great advice, and one I implemented immediately.

This is what I wanted/want with these other classes, to experience the joy of the practice. I’ve made peace with the reality of what one has to go thru in order to achieve any state of nirvana. Trust me, the trip is unbelievably worth it. Pardon the following analogy, but it’s true:

Finding one’s groove in Yoga, is like finally finding the right kind of lover, and if you’re of a similar mind-set, it’s very much worth the wait ( a ‘shout out’ to my ever awesome husband of 14 years:)

Sometime after the May 8th class, my neck began to feel sore, so I resigned myself to doing Hot Yin only.  A few days later, on Monday (14th), I decided to tackle Hot Flow again. Initially it was harder, but my neck was feeling good, so into it I went. The next day I thought “hey, let’s be all crazy and such and try Ashtanga”. My plan was to actually go to a Neck and Shoulder Physio-Logic class, PRIOR to doing anything new, but drama on the home front, prevented this, so there I was in my first Ashtanga class.

Note: Due to the ‘family teenage son, continual drama’ I grabbed the wrong bag and arrived late, with no Yoga clothes, Sweet Jaysus! The staff at YP, graciously provided me with a t-shirt; This with my cotton-roll up pants was my attire for THIS, my FIRST Ashtanga class. 

So….with my improper get-up ( Yes, it makes a HUGE difference what one wears to Yoga, not brand wise, it just needs to be breathable especially for this ‘sveater’ of a gal) there I was, off to A.land.  To say this style of Yoga isn’t challenging, would be like saying having a teenage son is a ‘walk in the park’. I was sooooo tempted to whip my borrowed  t-shirt off, including the bra(mine), which was glued to my drenched body and just go ‘au natural’, but…..I didn’t, lucky neighbors. Despite it all, I finished and did my very best, which considering my insane discomfort, was admirable. I really enjoyed the instructional, repetition of Ashtanga, I really did, it seemed to speak to the nerd in me.

That evening I began to feel sore, really sore. When I have felt sore during these last few months, it was mostly from the ‘good ol’ variety’. My usual sore is that of the illnesses, so THIS kind of sore, was a welcoming kind. The next day though, I felt like kicking this pain to the curb, no longer feeling so ‘welcoming’ to it. I recall  the beginnings of anger brewing deep within, an automatic occurence with me when I’m feeling a bout approaching.

On some level, I began to think, I’m just too f*%king old, have I maybe been kidding myself this whole time? Can a woman of 40ishness, with all this immune disease crap, really be able to do this?   Dunno, but I sure as shit am gonna keep trying….So with that, I booked myself into a Hot Flow class. I smiled to all I encountered as I entered YP, putting on a brave face, engaging my mounting pain- which stopped feeling like the good ol’ workout pain, and began feeling like the ‘Mutha-friggin, arthritis bout kind-of pain’…officially.  Regardless, I continued into class, my ego in full bloom. Can’t recall who exactly I was fighting, the pain, my ego or both?

!FYI

The heat is great and has helped me on so many fronts like:

~releasing emotions~toxins~major skin care booster~ 

Just to name a few

One aspect to be wary of, for me, is not knowing when I have gone ‘too far’. I don’t feel it as I am doing it, though I can and have, afterwards.  

As of last night, I was experiencing a full-blown ’bout’ ( my term for when my RA decides to take a painful march throughout my entire body). I didn’t sleep all night, due to much anger at myself for allowing my ego to win, and to all the pain. Because I no longer take pain meds, I suffered something fierce, and tried everything to distract my mind, including shouting obscenities at the ‘Kardashians‘ ( trust me, that’s all that was on @3am).

I awoke’ early and with that, my sweet pea of a daughter took over, and did what needed doing, including turning back on the heating pad/ freezing ice packs for my ‘wow-es knees’,  bringing her Mama h2o and freshly brewed coffee…..Bless her. Knowing my triggers all too well, I knew I had to get up and begin moving about.

I went to, what I like to refer to as My Hot Narda Thursday Yin class‘. I call it this because a) my teacher is über beautiful, both inside and out, and b) her teaching style is one of gentleness and open-mindedness, lots of ‘esses’:) It wasn’t an ‘easy’ class, never is if I’m having a bout, but it helped, even if only a wee bit.

I’m o.k-ish, some 5 hours later, and having reflected on what went ‘wrong’ with my Yoga ‘system’ plan of attack, I realize that this ‘trip’ I’m on is one that will take me not always straight up the mountain side, but into valley’s and dare I say ravines. Within these times of ‘discontent and confusion’, I learn much, and with this adjust accordingly.

My ‘monkey mind’ needs taming, my language needs to soften (no more referencing thoughts of ‘attack and war’), and in doing so, my prayer for myself is to wise up and proceed with a better sense of calm, and love for this ‘trooper’ body of mine.

Namaste

 

Severing The Ties That…Bind {72 Days} May 14, 2012

Filed under: Health Hopes,Parenting — Working From Bed Productions @ 4:23 am

This isn’t a blog about what Yoga I have done during the last few days, though I have done 8 days of classes since my last entry…..just saying:) It’s always fascinating to me when unexpected things happen, ‘off-shoots’ if you will, of reactions, based on choices made. I mentioned at the beginning of Yoga~Me~Healthy, that I was doing this challenge, in part for my children; They have very little memory of me healthy, vibrant….happy. Children take ‘things’ for what they are and what they see, period.  A memory came to me from a few years ago, of my daughter’s face when she wanted to hug me, and my husband having to explain to her that “Mommy’s body is very sore and that it would hurt if I was ‘squeezed’. I remember so vividly the expression on her face….One of confusion and disappointment; With great determination, I began to sit up, and despite my hips screaming with pain, I pulled my sweet pea towards me, squeezing her somethin’ fierce. The nurturing effects did not distinguish the pain, but trumped it in ways that were impossible to beat. 

It’s a memory like this, and countless others unfortunately, that have lived in my sub-conscious all these years, and were part of what initially nudged me forward into Yoga; Keeping my focus on this day, no longer looking back. 

Unlike this memory, a contrary one occurred just the other day. “I was thinking Mommy,” my daughter stated, “I can’t remember the last time you were sick?”……….ahhhhhh joy, heaven-sent, this I felt when these words from her sweet little lips travelled to my ever grateful ears. Up until a few months back, I thought only of giving all that I had and could to my children, which truthfully never ever felt like enough. This is what I saw my Mother do, so it must have been right…right?

Actually hang on a sec, didn’t she die young, alcoholic and filled with cancer?

What I work hard on now, is letting go of myths, putting DNA in its appropriate place, and remembering first and foremost, what all Mother’s need to believe; We need to look and care as much for ourselves as we do for others. Painful and awkward to even type these words, but terribly important none the less, for by not doing so, many of us indirectly ( and directly, especially during lesser than grand times ), perpetuate the continuation of making our children believe, that they are not AS important as someone else. Where this martyring, whether conscious or subconscious condition ever started, I’ll never know. It isn’t even about  just us being parents. Learning early on, to disregard ourselves for the sake of others, creates a very dangerous and slippery slope. I see it now, in a very non emotional logical way, with every decision I make, each and every day. I do what I need to do to keep myself in the best physical and mental shape possible, THEN I tend to those in my world, in this ORDER. 

REvoLutionAry For this WoMoM, lemma tell ya

My daughter came to Hot Yin with me today for Mother’s Day. She didn’t stay for the whole class ( “Jeez Mommy it’s kinda hot”), but she tried and did her best…for HerSELF. Before she slipped out, I turned my gaze over at her, amidst the multiple bodies surrounding us in this dimly lit room, and looked at our interlaced pinkies. I felt my beautiful Mother Mary, grinning from ear to ear at us; Her daughter and granddaughter doing it for themselves.

Happy Mother’s Day Mom

Namaste

 

Foundation Buildiing { 64 Days In } May 5, 2012

~April 28th TRX 2pm/Hot Yin 3pm~April 29th Hot Yin 3pm~April 30th Hot Yin 10am/Meditation 11:45am~ May 1st Thai Massage/Yoga 10am * Ar0mansse~May 2nd *Hot Flow 12noon~May 3rd Hot Yin 1:30pm~May 4th Hot Flow 12noon~May 5th TRX 2:00pm/Hot Yin 3:00pm~

Probably the only thing not exhausting me these days is Yoga, that’s the good great news. The bad news is one of my children, is in crisis. My world inside the Yoga studio strongly sustains my outer one, THIS, is no word of a lie. Not unlike all who are important to me, Yoga is now officially part of my family; It gave birth to me, not the other way round. I come to it daily to exercise all my demons, cry out all my hurt and pain, and rejoice the fact, that I AM DOING YOGA EVERYDAY!

These days I dedicate my practice to my son, who is suffering something fierce, aswell as to my other child, who is being deeply effected by all this drama, chaos and uncertainty. One conscious staple that never changes, is the thanks I give this body of mine, for never giving up, and continually being brave alongside me.  I have felt renewed and better able to deal with, what I knew I was going to have to face, during each moment, hour and minute of this current family crisis. Having said that, we all have choices and I could have avoided it all, rationalizing etc..

Thankfully, that ain’t who I am no more

There was newness to my practices this week. For one, I experienced Thai Massage for the very first time. Serge, the wonderful Frenchman, who I want to marry in my next life btw, provided me with an amazing experience. Because my eyes were closed for the majority of the session, I wasn’t aware of what it ‘looked like’; I was told only to breath and calm my ‘monkey mind’. In a nutshell, different energy points in the body are ‘opened’. The practitioner stretches out all areas of the body with their body strength, and with the help of the recipient. It is very much a ‘team effort’, for one must relax and breath; With all the different areas being worked on, the flow of energy will come to be unlocked . Serge and I spoke afterwards about many things, but one particular lesson stood out for me. When I had checked the time after we had finished, I realized I needed to quickly get going, because this day, ( May 1st) was my 60th day of doing consecutive yoga. My car died, and not to be resurrected anytime soon. These days I’m a walking/bussing girl, and needed to figure out how to get to my class at YP in 30minutes. Serge looked at me and said “You’ve done your Yoga for today”. “No, no I replied, I have to go to class, THEN I’ll have done my practice for the day”. He explained:  Yoga is not just about doing only the physical practice, as most of us understand it; It can and is found in everyday life, doing everyday things…..even folding laundry.

Huh, who knew?

This day, I came and worked with this wonderful teacher, by helping my body and mind  open and settle ( not so good at doing this with my monkey mind yet, but i’m working on it). He instructed me to then walk and find a forest, and be quiet for one hour. I was unable to do this, in part because a) I didn’t know where a forest was in this part of town, and b) I needed to tend to my son. Many of us look for balance in our lives, and despite not achieving possibly the ‘ideal’ situation, all we can do is our best. First and foremost I came and gave myself this time, “now I thought, I need to give to my child”. The beautiful thing was the way in which I was able to navigate thru a very trying experience afterwards, one in which I know is far from over. The peace I felt within, due to the Thai Massage and this blessed man, was amazing, and lasted for days. I highly recommend to everyone to go and experience this with the wonderful, beautiful soul named Serge Salvador.

http://www.aromansse.com/ServicesThaiMassage.php

The other news is that I have started ‘Flow’ Classes. I wasn’t sure what this was, so being prudent I went on to the Yp website and read up on it:

Yoga Public Hot Flow
“A dynamic flow class which uses breath as the primary link between the integration of body and mind. This class is an intensified cardiovascular practice that will strengthen and revitalize your body the entire class. The calories will burn away as you purify and move through each of the poses.Room temperature is approximately 35 to 38 degrees”.

Eeesh! “Well, I think I’m ready, so here goes,” I thought to myself. I don’t know why I ever bother asking “is it hard?”. I’m never lied to per se, for in time it isn’t ‘hard’, though can always be challenging. So into the first class I went, but prior to entering the studio, where I have taken many Hot Yin classes, I was advised to bring a towel. I wondered why, for I’ve been in this heat many times before? Well lemme tell ya, by 10 minutes in, I fully appreciated the reason. My GOD! My mat I could have dived into and had a nice little swim after the hour was up!

Suffice to say I did it, finished the class and was able, within reason to keep up. As soon as the lights were dimmed, near the end, off came my bra, forgot to change into my Yoga one, no one noticed, that is until I walked out of the studio with it drapped over my shoulder:) I do what I need to do, especially when exhausted. I repeated with another Hot Flow two days later, and like with anything new, it became a tad easier, not ‘easy’ just easier. 

My foundation continues to build, as does life’s hardships, but having this ever improving body, mind and spirit, prepares me for anything, and anyone thrown my way.

Namaste