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Duelity..En Garde! November 28, 2012

Filed under: Health Hopes — Working From Bed Productions @ 2:24 am
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I have recently learned a tidbit about fencing terminology and the definition of a duel versus a fight. “In a duel, fairness is key…in a fight there is no care for fairness”; during my daily adventure with Yoga I experience both the fight and the duel. The fight comes strictly from my ego, my past and definitely my bad habits. The duel comes from my Yoga practice. I began feeling agitated awhile back, which isn’t unusual…sadly, for I felt that I needed to come to terms with the fact that if I am going to fully ‘experience’ Yoga and evolve fully into this life which I believe is the right kind of life for me, I had to first come to terms with these habits of mine, the ones still lingering about from my days as an unconscious, unhealthy person. The ‘fight’ portion of this match which I am still playing, stems specifically from my ego and the anger it spews.  Yoga has recently begun to shine its light on these habits, which need not be part of me anymore and my evolution towards the goal of optimal health.

There’s a mouthful.

My life force has been slowly and subtly awakened during these last 7~8 months. There are no words, just this lovely gentle nudge that occurs after my practice, when I am alone. I never feel judged by it, since it comes from ( in my opinion ) a place where judgment does not exist. The more my Yoga practice develops and grows, the stronger this ‘sense’ or ‘guide’ if you will, strengthens. Nothing pisses off the ego more than being challenged. Actually, the ultimate ‘pisser~off~er’ of the ego would be to challenge it with peace; this which has no desire to fight, duel possibly, but not fight.

Nutshell?

This strong healthy self that I have felt within me, which was apparent even during my years of mass depression and chronic pain ( so bad at times, that my tear ducts began to run dry) is starting to emerge. I can now feel my strength….trippy to say the least, for it doesn’t even scratch the surface of how cool it is to experience this. Like my bad habits with food ( or lack thereof) with wine (frequency) and sleep aids ( in my case Gravol ) pretty much are no longer required, though my ego jumps up and down in defiance each time I ponder giving up/adjusting these unhealthy ways.

I feel anxious about stopping, I really do.

This sense of calm, again quietly tells me, “its o.k, I don’t need to put into my body things that don’t actually help me”, for isn’t this why I started this journey in the first place, to help myself? If I was to remove the politeness here and spoke for this ‘kind sense’ which I refer to it as, it would sound a little something like this….”Stop holding on to these fucking crutches for you are no longer broken, you are healing and able to count on yourself, for real!”

The rocks crumble beneath my feet and free fall down to the deep canyon below; I feel as I had typed these words earlier, a different kind of ‘sense’. I feel like I am on the edge of this cliff, my stomach in knots, my ego screaming, “TURN AROUND AND RUN AS FAST AS YOU CAN, THAT-A-WAY!”. 

Ahh fudge ( my new word for fuck….see I’m trying)

If there is one thing I have learned since doing Yoga, it is this: patience and the phrase ‘all in due time’ definitely springs forth the answers and the readiness to move on to the next level, so with this I remind myself and trust it is so. I live each day, being a mother to my children and multiple animals, a wife and friend at night, when I speak with my far far away spouse, and try oh so hard to apply all that I am learning, so it is worth it not just to myself but to those who count on me. A ‘biggie’ for me has been the fact that I never ever feel guilty about doing what I am doing for myself, which is the saddest of sad commentaries concerning any parent out there trying their best, while still feeling bad about entertaining such an idear. While I do practice what I write concerning the patience part, I also believe in being pro-active. Food is a biggie for me and something I very much want to learn, for the first time about, all the while doing so with my ever-so-fantastic Yoga practicing daughter. Can you, any adult reading this, imagine if you began practicing Yoga and learning about food in a way which views as medicinal, all at the ripe ol’ age of 11? I will speak for myself only here and say this, I would not be me as I am now but the me I’m working towards becoming, that’s for dang sure. 

Blessed am I to have a very knowledgable neighbor who I not only love dearly but who also is an experienced chef and educator on Ayurvedic food and cooking. The challenge here is to create a ‘menu’ which will incorporate foods that adhere to my daughter and my dosha’s as well as being practical, both financially and …. well basically food and recipes that I can cook! Meditation, specifically breathing techniques Pranayama are what I feel will round out this ‘optimal health plan’ of mine.

I accept the dueling and fighting that exists at this very moment and most days with me, and will continue to lug it along until such time as it is tired and I am no longer afraid of living without it.

Namaste

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Icebergs etc.. November 7, 2012

Filed under: Health Hopes — Working From Bed Productions @ 4:58 am
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Learning the Ashtanga Primary Series, step by step is tough. I’m sure it’s tough for anybody starting, but what has always been intriguing to me are all the hidden challenges that arise. I honestly don’t know how other’s journeys have been and if they have encountered similar struggles? Like any new experience, there tends to be a level of loneliness and in my case this is very true. One of the reasons I believe this practice was suggested to me, was in part because of my expressive desire to evolve into areas concerning my self-identity. Yes, I began daily Yoga to help heal my body from years of  taking harmful pain meds, as well as to get stronger, with the hopes of ‘evicting’ these diseases out of my body once and for all, but like so many times what I thought I was seeking soon began to look like just the tip of the iceberg; In my case as time progresses, this is really turning out to be one “Mutha’ of an iceberg.

This Mysore practice enticed me based upon what I believe to be a crucial ingredient in one’s life, and that is discipline. I feel so strongly that the greater one’s discipline is, the less struggles one has with many of life’s battles; Food, alcohol,money, relationships, parenting, exercise, drugs (prescribed & other), the list goes on and on. I’ve taken a moment and daydreamed on what my life would ‘look and feel’ like if I were a sound disciplined person.  In a word, peaceful  with a spunky tinge of  happiness thrown in for good measure. I am tough on myself, no doubt about this, and at times too tough which I know is pointless. You see I was made ( I can say ‘made,’ for it began when I was a child, when I didn’t know I had a choice on whether I could allow them to ‘make me feel bad’ or not), to turn my head down and feel I was not ‘enough’. Imprinting is a bitch lemme tell ya, something that is so terribly hard in my experience thus far to shake or dismantle, which is what I am trying to do here. I have tried to teach my children about  the dangers of “emotional lasagna”, that what we layer our inerds with over time,  if done with much negativity, will render them a messy life. I am in essence trying to go through myself layer by layer and confront the myths and TRUTHS about who I am. All of THIS is occurring as I venture forward in my practice. Man oh man who would’ve thunk it? Not me, that’s for sure.

I am attracted to the idea and challenge of building on a discipline that is physically difficult, but one that provides beyond what I have ever experienced from anything else. This is a much more inexpensive way to receive therapy. Ultimately don’t we want to heal ourselves, for who knows us better? I no longer feel saddened when I hear the phrase ” We are born alone, live alone and die alone”. When I feel I have uncovered something new and promising about myself during these times, I feel nothing close to loneliness; It is only when I am feeling despondent and ‘away’ from myself, usually after struggling to get through a practice, that I walk back out into the cold with feelings of defeat. Thing with me tho, I always seem to rise back up again, thank goodness.

How, one may question, does all this emotional luggage find its way into the  practice of Yoga? When I am having challenging days, which honestly is presently most of the time, I try without trying too hard ( the key  ), to focus on faith…. in myself, BUT while doing so emotions tend to arise, which challenges this lovely and calm notion. Within this muck, the past sneaks in and feelings of unworthiness and guilt, just to name a few begin to debate this truth,  that I am  (we all are btw) worthy of peace and of living a life free of pain and illness. I suppose these little ‘fuckers’ ( appreciating I could find a more appropriate word, but honestly this one seems to fit the bill), don’t want to be challenged, but by doing so anyways, they begin to rise up. I feel this intensity when I am doing my morning practice,taunted sometimes, while the litres of perspiration pours down my face, and  ‘how tiring and tough it is, how I don’t really have to do this, do I? 

“Let it go, let it go, keep saying  this until it is no longer an angry demand but a calm one”, THIS, my ‘sister self’ advises. So you can see  for me, confrontation with “all that has always being”, versus that which is really “my truth” creates one intense Yoga practice. By challenging these old aspects of myself that became the ‘norm’ a long time ago and letting them go, leaves me spent some days…..like today.

Keeping it light, “happy happy” as my Yoga teacher says, which tends to irritates me, especially when I am being ruled by that which is more prominent ( and past ‘worthy’) on certain days; regardless, I try to keep the original intent of calm, as my main goal.  As far as progression is concerned I know I have done so, for I am AWARE as to why I am feeling irritated. As long as I am needing to officially ‘put to bed’ all these ‘backdoor beasts’, then I know there is still much work to do. I have quite a large set of matching  luggage yet to open. It is what it is. What matters more than anything else,  is the acknowledgement that ‘they’ exist and the belief that I can, one by one, open them up and get rid of what no longer ‘fits’.

 I use certain words a lot, like ‘foundation’ because I have this repeated visual of digging deep and shoveling up and out a tremendous amount of bullshit and untruths, and replacing them all with, I don’t know, something better, less foreign. My parents, Bless them btw, for I sooooo understand now the level of difficulty in parenting 2 children, let alone 6!,  literally ‘transferred’ their fears and faults onto me and my other siblings, during times when our naiveté and trust were at their highest. I can honestly say 85% of the decisions I have made in my life were done from this ‘inner local of unworthiness’. I’m not talking about good decisions btw, only the ones that have hurt myself and those who I love.

Having said this, I do truly focus more upon the fact that I am doing something about it, then feeling bad about what was, even if this concerns the way I handled the fight this a.m with my son and daughter. It really hit me today as I was trying to remember new poses,  that there is going to be much ‘shoveling going down’ for many days, weeks, possibly years. If I had my druthers, I’d prefer this existence than that of avoidance and the risk of living a life of  regret, knowing I could have tried and chose not to~

Namaste

 

Where ‘Its’ At November 4, 2012

Filed under: Health Hopes,Nutrition,Parenting — Working From Bed Productions @ 12:25 am
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This day began in a magical way, not shocking that my Yoga practice this early morn was the culprit. Quite aways back,  I was experimenting with a variety of classes at Yoga Public, where I do my daily practice. TRX is not Yoga, but a type of workout done by doing exercises using one’s own body weight.  By holding onto ‘handles’ attached to straps, which continue upwards to the ceiling, where they are…attached, provides a major cardio workout.  I had pretty much a horrid experience doing this, in part at the time because unlike the other studios, this one has mirrors…..and a countdown clock, both of which provide, in my opinion much distraction. The level of strength and stamina involved in actually ‘enjoying’ this class was something I fully had no business in thinking I had, at least this particular kind of strength and stamina ( yup there’d be a difference).  

Whenever it comes up these days I promote Yoga. No, I’m not that obnoxious person that goes on and on, shoving’ it down people’s throats….unless they ask. So my good friend’s 13 yr. old daughter, who plays hockey, asked if I could take her to some Yoga classes, “Ah Yaa….., of course!” We went to Hot Yin last Sunday which she enjoyed, as did I in spite of the class being packed, and my long limbs actually bonking someone on the chin! Yes, this actually happened, thankfully Yoga people are the forgiving types:) This past week my teen friend texted to say she had one evening off and if we could go to a class.  Well guess which was the only one available? Yup, TRX.

O.k, alright I thought, I can do this, no problemo. It’s been months since my ‘last dance’ with TRX, Lord knows I’m stronger, wiser, heck I think I could even lead the damn class! No, not really, but you see where I was going here. I felt enthused, ready to see ‘how far I’ve come’.  Having already done my practice this morning, plus cleaning  a client’s house  ( for child’s private school $) and then a school ( more private school $), off I went with my daughter and teen friend in tow to TRX. In order to get to class on time, I needed to speed clean the school, which ended with  me in a full-out sweat, plus making the quickest pasta dinner in history, all the while eating it in the car ( done 1.25 hrs. prior to our workout:)  Do as I say not as I do, I instructed the young lassies in the back seat.   We were a tad late,  so when we walked into the studio everyone looked at us like they’d be waiting, oops~sorry.  Arlen our instructor who’s beyond lovely btw, pointed me towards ‘my spot’….AT THE VERY FRONT…WHERE THE MIRRORS AND COUNTDOWN CLOCK ARE!  I took one quick look at him, then myself in the mirror and thought…”oh shit”. Right then, right there,  I sensed TRX was a bad idea; too late, the music started and the class began. 

I’ll save you the full version and skip to the highlights, bullet style.

  • 5 minutes in, I looked at my teen friend telling her THIS here, what I’m doing  beside you, ya this should be noted as an act of genuine love, for I would do this for very few! 
  • 15 minutes in,  we are instructed to lower down to the ground on one foot then  pull ourselves up and hop upright as high as possible 10x……I throw Arlen a are you fucking crazy look? He laughs!
  • 25 minutes in, first break. I ‘walk’ to my water bottle while catching my daughter’s encouraging smile ( while she watched from the smart side of the sliding glass door ) I mouthed an obscenity, similar to “Holy Cow”. 
  • 36 minutes in, hands throbbing ( did I mention I also have severe eczema on my hands at times? this day, was one of those times). I literally saw the cracks starting to bleed and showed them to Arlen. I excused myself and went to the bathroom. I stared at my beyond red face and instructed myself, ‘Rocky style’, to “get back out there”.
  • 45 minutes….done and done…OMG!

I knew at probably the ten minute mark that this was not a good idea, but honestly not for the reasons I thought at the time. When I had left the TRX studio, I did feel a sense of failure and questioned, “Wow, have I actually been fooling myself into thinking I was in better shape?” I’ve since learned the phrase ‘in shape’ means different things to different people. Off I went, back home and not long after straight into bed.  My teen friend LOVED it btw and now wants to bring her entire hockey team for their ‘dry land workout’. “Bless you my child, go for it!”. TRX is a really good workout for certain people for sure, I just now know, some 26 hours later,  it’s OFFICIALLY not for me.

Today I awoke in some kind of pain, good God. Most know the pain in which I speak of, the kind where it hurts to walk up, down, side-ways any which way on stairs; heck even pressing down on the gas pedal hurt. Regardless, off we went at 7am, my daughter and I to do our practice. Walking into the building we were greeted by two of our Yoga teachers. “I made a bad decision last night”, I stated and went on to describe what I did and how I was  hurting something fierce. My Ashtanga teacher, shook his head and stated firmly how this was NOT good, for my body and for what I am trying to accomplish,  eg. healing myself from R. A etc…I acknowledged and dutifully carried on to the change room, knowing I was shortly about to pay the price, another one anyways, for my ‘mis-step’ the night earlier…..or so I thought.  It was ridiculous, it really was as I began.  I kept getting flashes of the Tin Man after having just been ‘oiled up’, though the main difference here….he felt mobile after a bit, I on the other hand  seriously questioned, for real, if I could actually stand upright for very long.  To sweeten the pot, the day earlier I was given new poses, now bringing more time and intensity ( lovely intensity I might add ) to my practice. Just to give you a good visual example here, I am to stand on one leg,  while the other one is up and parallel to the floor, all the while holding on to my big toe (  the parallel leg) and breathing for 5 Yoga breaths, which for those who don’t know the difference, is pretty much 2 seconds longer to the average 1. This among others, left me very unfocused. Unfocused=bad practice. I walked out to blow my nose and spoke to the teacher’s assistant Lori, who is a great. She said, “you know what, don’t worry just breathe and do your best, if you need to leave that’s o.k. Also, don’t go fully into the poses, just ease in”. 

Back I went and literally within a few moments ‘found’ my legs,  ceasing any pain or discomfort from my thoughts. I went through the practice, finished and while laying down to take my shivasana, I thought, “holy shit I actually just ‘surpassed’ this very uncomfortable pain purely by focusing elsewhere”. What I honestly find mind-blowing is the subtly of these ‘shifts’ when they occur. I am, if anyone who reads this blog doesn’t already know,  not exactly a chilled out, zen kind-of-gal. Actually I think that if all the single parenting, sickness and money problems were taken away, I’d probably be a pretty chilled out cat…

Clarity came to me after my practice concerning where I really am, in reference to my present physical state. I feel it actually was good to have done TRX, because it helped me realize that I don’t need to prove anything to anyone at any point, especially to myself about where I’m at; I needn’t be more than what I currently am, period. Again, right here, right now, THIS is all that matters.  Removing this pressure, much of which stems from a long history of trying to please and step up to parental expectations, created much-needed space in the place where current daily ‘housekeeping’ occurs.  Why would I go and do, in this case a physical act, that caused me such uncomfortableness? My Ashtanga practice has given me so much, never leaving me with anything but positivity and new lessons learned. I’ve taken this and applied it to my logical side. I’ve also thought about the other choices I have made in my life, that have provided me only with pain or sadness. Why, do we choose to enter into anything that may not be good for us? Many a time we know better, yet go ahead to show ourselves or someone else what we’re made of; in these cases, I’ll speak for myself here, it shows only a lack of remembering who I actually am.  Sometimes we need a reminder; this experience was just that for me, which I am thankful for.

When I finished this ‘magical’ practice, I gave deep kudos to this remarkable body of mine. Considering what it has endured and continues to endure with this disease, only to come through when I need it to, reminds me it is so much more important to know what it is I can do, versus what I cannot.

THIS is where it’s at.

Namaste