Yoga~Me~Healthy

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Found It February 11, 2013

Filed under: Health Hopes — Working From Bed Productions @ 5:05 pm
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“I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart. I am, I am, I am.”  

luke-art

Recently returned from a trip to Quebec with my son. I rarely travel, though no experience is ever greater than that of a rare one. Giddy; I love everything about the word and the experience of feeling it. We were in Montreal for only a day and a half before heading south to check out a school. I was hoping to find a place to do my  Yoga practice. While owning only a “dumb” phone, I asked my son to google “Ashtanga  Montreal” on his intelligent one. “Well look at that, there’s an actual Yoga Studio called Ashtanga Montreal, that was easy”.            

The following day, after a tad too much sake, I got up and braved the frigid winds and temps ( -35) and began walking in the direction of where I believed the studio was located. After a few wrong turns and  much eye rolling from bustling busy bodies, due to my standard opening question, parle-vous anglais?”, I found it.  A very friendly lady greeted me and after a quick exchange and mat rental, there I was alone, in a large open space with a wall of huge windows, separating me and Rue de Sainte Catherine….nice.  I wasn’t sure where to place my mat, since I saw no Guru imagery anywhere. I stood for a moment and found my direction.  It felt a tad strange at first, since I am used to seeing and hearing bodies around me. Ironic considering that when I began my practice, trying to focus on anything BUT the people and noises around me was my main goal, finding myself having to re-adjust to the quiet was interesting. The good news? I began to hear my breath and nothing else.

I was able to fully focus on the breath, the movement of the asanas just came and went, they were no longer that which I had paid so much attention to; Practicing the same bits over and over gave my body the ability to do them on its own, seemingly without the aid of my mind…..uber uber cool. I finished feeling great, bid adieu to the studio and made my way down to the cafe that I spotted on my way in; “Here I will visit afterwards”, I promised myself, for a strong café latte and croissant. I bravely placed my order in french receiving minimal eye rolling from the barista. Happily I strolled back to the hotel feeling complete. Lucky lucky moi.

Namaste

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Yoga & The Art of Maintenance January 26, 2013

Filed under: Health Hopes — Working From Bed Productions @ 11:08 pm
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images-3Maaan,  it feels like I’ve been grabbed by the scruff of my neck, dragged then dropped into some form of purgatory~land, the place where my consciousness no longer wants me to live… on a permanent basis that is. Consciousness is a peaceful state, but can have a short~fuse, especially for those like me who tend to take ‘the long way home’. This magical path of Ashtanga Yoga continues to strengthen my spirit even when I’m ‘off’; A twinkling sensation exists,  never allowing me to stray for too long; May sound like tres fromage, but I cannot tell a lie, this shit is dope.

 I was able to return to my practice, adapting certain poses as it pertained to my shoulder ‘situation’. Over time I have been able to do the practice as I had done before, though I still adjust and adapt if I feel the need. I’ve spoken to enough experienced Ashtanga students to know that our bodies need to be listened to and its ok, everybody runs into the wall here and there. The key… just don’t stop your practice, don’t give up, adapt and move on. Due to being über sensitive to my body and the pain I’ve had to deal with over the years, when any new ‘blips’ occur along the way, I  initially zip back to paranoid land. This is the place where the fear~based questions begin to form and my stress engines start revving.  I am ‘it’, concerning the care of my children, house, pets etc.. My husband always says the reason he never gets sick is because he can’t, it also helps that he works alone in a truck for weeks on end, never privy to the lovely germs children tend to bring home. Funny, I have the same philosophy yet I ALWAYS seem to experience the opposite. I have the pleasure of  figuring out how to make it all work, regardless…..

I’ve written before about those who go to Yoga and then those who GO TO YOGA, or better yet allow YOGA TO GO TO THEM. You see if one is a willing and knowing participant, a level of ‘control’ is usually present. With this scenario, it is a guaranteed fact that the ego will be present. In my experience, as I have written at nauseum, when the ego is involved the journey seemingly becomes that much more treacherous. Doing my Ashtanga practice each morning, in spite of injury, sickness, drama at home etc.. amazingly remains a constant. The practice is different everyday, because I’m different everyday. This is a major lesson I continue to learn. I am a being who continues to move forward and My practice shows me each and everyday just this, that I am evolving. My goal from the beginning has always been to continue onwards, never to be stagnate, to find the art within the maintenance of my practice.

Acceptance is also crucial. The magic of this practice can be easily and readily missed, if one does not allow themselves to be accepted. I mean this in terms of self acceptance, outward acceptance is of no interest to me, for this practice I began six months ago began with the sole purpose of confronting myself and seeing what was left of the Me, who had been chewed up and spit out from a decade of chronic pain and depression. Thankfully there were some ‘workable bits’ left and with a strong commitment and forthright attitude I jumped in and have never looked back. Yes I have done much whining, felt all the boo hoo’s but beneath it my~self was growing upwards and onwards, thanks to this obscenely difficult, yet hauntingly intriguing act of breath and movement.

Truth be told I hope I never arrive‘, for the growth will always be found in the practice.

Namaste

 

says alot… January 4, 2013

Filed under: Health Hopes — Working From Bed Productions @ 6:01 pm
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draft posted by mistake..darn beagle

 

And it goes a little something like this…

Filed under: Health Hopes — Working From Bed Productions @ 3:30 am

my heroGotta love themes, more important or impressive is in the actual witnessing of them. Stop and starts are one of the many themes in my life, especially now as I have become side~tracked  by acute…… yada yadas. This last month there has been a smorgesbord of ass~ whippins given to me, I’ve got the marks to prove it. Current ailment activity…dislodged disc, very sore right shoulder..getting checked out tomorrah. Yoga has been on my mind but sadly not with my body.

 As soon as I’m down my mind begins to quiver, though the beauty, one of many, is that the Yoga I have practiced thus far, seems ready to jump in as a default. Default to what?

Well, it goes it little something like this:

My norm during downtimes has been similar to this equation =sum ( pain + immobility= dd) a.k.a deep depression. Appreciate that the times I have sunk back down below, this subtle default has been present, like a big breath gently pushing me back up to the surface. Having these down times, both literally and figuratively, illustrates to me two things; One: I am still not free from all that ails me ( physically & emotionally ) and Two: the work that I do in my practice is vitally important to continue on with, for it is where my~self and freedom lies. I also feel blessed with no longer having the fear that I will quit what it is that I have started. My ego is still in the race,  fucker, but even when I’m down, I now know I’m not beat. There are very few guarantees in life, though I feel confident in saying aloud that the ‘Refresh’ button has been hit and with it some new functions which are now, thankfully part of my recovery plan.

During these last few weeks I’ve been given a glimpse of where I’m at and most importantly where I no longer fear to tread. My faith and belief in this widely desirable sense of power and grace, truly spurs me on to see what will be in store for me next. I accept these times now, where my body says No! for how can I NOT respect this amazing specimen of mine, which has worked so hard to get me from a life in bed to a life of  mobility?

Going to try to go for a short walk now, with the hopes of making it to Yin tonight. 

(didn’t finish….)

Pain in my right shoulder became unbearable, went to doctor today and found out it is tendonitis, was told to stop doing Yoga….

TBC

Namaste

 

“The time is out of joint. O cursed spite that ever I was born to set it right!” December 14, 2012

Filed under: Health Hopes — Working From Bed Productions @ 3:04 pm
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female joinCan’t write much, just needed to try to do a bit.  I’ve been lowering my injection dosage for my R.A the last four months, with success or so I thought. The last 4 days tremendous pain. Tried to do a few poses yesterday unsuccessfully. Sat in the Yin room in the heat and tried to meditate/relax. Ended up in the backseat of my car multiple times. Not going to fight it. Hopefully it ends soon. Starting to re-think the reality of riding myself of this dastardly disease. Husband came home from the road, so today I can rest, kids taken care of…

Namaste

 

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

 

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