Yoga~Me~Healthy

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Anew August 6, 2013

Filed under: Health Hopes — Working From Bed Productions @ 10:08 pm
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During these last few months I have learned that it is much more difficult to begin anew with something that has already been tried. Make sense? Just as I was stretching along doing my daily practice, learning about Ayurveda, organics etc…I fell out of sight. To be honest I really can’t think of some specific episode that occurred which threw me back and away from the place where I had found health and peace.? Having said that, back in May my son (17yrs) decided to accept an offer to play football in another province, which meant he would be leaving, moving out of our home and away from me. I do remember receiving his text saying “I’ve committed” ( meaning he made an official decision as to where he would be going). A violent rush swept threw me in an instant, causing the need to get up and go to the ladies room ( of course I had to be in a restaurant). I was focused and determined to make it to whichever stall caught my eye first. Once i found one, not ‘in service’ and clean, I closed and latched it the door, sat down and began to weep…uncontrollably. I won’t get into specifics,  but let’s just say my experience raising my son, specifically during the last 5 years, has not being an easy one. I was relieved, scared, proud and from that moment on, out of my body. In spite of this momentous day, I continued with my daily practice, just as I had for the last year and a bit; So really this big shift that was about to take place in my life, wasn’t the root of my soon to be yoga-woes, at least I don’t think it was?

As the weeks of his departure began edging nearer, I began feeling tired, REALLY tired. I weirdly strained my hands gardening.. I know. I was embarrassed explaining to my far and constantly away husband,  about this strange pain I woke up feeling in both my hands, an ache so achy I began feeling nervous. Suffice to say I felt I couldn’t manage doing my practice that day, so I didn’t. One goofy yet real pain led to another. I started to panic, “I CANNOT GO BACK, I CANNOT”, meaning to the days of carrying too much weight, sadness and pain.  Fear started to brew, bubbling thickly in my gut. The next day was a led Ashtanga class, so I jumped at the chance and went for it, fully determined to nip this ‘yoga pause’ in the bud. By this point, I had not done my regular practice in a week, a life time for me at this point.

I arrived to the familiar comforting smells of the studio, down to the Hot ( or in this case warm ) room and found my place on the mat. From the moment the class began, I felt weak, dizzy and out of sorts. I pressed on, determined to finish, though knowing all along it was pointless. I was not present, I was afraid and doomed…

I can’t honestly tell you exactly how long i went without doing any form of Yoga after this episode, probably two and half months? Reason being was because I slithered down onto the couch, where I remained, other than during the times that loved ones were around me. My family suffered a lot during my pre-yoga years, having to deal with the effects of my never-ending pain, injections and much grumpiness. Just like that everything I had taken on, food, proper sleep etc.., all of which massively helped to Yoga Me healthier than I had been in years, slipped away. I began feeling the weight sneak back on, my beloved wine becoming to frequent a guest and worst of all…the beginings of disdain for this person I was morphing back into. How in Buddha’s name can this be happening? I thought to myself more than once. Didn’t matter, it was happening and regardless of what I did, I couldn’t get out from beneath it. I no longer slept, which in turn made it impossible to do my practice in the morning or at all, for my body ‘shuts down’ if it becomes too fatigued. By the time afternoon came and went, I was so sluggish or too wired from drinking coffee, so as to function as a mother, that doing any form of self-care seemed completely unrealistic.

My body began craving those items I had learned to live with in balance, in a way that was aggressive, bully like. Indulgence, never a good sign when one has falling WAY off track. I literally found myself unable to figure my way out, which for me is rare, since its kinda what I do..inately, so with this kernel of truth…I let go. I let go of the pressure to do what I was doing before, of what I would do or not do in the future, simply said I surrendered.

I managed to get my son off to B.C with all that he needed, leaving us broker than broke, but satisfied that in this gesture of massive love and support for him, maybe now,  possibly I may just be able to help myself again. The weeks since he has been gone, didn’t produce any spontaneous jumpstart to my self-care routine, but it did produce peace in my home and loads of quiet for the first time in a longtime.  I stopped looking in the mirror and judging what supposedly had “happened to me”, what I had done to this body that has given me so much during this last year.

I rekindled my interest and love for Deepak and Ayurveda and slowly, through watching a few documentaries and dabbling here and there with some guided meditation a la YouTube, began slowly finding my way forward. Due to finances I have not been able to resume my Yoga membership, though I was gifted a pass for the month, which I took advantage of yesterday, by attending a Hot Yin class. Yin is where it all started for me, as well as with my first Yoga teacher Monica. I had asked her out for coffee to discuss the anger and resentment I had experienced after not doing my practice regularly. “WTF, I said, how could this practice I devoted myself to practically daily for over a year turn on me, *snap* just like that”? We spoke more on this and at length and I began to realize, with M’s help, that the life of Yoga on all levels has its peaks and valleys. I opened up this blog and began to re-read some of my past posts. THEN, I started getting a tad excited at the prospect of beginning anew, yet this time with a good bit of experience ( for a novice yogi anyways ). I made a commitment  to try and so I have.

Yesterday I did my pre-morning prep for Day I of some pretty cool Ayurvedic a.m rituals. It is now mid afternoon, I’ve been up since 5am, basic Yoga asanas, breathing and meditation with my 12yr. old daughter, PLUS I just am about to finish my first Yoga Me Healthy Blog in quite a while. Taking this day for what it has become…that’s it.

Namaste

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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

 

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