Thursday, September 23, 2010

Body-Mind Connection=Yoga

A huge part of yoga for me is stress management. Us Type A's need yoga to avoid spontaneously combusting in a wigged out bomb of stress and anxiety. Seriously.
 Our attempt at photographing a circle Warrior III at Yoga in the Park last Saturday!
Often we don't really "see" the connection between brain-body interaction. For some reason humans have fabricated this theory that our brain and thoughts are separate from our bodies... even though our brain is the central operating mechanism for the rest of our bodily functions.

Nothing shouts brain-body connection though, like hives. Let me tell you a story about hives and stress (woohoo!).

Four years ago, when I flew across the country to British Colombia, by myself with two suitcases and my guitar (which was swabbed at the airport btw... ya know for drugs and STUFF, it was really fun), I landed at the airport and was greeted by my now-MOH (wedding lingo for Maid of Honour... seriously). To which I immediately burst into tears of exhaustion and anxiety. What the eff was I doing?

Between the cab ride from the Vancouver airport and her apartment in East Van (yep, Commercial Drive... she lived on the edge of sketch town) I had started absent-mindedly, between sobs, scratching my legs. Sat down on her couch and took a look at my legs- they were covered in hives. Holy crap, I had never had hives before in my life and here I was, 24 years old, stressed to the max and covered in itchy white bumps. Great.

They ended up spreading all over my body, including my arms and lasted for three weeks. I had to wear long skirts and cover my arms for therapy while living and working in Vernon... in 40 degree celcius weather (100F). Basically, they only went away when I started to adjust and de-stress.

Fast forward four years and wouldn't you know it, my arrival from NYC in Halifax at 3am last week resulted in lots of itching. A quick look confirmed that yes indeed, the dreaded H-Monsters were back. I'm pretty sure I dropped an F-bomb or two.

I thought I was managing my stress, but these white itchy annoying things have made me realize that really I was ignoring the stress. Barreling through busy weeks and even busier weekends, neglecting my Yoga practice. I just have so.much.todo for the wedding. Three weeks... makes my hyperventilating button start up.

But I frigging HATE hives and having itchy legs 24hrs a day.

So. I need to re-evaluate my plan of attack. Events have been delegated, bedtime has been earlier (I need lots of sleep just to function regularly) and I made a conscious (failed) effort to attend a yoga class this week. Didn't happen, but I'm hoping for next week. I'll actually choose a day and Andrew will come with so I'm more likely to follow through. I've also decided to play and sing a few evenings next week.

I let yoga pass since I have so much on my agenda, but I really cannot be the "scratching bride". Just because I have a lot to do each evening in order for this wedding to be ready doesn't mean that I should sacrifice something that helps me refocus, ground and centre during this time of bonkersness. Having the wedding all ready won't help one bit if I'm a blubbering mess of stress-ballity.

This Harvest Moon, Fall Equinox, I am taking a moment to announce publicly that I have let yoga slide and I am taking my yoga back.

Have you made some resolves this Harvest Moon?

article and photograph copyright of EcoYogini at


  1. I am going to get back to the mat this fall as well!

    "Type A's need yoga to avoid spontaneously combusting in a wigged out bomb of stress and anxiety"= awesome quote!! So true. :)

  2. Oh my goodness!! Oh sounds quite horrible...I feel for you.

    You are aware of it, conscious of what lies behind it, and hopefully that will help make a difference. Just remember the bigger picture and breathe in and out of it as much as possible.

    Sending you healing vibes!

  3. i had my monthly tuneup with my therapist and we focused today on not equating my artistic endeavors with who i am as a person - if i succeed or fail, it doesn't affect who *i* am. not defining yourself by what you do, rather who you are? can be tough sometimes to remember...definitely a resolution for me!

  4. well I start massage school tomorrow so that's one resolve ticked off my list!

    And can I just say that I count myself blessed beyond measure that I have never had hives... :/

  5. OH NOOOOOO! I feel for you. My stress reaction used to be eczema. Maybe it still is and I haven't accessed that yet in a while. Anyways... I feel for you! Coz the more you stress about having those itchy patches, the more they're likely to flare up/ not go away.

    Have you tried homeopathic remedies like Rescue Remedy? Or any kind of antihistamine from the Naturopath? If you can't find one and are desperate to have it go away before your big day, try non-drowsy antihistamines like Zyrtec. And they're sooooo bad for you but work quite instantly - cortisone creams (they've got steroids in them). Only if all else fails and you need them hives to go away pronto.

    Sending you positive vibes for your big day!!

  6. ok

    a) edge of sketchtown! bahahahaha! love it! i am from outside vancouver! that is such an appropriate description!

    b) type a's! can i get a woot woot!
    i too cannot neglect yoga. i am a total ball of stress at the best of times but amen, have never had hives

    now get to a class girl! calm zen bride yes! itchy spotty bride no!

  7. Oh, lady, take care of yourself!

    I am always rededicating myself to my home practice. Even if that practice is just a five minute sit. When I teach a lot, I just forget...

  8. Wow. I've had hives and I've gotten married, but never had to consider both at once! Obvs, caring for yourself is of the utmost importance right now, but for your own sake, try not to stress about the wedding. It's gonna happen, little things will be quirky or not go as planned, but at the end of the day you'll be married to your love and everyone will remember that your wedding was a beautiful celebration of awesomeness. I bow to you for acknowledging that you need yoga right now and taking the steps to make that happen for yourself.

    As for my own equinox promises to myself...trying ever more diligently to remain aware of (and thankful for) my blessings and stay in the moment, day after day. It's all we have, after all.

  9. Oh no! I'm so sorry to hear about your hives. I also get very anxious while traveling but I have never gotten hives! You poor thing. I hope you feel better soon and are able to enjoy your last few weeks before your wedding. If there's anything I can do (remotely) please let me know! : )

  10. Oh no! I too have been guilty of less physical practice these days with so many other things on my plate. Take care of yourself FIRST. I will be sending lots of healing non-hive vibes your way as you prepare for the most beautiful day of your life!

  11. It sounds like you need mindful rest. I love Yoga Nidra because it is so forgiving. Doesn't even matter if you fall asleep. Once you have set your intent things just click in your mind-body connection. My favorite Yoga Nidra CD is by Robin Carnes and is available for download on Amazon (only $3 for the whole CD). Here's the link:

  12. feel better soon.

  13. One of the best balance poses is Warrior III. Yoga guru Leeann Carey says that it’s also a great strength pose for the core. She has a free yoga video that shows some great prep poses for it that I thought your readers would like:

  14. I enjoyed your humor surrounding your ordeal. Humor does help raise your endorphins. Thanks for raising mine! You may want to try foam rolling in your home to let those deep emotions out when they need to come out! It works for me. I go with my foam roller everywhere!


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