We live in an overwhelming culture. Work can be intense, home life can be busy and we're continuously connected to other streams of "information" (ie social media). Combine that with an underlying sense of impending doom (whether economic or environmental) and it's funny we're ever surprised when confronted with our body in a state of panic.
Although this blog is meant to be a focus on sharing information, learning and growing in my eco-yoga practice, I feel like there's been a huge white elephant in the room.
For the past several months I've been struggling with some pretty intense health issues. These concerns have been there for a while (years actually), but have come to a head this year. The consequences of which I'm having to re-evaluate what I thought my life would involve, what my role as a person, wife, woman will mean. I've vacillated between sharing and not sharing. I don't want this to be a "woe is me" thing, I'm not dying. However, I've decided that by putting it out there I won't have to tiptoe around the fact that it's happening.
As I'm still going through the process of testing, seeing specialists, dealing with how I'm feeling and working out my day to day physical health; I'm choosing to keep the actual concerns private. I thought I could share how I'm coming to realize a few tidbits about yoga and even my obsession with keeping my body "clean" of toxins.
First up for this post, a few thoughts of yoga and illness.
Yoga and Dis-Ease:
I've been using Yoga as an escape. I have a very strong urge to attend as many yoga classes as possible. In a studio- gasp! You may remember that for the longest time I was very "no yoga in a studio" kinda gal. After some thought, I've realized that although I'm still practicing at home, yoga in a studio allows for more of a complete escape. I can forget about my life, my worries, my body even, for a blissful hour.
If that means I have to drive to Dartmouth's All Yoga studio- so be it.
I'm not too sure whether using something as a means to escape from an emotional issue is wise, at least yoga does help keep my body health and is way to practice dealing with stress.
After reading a very interesting article on yoga and stress written by a Neuroscientist (can't remember where I read it- sorry!), I've realized that the most prominent benefit from yoga was encouraging the person to practice breathing and staying calm during a stressful event- asana.
So, the other day when I thought I was going to have a panic attack while driving home (as I was ruminating on my health), I started treating that event as if it were a yoga practice. Breathing fully and deeply, letting go of my thoughts and focusing on being in the present. I thought about a few yoga classes I'd had recently, conjuring up the positive emotions surrounding those events and the type of breathing they foster. It helped (no panic attack-woo!).
There's been some recent discussion around the distrust with western medical health professionals. As a health professional myself, I get that it's often challenging to merge west-east and historically it's been a "western scoffs at eastern" type discourse. That said, I do believe that both have something to offer... and when it comes to my health I tend to stick with evidence based practice.
Although I know yoga instructors have some training regarding anatomy and physiology, I will be frank in that I know Physiotherapists have more. An intensive Clinical Master's level university degree, Physiotherapy is grounded in a well founded and established evidence based practice (re: research).
Instead of colouring the discussion with "why yoga has all the answers, and instead of listening to your PT you should try these yoga poses" we should be encouraging building trust and teamwork from both directions to benefit from what each area can offer to our health.
(Next up, Dis-Ease and the Environment).
article copyright of EcoYogini at ecoyogini.blogspot.com