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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Yoga is NOT for sissies!


What a perfectt sentiment to what is on my mind today! I have played around with all types of exercise all of my life and when MS presented ist own challenge to me, I realized that my exercise regime needed to take a serious turn from high impact aerobics to more manageable options. "Yoga!", the spealists urge. "Yes, yoga!" my neurologist choruses. "Yoga is the thing!" all of my research indicates. "Namaste", my cat's wise eyes tell me at the end of my yoga routine. To this point, I thought I was doing okay in my yoga practice. Not too strenuous, not too anything, really. I realized that I was doing more observing than actual participating when I tuned in to Sadie Nardini (Rock Your Yoga) on the Veria channel or invited Charles from my Yoga Zone cd collection into my living room. Sure, I stretched; I rocked; I did what ever I was told until it became too challenging for me to continue. Then I just folded into a child's pose and thought about what I should do with my day. I was missing a most important message.
 
When the practicing yogis tell you that child's pose is always there for you, listen to them. They mean to assume child's pose until your breath settles and you are ready to move on with your practice. They do NOT mean that you have completed your yoga session for the day. Child's pose is a resting place, not the conclusion to your yoga session. I needed an expert to drive this home before I truly understood.
 
Through the National MS society I  discovered MYMSYOGA with Baron Baptiste and Dr. Elliot Frohman. This is a free compact disc and has enlightened me that my yoga practice has not been doing me any justice. When I play with my yoga tapes, I am not practicing with yogis purposefully directing an audience of particularly situated individuals. After working with my new cd for one and a half days (No, I could not make it entirely through the session the first day.), I realized that Baron is not watering down his practice to fit my physical condition. And I started on the Foundation level! What he does, though, is constantly reassure his viewers that it is okay to fall. It is acceptable to feel unstable; and to remember that child's pose is there for you...as a resting place...for a minute or two...not for the entirety of the class.
 
I like that the participants in his recorded sessions are a variety of age, gender, and physicalcalities. I can relate to at least one woman as obviously having a drop foot or similar affliction that forces her to pay special attention to that leg. A drop foot has little to no muscle control and is often "left behind" in physical situations. I cannot forcably lift or raise my right foot in order to put on my pants or even to bring it to a reclining position without assiting it with my hands. Sucks, yep! Because I realize now that I have basically inabled my right leg to collect welfare instead of working a steady shift, I  have a lot of work to do to make it work for me now. Thirty minutes with Baron and you will discover that as well.
 
I do not think I will be ready to move on the second level, "Transformations", for a few days, and I do not even have the energy to look at the third level right now; but I plan to hang out with Baron for a couple of weeks. I like that he and Dr. Frohman have worked together to design this special program for people with MS. It is yoga, no doubt; but there is that assurance that this was developed with us MSers in mind. And in yoga, we are urged to be "ever mindful."

namaste

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