So I felt a bit sick this past weekend. It began innocently enough with a few sneezes that I instantly blamed on the hay that I sat on throughout a music festival. But alas, the next day it was a full blown cold. I dealt with it, giving it all kinds of immune boosting support. It dawned on me though that my malady may have to do with all of the “stuff” that I hold onto. The day before the hay sitting festival, I was able to let go of my need to control it all, relax into the unknowing, and take a more joyful view of what was laying ahead of me. And then I got sick.
A small similar thing happened a few years post-divorce, with being diagnosed with breast cancer. I had worked through the death of a marriage, was in a good relationship, great job as a yoga teacher, loving family, and wham! For me, I really think that there is a strong relationship between mind and body. It may have to do with the trauma or stress that works it way out slowly from the depths of my body and then surfaces later on when there is more balance in my life. Maybe it waits until I am able to handle it to come out fully.
I will share with you a very good read about stress, Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers by Robert M. Sapolsky. He offers cutting-edge research with anecdotes and practical advice. He goes through many diseases and afflictions, bigger and smaller pictures.
Lions Breath (Simhasana)
Props: 2-4 blankets, neck roll, eye pillow, 1 cat
Benefits: opens the hips and groin facilitating blood and energy flow to the urinary tract and reproductive organs. Opens the chest and abdomen benefiting breathing problems. Shoulders release their tension.
Stack 2-4 blankets lengthwise and sit at edge. Rest upper body on blankets. Bring feet together and let the knees open to sides. Place more blankets or pillows under the knees. Open arms out to sides bringing them to 90 degree angle or less depending upon the openess of your shoulders. When done, bring knees in and roll to right side, slowly sitting up.
Wide Angle Forward Fold (with chair)
Props: chair, 2 blankets
Lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Lift butt and slide the stack of 2 or 4 blankets under the base of your spine. Find a comfortable position, then let the upper back release on the floor. Arms are relaxed at sides or resting on belly. Feel chest and belly rise with each breath. Roll gently to one side when done and inhale up to seated.