Why does one story resonate with us more than another?  I am referring to this connection and tugging at my heart that I have with one Matthew Knoebel.  I first heard of his story (and there are so many) from Patch, the online local paper.  He is an 8th grader at Penndale Middle School in Lansdale and has/had acute myeloid leukemia, cancer of the blood and bone marrow.   I write ‘had’ as his cancer cells have been eradicated through intense chemotherapy.   But his bone marrow has been destroyed and now needs to be replaced.  His on and off again home has been CHOP.  Beginning either later tonight or tomorrow, they will begin the bone marrow transplant.  It has been a rough ride up and down hills for him and his mom and whole family.

The community has rallied behind Matthew and his mom with Blood Drives, bake sales, even Old Navy had a Day of Caring on his behalf.  Yes, costs are mounting for this family.  Even songs have been written (see link) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VN7DGoH_BmM&feature=youtu.be

There are many stories of plight, struggle and courage out there.  Make a difference in one of those lives even if it is not Matthews.

For more information on Matthew, please go to caringbridge.org.

The Breath
Tension Tamer
Begin in a comfortable seated pose, noticing any places in your body where you feel tension, tightness. Scan from head to toes.  Then begin to breath into those places (perhaps starting with the the area with the most alarm bells going off).  Focus and direct breath into those spaces with long inhalations and even longer exhalations.  As you exhale mentally say “Relax” or any other mantra.  Continue with as many cycles of breath that you need to let go of that tension.

The Poses

Props: 4-5 blankets, including one for warmth, stuffed animals or eye bags for hands
Benefits: gently stretches the lumbar spine and para spinal muscles, and gives a release in the diaphragm, quiets the mind and comforting. Gives a sense of security.  

Make 2 bolster-fold blankets and place lengthwise on mat on top of each other. One blanket at end of mat for ankle support. Make roll for ankle support. Rest of that blanket fills in gap where shin does not meet the floor. Make sure no blanket is on knee. This supports the knee in the pose.  Top bolster folded blanket roll towards you in a wider roll to fit in chest and shoulder area. One more blanket folded so that its height is the same as the two bolster folded blankets. Come to all fours straddling the props, release to forearms and then fully recline on props.  Ankles rest on small roll at end of mat, shins supported by the rest of that blanket. Rest the rest of your body at hip crease on the bolster fold blankets and lay chest on wider roll of top blanket. Head rests on additional blanket at top, turned to the side. Arms come out to the sides, releasing shoulders down the back and away from the ears. Placing an eye pillow or stuffed animal in palms as they face floor is very grounding and comfortable. Additional blankets for pillows tucked in as needed with student to create boundaries or make more comfortable.

Reclined Twist

Props: bolster, 2-4 blocks, 4 blankets, neck roll, eye pillow

Extras: blanket for warmth
Benefits: Allows breath to come in to the rib cage and belly more freely. Detoxifying. Can reduce high blood pressure. Relieves fatigue and insomnia.  Safe for a Prenatal twist.

This can be a very prop intensive pose but once you are in it, it is worth it.  Begin with right side of body, place the bottom of your right foot against the wall with leg extended. Left leg is bent at a 90 deg. angle and propped up with two blocks and a bolster with maybe a blanket on top. at least two blankets, S-fold blankets, and/or pillows placed along spine for support, lengthwise.  Extend your left arm out to the left side and lay it on a smaller stack of blankets either s-fold or triple-fold out to your side.  Right arm extends out to the right.  This means the left arm is at a higher elevation than right. Head can remain neutral to ceiling or turn to one side.   Extra blankets can be placed in spaces that need more support.  Neck roll for cervical spine and eye pillow.
*we are digging placing the arms in Goddess pose (not pictured) so try that one out as well. Place blanket support under arms. 

The Inspiration
Wonders never cease but we don’t always have wonder, do we??  Jeffrey Davis, is interviewed by Portland Helmich from Kripalu Perspectives, on What Wonder is and how to cultivate it.
It may just be the thing to stir up your creativity and appreciation for life. 

Listen here (April 2011 Podcast)
(please disregard the video box on the right and
go to link below for listening)

So whether it is the miracle of science to cure a young man, or the awe you feel as you take in the sprouting green from the ground, engage your wonder big or small.