your own medicine

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I’ve had some turbulent ups and downs in my life and they’ve added to my wisdom. The older I get the more I take things in stride. Being 34 and no longer 18 means that I’m able to recognize what’s a big deal and what’s a temporary situation that will change. The more cycles you’ve seen come and go the easier it is to let go and breathe.

Working with a client this morning I realized that it’s not lack of knowledge that’s slowing me down, it’s access to people who understand what I’m doing. The work I do is so rudimentary most people miss it. Bodywork and yoga are so simple most people just pass it by. Breathing? Are you kidding me? Most people if asked if we should be taught to breathe would give you an odd stare.

So who understands what I do? What’s my target market? Anyone can use what I’m teaching but in particular I’m good at working with those in chronic pain. Musculoskeletal pain has been a part of my life for so long it’s rewired my brain. I’ve learned to work with it, manage it and make it go away. Giving me back control over my body lessens anxiety, fear of the unknown and aging.

Chronic pain sufferers like what I do because I can help. When you’re at a 6 out of 10 on a pain scale and I can help you take yourself to a 4 within an hour, we become fast friends. Pain gets you to pay attention. The reason my yoga has progressed and continues to is aches and pains make me focus. I can do the yoga or I can hurt. Those are the options.

Knowledge from a book is good. I learn more from working with other teachers, taking diverse yoga classes but nothing beats my own practice. I’ve continued regularly for years and hope that I can deepen my practice more in the future. It allows me to have an understanding of yoga in my own nervous systems that allows communication of a nuance that’s not obtained through books. Experience trumps all.

After working with a client this morning he was floating. His eyes were relaxed and the most bare minimum educational help allowed him to work on himself. I spend hours each week pressing on people and have only recently realized that my frustration with bodywork comes from my inability to get In anothers nervous system. Only they can do that. Yoga, allows me to help them access themselves. That healing is far more profound and long lasting than anything I can do for you. I’m not disparaging bodywork. It’s a dual edge sword, yoga and massage. One is active, one is passive. I choose both. I’ve no reason not to. I’ll work and work on myself then I surrender and allow someone to help me.

After working on the client I noticed my shoulder bothering me. My left shoulder is misaligned and has been an issue for years now. I work with it regularly and decided to do a pose I show students in the clinic. I call it half downward dog and I placed my hands on the wall and began. I breathed, pushed into the wall, spread my finger tips, pressing the shoulders out through the joint. Then I sank deeper backbending my upper spine then lifted my head to look towards my hands and felt a line running from my spine, to my shoulderblade then down my arm into my hands and out my fingertips. Hello yoga. Hello alignment. Hello healing. Hello momentary bliss.

I always try to thank my students and clients for teaching me. They teach me to continue taking my own medicine. It’s of no benefit to be enlightened and serene on a mountaintop while living in a monastery. My desire is to be enlightened and serene in rush hour traffic at 100F. Then we’ve discovered the value of yoga and taking our own medicine.

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