Between the stimulus and the response there is a space, and in this space lies our power and freedom.
– Viktor Frankl
The above is the prescription for general well-bing and that I was reminded of after having to fly to Japan to be with my aging mom who suffered a stroke and got carried into the hospital only to be admitted straight into ICU – internal bleeding in the head requires urgent care, yes. Every second counts as more bleeding, more brain cells and neuropathways in trouble. SO between travels and work and family and illness in that family, there’s no time to go to yoga classes (thank god I’m trained as an instructor and a therapist to take care of myself at times of dire straits:) but everywhere you go, the yoga studio for your practice is within. It’s right there within you – you can do yoga just about anywhere. ANYWHERE.
One of the things I notice as I observed and assisted with my mother’s recovery is how important Rehabilitation or Physical Training is. Having come across Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists and a Language Specialist at St. Luke’s International Hospital, I could not have been more thankful that my mother received the best in post-stroke care. You have to start moving as soon as you are able – so as soon as her bleeding stopped with IV-meds transfusion, she was directed to start her physical therapy with these amazing compassionate professionals. Keenly aware through the slow simple movements – Move those muscles or you lose them. Really vital before strengthening those muscle groups is the iron rule – YOU’VE GOT TO STRETCH. Banish stiffness, bring the circulation into all the tightness – Tightness in the body; stiffness in your ligaments are intrinsically related to restrictive breathing that ultimately affects your mental clarity such as cognition and reasoning. Knowing that body and mind are intrisically connected, when the body is constricted and tight, so is your breath; when your body is soothed and relaxed, so is your mind, ultimately affecting your psyche … your quality of life.
Upon returning, I thought I never make it back to my Yoga Therapist Training Intensive – so beaten by a bad case of jet lag – this month’s module themed “Yoga & Addiction”. Beyond all the notes, the above quote shared by our teacher strikes a chord in me. Whether you have an addiction issues or not, or if you have a friend or a family member with such challenge, enlisting outside support of a well trained therapist could make a difference between recovery or demise. Recovery and healing is possible through yogic training for the mind & body. It takes practice for all to access this power referred to above – there’s so much benefit to practice of yoga for the external physical aspects as well as for overcoming and befriending the internal struggles we all confront whether it be innocent addictions or destructive addictions. First we start with a little commitment to practice each day and it becomes a habit and the kind of habit that gently nudges the behaviors in such a way to stimulate new grey matter growth, benefits, i.e., neuroplasticity – all attained through the mindful practice of yoga.
Give it a try! It’s lifelong:) I love it.
Photo of “Healing Yoga for Wellness” by Lorien Neargarder, RYT 500
Nothing beats a direct and real contact with her but … sometimes we aren’t so lucky.
She will be missed in California – all the reason to get this DVD!