Yoga as Complementary Holistic Therapy

Kamakura Buddha cast in 1252 – This Buddha sits open air but learned for the first time that he/she was once housed indoors under a temple roof … but the building, that temple had been destroyed by disasters and this Buddha remained. Apparently there’s a much bigger one under a temple roof in Nara – that, I have yet to visit… but this, this Kamakura Daibutsu is enough.  To me, it shows the resilience, the strength, whatever the elements and the weather, it has withstood them all, over 700 years. Sitting in repose.

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Lady Gaga – Not her fan but ended up watching her documentary on Netflix and … taken to see “Star is Born” on the big screen.  Okay, so I cried my eyes out watching the film, and yet, I am still not her “fan”.   I do admit she’s got guts and she is talented like so many who just does not reach the stardom she has achieved. If anything, it’s probably her outlandish outrageous b.a. style and strong tough substance – that power and over-the-top fashion, we are repelled and attracted to at the same time. She is bold and fearless – and – that power, we are energized by. So when she shows her vulnerability, we are all the more floored by her.

Lady Gaga’s love for yoga is well publicized … so I was wondering why she appeared to be in so much chronic pain on the documentary  – did she practice too much of the extreme yoga so she tore her ligaments or strained her muscles?  did she over-do it? is it that sprint, jump or the spin or the split she did without a warm up in the dance routine?  Is it due to those high heels? Then I realized she suffers from “Fibromyalgia” and yoga may be one of many ways she copes.  How yoga practice helps her with her stage performance is a no-brainer but with Fibromyalgia?  It did not take very long for me to realize that she may also be practicing yoga not to up her stage presence but more for its therapeutic power to alleviate the symptoms of this mysterious disease, presently with no cure.

From Niroga – when we each thought about our “strengths” …

This is part excerpt from United Nations NY Yoga Club in addition to material from my Niroga Yoga Therapy training:

“Fibromyalgia is a debilitating health condition characterized by widespread pain in muscles, tendons and ligaments; it also associated to fatigue and multiple tender points. Those affected also experience restless legs syndrome, bowel or bladder problems, numbness and tingling in the extremities, and strong sensitivity to noise, light and temperature; many sufferers also have sleep and memory problems, as well as symptoms of depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).”

Did you know sufferers are estimated to be between five and ten million Americans older than 18 years.  It is also interesting to note that for no particular known reasons, and, women are more affected than men at 80% to 90% rate.

►Fibromyalgia’s  “precipitating conditions,” including stress, anxiety, and PTSD.  New research has identified the role of abnormalities in the functioning of the autonomous nervous system. Researchers at the Karolinska Institute (Sweden) and Massachusetts General Hospital found a connection between brain inflammation and fibromyalgia using modern positron-emission tomography (PET scans).

►Yoga has been found a promising complementary therapy for fibromyalgia.  Yoga brings on the positive benefits of the parasympathetic nervous system and the “hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis.”  So it’s been evidenced that  even a very basic regime of Asanas that include hand and hamstring stretches and mild spinal twists can alleviate pain in the tender points.   An routine and unwavering, steady practice is strongly recommended according to the findings.

► See a summary of the research article: https://medicalxpress.com/…/2018-09-people-fibromyalgia-inf… For general information about fibromyalgia, see “Questions and Answers about Fibromyalgia” from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (Washington, DC: NIH, July 2014): https://web.archive.org/…/www.niam…/health_info/fibromyalgia

►For the benefits of yoga, there are numerous sources of information, but UN Club highlighted this one: S. L. Crotzer: “Yoga for Fibromyalgia:” https://books.google.com/books… R. Nall: “Is Yoga useful…?:”https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/315142.php

This is very interesting – Something to think about if you or know someone affected by this autoimmune disease.  See HERE.

Hope you find this helpful if you are a sufferer or know of someone who is at lost as to what to do to care for oneself affected by this debilitating disease.  Chronic pain, caused by this disease or any other cause is tough to bear – but – keeping in mind that mind-body-spirit practice such as yoga can help  – at least give it a try as there’s no … side-affects.  No side affects.  Repeat – no side affects.  No side affects. It is also empowering as you are invoking the healer within you.  It is important to find the right kind of yoga as yoga can mean so many things – it need not be intense nor Ashtanga Primary Series for one to reap the benefits of this practice.  Be kind; be gentle – allow oneself to sigh deeply into the layers of inner depths and find ease in the tenderness of self-care; self-love; self-compassion.  It’s a way of self-actualization into the best version of ourselves.

Looked up to find these in a hole in a wall kind of Indian restaurant in Tokyo …

Not all of us can do great things but we can do small things with great love.

– Mother Teresa

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“Dream is not that which you see while sleeping it is something that does not let you sleep.”

― A P J Abdul Kalam, Wings of Fire

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The words are not lost in translation – just need a good translator who understands the spirit of both languages to bridge the two languages, cultures, intentions, …separate and divergent worlds into Oneness.

“Curry Wednesday”

You often hear “Taco Tuesday” here but over there, it’s “Curry Wednesday” – Japanese curry 🍛 rice is ubiquitous and has practically become a national dish. Lately however, more authentic Indian curry is also gaining popularity in Tokyo – this restaurant was featured as certain celebrity’s fav on TV. He accredited the restaurant for getting the flavors of South Indian cuisine to be more accepted by mainstream Japanese likings. Spices and flavors are authentic but the presentation and menu details are much to Japanese liking.

The menu explains the particulars about this cuisine to great details even accompanied by a picture diagram so you know what’s what and the recommended orders in eating- Very helpful! And also so reasonable- for example that dessert called Bebinca served with scoop of ice cream was about $3.60. They offer free refills of rice and soup servings!

Is all “organic” good?

Not really …

For example, if you eat eggs, not all “organic” labels mean that egg laying chickens were pasture freed and treated humanely.  It could mean that they were immobile in chicken coop, fed “organic” grains and corn … not the happiest. With gratitude, rather eat eggs from happy eggs laying chickens, not from those tormented – if you can help it.

Check this out –HER E if you care to.  Little things matter and if everyone did little things, in totality, it’s a big change.

If you are vegan, you don’t eat eggs, so, not an issue but if you are vegetarian of the certain kind or an omnivore, then, something to think about.

Here are some dishes and baked goods using eggs from recent Tokyo stay – Chawamushi, my favorite Japanese egg custurd soup.. . then all these baked goods have … eggs in them.

My mom used to make this egg custard soup when sick – lovely garnish of Yuzu on top with fresh smell of Mitsuba herb … fun to scoop to the bottom to find more surprises hidden under the bed of silky custard.

Chestnuts atop “nest” of chestnut cream frosting swirls

No red dye – raspberries powder as garnish with pistachio crumbs …

SO what’s all this ?  What happened to the yoga talk?  There’s no need to rush into a gym – in spite of eating all the delights, you can still manage to lose weight or maintain weight, when you eat right and yoga … Came back to US soil, feared getting on the scale only to find out I had actually … lost weight eating all that I love.

Happy New Year !