Our injuries are our teachers. #Learning by Doing and #Healing by #Suffering.

Today was a special class / workshop and I was more aware of my recent traumatisation than of my long-term pain condition. I took the Pelvic Corrector along to share my big discovery for self-healing.

Michelle closed the event by saying that our injuries are our teachers…

What have they taught me, my whiplash and dislocated hip since 1973?

Let me count insights and resolutions:

  1. Pain is invisible. It has its own way of making itself known and releasing itself. Hot Yoga aids tremendously.
  2. The more I become aware of my pains as signals of doing or not doing things, the more I can discover ‘stillness’ as the ultimate place of paradise.
  3. It is a great pity that doctors are not trained in holistic ways. They want me to take pain killers which I did recently, after I had my wisdom tooth extracted. But otherwise? Why numb and dumb the signals that alert me to nerves, ligaments, tendons, muscles, joints and everything that connects our physical hard- and software?
  4. Before I started hot Yoga, I swore by my osteopath to ‘put me straight’. Thanks to my campaigning for child rights, I have discovered the Pelvic Corrector Tool and its inventor Alexander Barrie. Now I can exercise at home and while travelling but am also being treated in truly holistic ways, from head (cranial osteopathy) to toe (reflexology) – with very specific movements for very particular muscles at ‘peculiar’ angles, for example – along the whole left leg. It’s obvious that the whole leg has suffered since its connection with the pelvis was dislocated and thus all movements strained and misaligned the poor thing. But nobody has ever spelled it out. I could only feel it. Every day. With every movement.
  5. Living with pain means trying to avoid it. Stopping just before it starts, if possible. But that’s only possible with physical movements. When emotional traumatisation and shock create pain, we have to help the dissolution in other ways.
  6. In the end it’s all about giving attention to Self and acting response-ably to the signals.
  7. “Keep the Stillness” was Monday’s teacher’s blessing…

 

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Published in: on January 28, 2016 at 2:29 am  Leave a Comment  

MARVELLING at the wisdom of #Yoga and the #healingpowers of our body thanks to #FierceGrace

I am in my eighth year of hot Yoga. And I have been doing it for sure twice a week on average. Often more, once even the 30-day challenge. And I can guarantee that I always come out feeling better than when I walk into the hot studio in Queens Crescent. I’ve tried the one in the City and Primrose Hill, besides the one in Berlin, but who cares what the surroundings are. What matters is the heat, the wisdom of the postures and the style of the trainer that is hopefully agreeable to your own nature.

Tonight I felt as rotten as possible. But it was maybe the Italian white-haired lady in the bus who asked about my wonderful walking sticks and suggested that I should invoke my ‘healing energies’. Or else it was the oodles of yawns that got rid of stress that had settled down in my lungs. Or maybe it was simply time for me to heal and come closer to the promise of this dream of two years ago: at the end of the summer you will be pain free. Which summer, I keep wondering?

Well, I was FAR from pain free during today’s class. In fact, I was ‘marvelling’ at the way in which my body could make itself known to me through sensations that can only be called painful. But it is REPAIRING itself! Why should it not hurt, when the whole left leg has to turn itself more and more towards its inside? Hip, thigh, knee, ankle and foot. Joints, muscles, tendons and ligaments. Everything move, all together, please!  (more…)

Opening Hips and Shoulders with Fierce Grace – to heal the trauma of my accident

It was not a very professional transition from the one and only Bikram class with 26 postures to five different classes with lots of new postures in a number of variations.

Re-branding Bikram into Fierce Grace meant teaching trainers and students.

For my dislocated hip and its effects on the rest of my body, it was god sent despite all the hiccups: the Bikram postures could have turned me into a good footballer. Fierce Grace might make a dancer out of me… 🙂

In other words: there’s a lot more to stretch in the hip area that has never been stretched before so that the left hip resembles the right one! As a result, I can’t walk without sticks. But I am convinced that this, too, will pass and that I will come out with a healed hip. The question is when!

10 days ago, the Yoga class inspired me to do for myself what I have done for so many victims of white collar crimes: write a one-page summary.  (more…)

STARTING a new 7-year-Cycle of re-locating a dis-located hip

Schematic Examples of CNS Structural Changes i...

Schematic Examples of CNS Structural Changes in chronic pain (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Emma is one of the senior teachers who has accompanied my odyssey since I started Bikram Yoga in 2005. Yesterday I asked her to watch my ‘general mess’, as I’m soo emotional about going to Geneva to celebrate 50 years of Computing @ CERN – where the web was born – my then employer who sent me to Lawrence Radiation Lab. But on the way, the driver, a physicist friend of mine, fell asleep and we fell 24 feet down the motorway…

Taking stock must take place on a number of levels:

The dislocated hip:

  • it feels as if the fine re-location keeps going on, and I only noticed that since about a year;
  • it was only through Bikram Yoga that I became aware of how my body had accommodated for the dislocation;
  • only through Bikram have I experienced the re-alignment that had become necessary and that includes both knees badly!

Pain: 

  • a LOT better, but still often enough bad enough, when every step and both hips hurt in bed;
  • who would have thought that my right arm and shoulder need to hurt these days – to realign everything else,  while relocating my left hip?

Physical well-being:

  • TERRIFIC: instead of ageing, I at least stopped the process, if I haven’t reversed it, counting the number of grey hair.

Mental well-being:

  • those 90 minutes of moving meditation are priceless, in terms of allowing ‘stuff’ to come up and let go.

All in all, I can only count my blessings. But: do I kid myself, maybe? Is there more emotional pain that is waiting to be released? After all, my life has been far from easy with 40 years of chronic pain. But who said it would be a rose garden?

Still. There are soo many people whose lives are soo much harder… I shall keep enjoying mine as much as I possibly can!

40 Years of chronic pain since an accident that I was lucky to survive

Last year I had that dream in which I was told that I would become pain free “probably by the end of the summer”. Unfortunately, that has not happened yet. In fact, it seemed as if the various ‘dodgy areas’ took pleasure in becoming particularly delicate.

But fortunately, the pains change in terms of places and intensity, also depending on how much walking I do of course.

However, regular Bikram sessions keep improving all the bits and pieces: knees, arms, shoulders and, above all, the hip joint.

I cannot but think over these 40 years as a strange kind of waking up:

  • I thought that my then employer CERN had my interest at heart
  • I thought that doctors knew what they were talking about
  • I thought that being self-employed is as straight forward an option as being employed.

Instead, I have come to appreciate huge differences not only between employment and self-employment, but also between ‘being taken care of’ by doctors and looking after one’s own health.

In fact, moving from Geneva, Switzerland, to UK London taught me the notion that the State looks after you ‘from the cradle to the grave’.

Well, it clearly ain’t so:

  1. the State claimed our men to fight wars
  2. then it claimed our women to rebuild what was left
  3. now they are claiming our children for sex, money or both.

(more…)

Towards ending 39 years of chronic pain while continuing the “good fight”

Dear Emma

Since you are a very senior teacher, I KNOW that you knew what you were doing when you stopped the draft under the  door that gave me some cooling in the heat… You had corrected my posture before, you had opened the door for me, so I knew you cared and observed. You obviously noticed that I cried, for you wouldn’t have talked about people crying during class.

The only trouble is: I keep crying now when I remember the session… When I started Bikram in 2005, I used to cry for months, mainly at the end, and considered it ‘progress’ when it stopped. I even did the 30-day challenge, i.e. every day in a row and you gave me an orange mat as acknowledgement.

In Berlin, where I’ve been practising since 2009, the studio is cooler, so I can always do all exercises, whereas in London I need to rest depending on the heat and on the day. You can tell from the redness of my face.

(more…)

Probably by the end of this summer I’ll be pain free…

During Bikram classes I often write a blog post in my mind, describing what I experience: the utter miraculousness of the wisdom of the body that knows how to heal itself. Don’t ask me about pain though. It’s as if the last haul has to be made particularly hard and tough so that the prospect of being pain free can really be enjoyed!

I would never have suggested a time limit. But recently I was told in a dream that “probably by the end of this summer I’ll be free of my pains”… Should I force it and go every day for the final stretch? No, I shall continue to go when I feel like it; when it feels I need to stretch such that I feel DIFFERENTLY afterwards. For that never fails, no matter how tough you may feel during a class because of the stress and strain of the exercises in the heat.

Why would my left arm have to become so painful, as my left leg is straightening itself out? I guess, because everything is connected in unfathomable ways…

It’s rather intriguing: when I started seven years ago, my lower back was so ‘brittle’ and my neck was so limited in its movement. My shoulders feel loose, even though they are still more than tight. But the latest adjustments are the most superficial layers around hip, thigh and knee, as if the first changes were the deepest on the level of joints and bones.

Utterly miraculous – the sum total of determination, persistence, perseverance and commitment: to healing and helping others by healing self. What else is worth doing???

The Difference between Who You Are and Who You’d Like to Be is What You Do!

Trainer Elizabeth dropped these words of wisdom at the end of yesterday’s class:

The Difference between Who You Are and Who You’d Like to Be is What You Do!

Yes, being is doing. Love is Action. Sitting around doing nothing doesn’t change us and certainly doesn’t turn us into ‘nice’ people.

Sibel on the day before said

“We’re better people for it: we have more to give. We have more patience.”

(more…)

Alignment, attunement and attainment – a mantra for many of life’s situations

Today was the third session since I’m back in London and I can walk again – more or less without that preventive limp that my leg invented in its wisdom. And today I listened to a teacher who was new to me.

She kept pretty much to the standard script, but I loved the mention of these three words:

  • alignment which I’ve been very aware of as a ‘twist’ from shifting emphasis and strength from the right (active) to the left (receptive) half of my body
  • attunement to me means being ‘aligned’ with the tune, sounds and song of the Universe in the sense of “I’ve done it my way”: singing one’s song as if nobody was listening and dancing one’s dance as if noone was watching
  • attainment is then the euphoria or ecstasy that can arise from becoming One with the Universe, one’s purpose and, possibly, A N Other.

But it all requires constant awareness and and the steady discipline of monitoring one’s thoughts and feelings: the connections between sensations and emotions, energies and verbalisations and, the mysterious link between the unconscious becoming conscious.

One Bikram teacher once said to me when I asked what she thinks happens to our mind as we attend class after class: it’s detoxing, i.e. changing from negativity to positivity.

I have certainly changed a lot from weeping for weeks to smiling at my chins and watching my thoughts and associations change every time, before I ‘come back to reality’. I certainly am glad, grateful and thrilled to be able to practise meditation in this challenging way.  (more…)

Major ‘software changes’ after 7 years of ‘hardware’ re-alignment

In body terms, hardware means: spine, skeleton and bones. Software means: muscles, tendons and ligaments.

My first seven years of Bikram Yoga resulted in

  • generally feeling ‘loose’ around the joints, especially the shoulders
  • strengthening the muscles around the back, so that its painful feelings of brittleness turned into some flexibility and certainly strength
  • noticing serious improvements regarding what I could do with my left leg: whether it’s getting dressed or in Yoga positions
  • observing how my left hip gradually seemed to get ‘set’ in new micro-ways, as if before it wasn’t quite in the right place.

But now I spent five weeks clearing out my mum’s household which obviously was more than just 26 postures in a hot room… Once I was so exhausted that I went to bed before 8pm and slept for 8 hours…

Now I’m back in London and noticed during my first Yoga session

  • how exhausted I am for I felt like fainting
  • how painful my left leg is so that I actually limp most of the time
  • how I can hardly make certain movements that used not to be a problem.

Hence I have decided to commit myself to coming twice a week, until I am ‘back to normal’ again. In Berlin I always could do more, for the studio is never as hot. But in London I certainly should be able to do a lot more than I did today.

Above all else I KNOW that, one fine day, the left side will be like the right side. I just hope it’ll be before I leave my body altogether! But if not, at least I’ve tried – with the ONLY method that offers me that promise!