A Symphony of Variations on the Theme of Pain and Suffering

“Much of your pain is self-chosen,” says Kahlil Gibran in his marvellous book The Prophet.
“Your pain is psychological,” doctors said again and again, ever since that accident in 1973…

And what do I think?
I can call it ‘fascinating’ how my body is inventive at creating pains.
I can call it ‘amazing’ how I never know where what will hurt when I walk or move.
And it does not matter what I call it. For it just hurts. This way and that way, here and there.

What have I been learning?
It began with minimising the number of steps, when I was walking with crutches.
It continued with the search for ‘remedies’ and alternatives, physical, psychological and energetic.

And it is an eternal path of self-awareness that has opened:

  • who am I who is hurting?
  • what is pain, if not the other extreme of pleasure?
  • how far do I go to avoid hurt?
  • what happened when I ‘overdid’ it?
  • why did I not know my limits of endurance?

Because my body is as open-ended as Life is.  (more…)

Published in: on May 30, 2016 at 12:16 am  Leave a Comment  

#GoFGYourself @FierceGraceYoga From Bikram to FierceGrace: starting my 10th Year of Hot Yoga

“Your leg has not been in the right place, ever since your hip was dislocated.” That’s how my specialised pelvis therapist Alexander Barrie described recently what I have painfully sensed, ever since 1973.

Queens Crescent has been my preferred studio, since I discovered it 10 years ago. Hence I experienced the transition from Bikram to Fierce Grace. It felt as if Bikram turned me into a good footballer, but FG into a better dancer.

Last year I had traumatic reasons for being in Berlin: I needed to flee from prosecution and imprisonment in a secret family court, after I exposed the worst of all child abuse cases. Hence I could go back to doing Bikram for nearly six months.

Here I enjoy the variety of the classes and am proud to be able to do them all, whenever I feel strong enough. At least once, hopefully twice a week. But when I started, I even did the 30-day challenge and Emma gave me an orange Yoga mat.

I shall never forgot how virtually every class ended in tears for the first six months. I got in touch with the emotional pain that surrounds my chronic physical pain:  (more…)

Published in: on May 8, 2016 at 10:31 am  Leave a Comment  
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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…)

HOW TO Turn Pain into Pleasure? With YogaBabies!

In my recent Yoga practice I have had major highs, feeling like a million Bradburys, thinking that only your body can let you feel such pinnacles of pleasure.

However, I have also felt more acute pains during my practice than before.

And when I was moaning, whining and complaining about this to my inner monitor, this lovely trainer Kate Comer seems to have sensed it. For she came during one of the exercises and stretched my back. I sobbed and sobbed and sobbed. Why? Because, it was one of these rare occasions where somebody could relate to my experience and acknowledge it in a soothing way… She also acknowledged this ‘opportunity for letting things come up and go’ when closing the session. It’s ‘nice’ to feel acknowledged, for it’s tough to live with the presence of pain for 40 years, I can assure you.

But when I saw Kate again yesterday, she suggested to call it ‘sensation’ – i.e. take the ‘sting’ out of ‘pain’. She has acquired this experience through Yoga and the birth of her own two babies. Hence she is now passing her knowledge on by teaching classes for Yoga Babies.

I just wish that not only women learned about giving birth with more awareness but also men and women when they make love. Conscious conception is an art never taught in the West. In the East, however, we know of not only the Art of Tantra but also the Tao of Sex!

What is it with this Western male analytical mind that domineered for two millennia? Well, it’s just called evolution of humanity and planet in one universe. Remember: Yoga means unity, unison, oneness…

And in the Western mindset of mathematics I discovered this in terms of time, space and measuring. But that’s going to be another blog post.

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!

Towards Christmas 2012 and the New 2013: personal is professional and political

12 12 10 ChristmasBikram Yoga continues to be at the core of my activities. But the stillness while the heart is beating in between postures is not enough to make sense of the world I see from my experiences.

I need more time for reflection and expression of thoughts and feelings, as Christmas is approaching. What a blessing that the web offers us everything we’d ever might have wished to find in a library – right now, right in my laptop.

There is a brilliant 2-minute history of our planet, mankind and where we’re at on this video. And a remarkable Shift Happens about where technology may take us…

(more…)

Miraculous healing from the inside out, bone to the skin: first spine, then muscles

In Search of the Miraculous (album)

 

Thanks to utter commitment and devoted perseverance, I’m getting there: my left leg is improving from day to day, staircase to staircase and step to step.

 

When the heat is getting too tough, I’m now stretching it in Japanese seating style or other little ways encouraging it to become as ‘good’ as the right leg instead of exerting myself too much.

 

In the meantime I keep being amused at Emma’s formulation: “if your knees are not thrilled with this position”… No, my left knee is definitely not thrilled. BUT it is improving!!! In a number of different positions I notice how it is changing – always in the positive direction!

 

And you wouldn’t believe how much I can lift my legs now when I’m lying on my tummy. That says something about my ‘sleepy’ muscles in the back and how they’ve been waking up since April 2005!

 

It is truly amazing how my various improvements began with neck, lower back, spine, shoulders and only now extend to the outer muscles of the left leg. I feel the muscular connections with the knee, while my left bum is still very different from the right one.

 

And while Herr Lorenz Staempfli might feel good about having saved CERN’s insurance company from paying compensation to me, I shall keep going to the ‘torture room’, knowing I spend 90 minutes in a really worthwhile way, albeit tough, difficult and challenging!

 

Lack of money doesn’t hurt as much as physical pain, whether in the hip, back, knee or elsewhere in the body… I just wonder how long it will take for my software inventions to be heard, seen and used… Money would have enabled me to employ programmers. But it’s obviously meant to come in other mysterious, if not miraculous ways…

 

 

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???