#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…)

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Published in: on May 8, 2016 at 10:31 am  Leave a Comment  
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SCHMERZ – German for Pain – by Hermann Hesse: Suffering for a Higher Purpose?

It is another remarkable poem by Hermann Hesse, the philosopher and author of Siddharta, The Glass Bead Game and many other important and beautiful novels: Schmerz – about the way that Pain treats us.

I have been living with physical pain since 1973. Every day. Since last autumn, I have also been experiencing serious emotional pain in the best possible love relationship which has now come to an abrupt end. Hence I am looking for solace and found his poem about pain.

A supporter of the Hampstead Scandal offered me the introduction to this pelvis alignment expert as reasons for hope to ending pain and this translation for accepting suffering for a higher purpose:

S C H M E R Z – P A I N

Schmerz ist ein Meister, der uns klein macht,

Pain is a Master, who makes us small,

Ein Feuer, das uns ärmer brennt,

A fire that burns down our human home,

Das uns vom eigenen Leben trennt,

That leaves us with no worldly life, at all,

Das uns umlodert und allein macht.

Blazing on the burning ground alone.

Weisheit und Liebe werden klein,

His wisdom and love appear the same,

Trost wird und Hoffnung dünn und flüchtig;

Offering small comfort and fragile hope,

Schmerz liebt uns wild und eifersüchtig,

While suffering such thin and jealous attention,

Wir schmelzen hin und werden Sein.

Melting the wild mind under His telescope.

Es krümmt die irdne Form, das Ich,

He bends the reluctant ego, seeking a bargain,

Und weht und sträubt sich in den Flammen.

And blows upon it, in the blazing flames, anew.

Dann sinkt sie still in Staub zusammen

Then falling together in its holy ash, He will maintain

Und überläßt dem Meister sich.

That, in the end, you will become a Master too.

Translated by Alan Collins.
Friday, 21st August, 2015.

As a result, I formulated:

To accept suffering for a higher purpose, means turning

  • grief into joy
  • pain into power
  • and hurt into self-love.

Easier said in poetry than done in real life…

Published in: on August 31, 2015 at 2:13 pm  Leave a Comment  
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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!

Kahlil Gibran in The Prophet on Pain – for deep spiritual empowerment

I remember discovering and loving The Prophet when I lived in Geneva and more of Kahlil Gibran‘s writings when I spent time in New York.

Now I was reminded about his words on pain, as I anticipate visiting an amazing healer this week:

And a woman spoke, saying, “Tell us of Pain.”
And he said:
Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding.
Even as the stone of the fruit must break, that its heart may stand in the sun, so must you know pain.
And could you keep your heart in wonder at the daily miracles of your life, your pain would not seem less wondrous than your joy;
And you would accept the seasons of your heart, even as you have always accepted the seasons that pass over your fields.
And you would watch with serenity through the winters of your grief.

Much of your pain is self-chosen.
It is the bitter potion by which the physician within you heals your sick self.
Therefore trust the physician, and drink his remedy in silence and tranquillity:
For his hand, though heavy and hard, is guided by the tender hand of the Unseen,
And the cup he brings, though it burns your lips, has been fashioned of the clay which the Potter has moistened with His own sacred tears.

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Published in: on January 14, 2013 at 2:41 pm  Comments (7)  
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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…)

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…

 

 

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???

From Mis-Alignment to Good Alignment – guided by Pain Signals

It’ll be seven years soon that I will have done my 26 postures – with more pain than pleasures, more anguish than Buddhahood, but not more tears than smiles!

For the constant observation of progress is soo reassuring! It is such a pleasure to know and feel how the left side of my body re-aligns such that, eventually, the hip won’t hurt and the knee will be functioning rather than crackle, topple and flop!

The most intriguing aspect is that the alignment reaches even the fingers and thumbs! And that the gradualness even means a certain ‘going back’ in particular postures.

(more…)

Published in: Uncategorized on November 21, 2011 at 3:49 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Pain – the invisible disability – physical, emotional, mental or “psychological”…

Your pains are “psychological” – that’s what doctors used to say, instead of admitting that they were at their wits’ end… All they were interested in is the mobility of the hip, and I wished that I could make pain visible!

Hardly did I know that this wish should become true! But, the world can’t see yet that and how I can make pain visible by re-visualizing digital images. My prototype software would have to be tuned for particular images from particular imaging technologies to be used for that purpose. But that is one of the possible applications indeed!

Yet a CERN doctor had said “I would NOT suffer in old age”; that’s what saved CERN’s insurance company from having to pay a disability pension. Nobody should be allowed to say anything about ageing unless they are older than 65 themselves!

(more…)

Published in: on April 20, 2011 at 9:32 pm  Leave a Comment  
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