Just Breathe…

July 30th, 2018

Breathing in, I calm body and mind.
Breathing out, I smile.
Dwelling in the present moment, I know this is the only moment.
– Thich Nhat Hanh

Did you know that you take approximately 21,000 breaths a day?  The act of breathing reminds us that we are living beings, that we are alive. The breath is our life source as well as a conduit to our internal state of being.  Through the breath we live, and through the breath we can also heal.

In our yoga practice there are two pieces to breath work. First there is what we might call breath training, or understanding breath. Secondly there is pranayama, or breathing exercises, we do to strengthen and practice the regulation of our breath. (more…)

Freedom to Balance

July 10th, 2018

It is easy to avoid doing things that feel really challenging or that we are afraid of.  The crazy thing is that when we do step through a challenge, or face a fear, it actually diminishes.  I was massively afraid of heights in certain situations and one day, while at Six Flags with my daughter, I decided it was time to face my fear once and for all by doing a bungee jump.  Since this was an activity at a theme park, I figured that it had to be safe and the worse that could happen is that I would be really really freaked out.

As we got hauled up into the air, I was so scared.  I could not pull the cord that would release us and allow us to fly straight toward the ground (what was I thinking. Lucky for me, my awesome daughter Jesse was there and she managed to find the cord and off we went.  Once the initial shock wore off and I opened my eyes it was actually a really cool experience. AND,although I do get shaky and sometimes feel really challenged by heights, I am more easily able to work through it.  Facing the fear, lessened the fear. (more…)

Is Recovery From Chronic Pain Possible?

June 18th, 2018

“One of the lessons of yoga is that the body, mind, breath and nervous system are all intertwined. In yoga, we use the body and breath, which we can control to some degree, to calm, stimulate and ultimately strengthen the nervous system and the mind, which normally are beyond our control. When your nervous system and mind are balanced in this manner, you are poised to react to whatever challenges arise.”
Dr. Timothy McCall, Yoga as Medicine: The Science and Practice of Therapeutic Yoga

The American Academy of Pain Medicine describes the condition of chronic pain as follows:

“While acute pain is a normal sensation triggered in the nervous system to alert you to possible injury and the need to take care of yourself, chronic pain is different. Chronic pain persists. Pain signals keep firing in the nervous system for weeks, months, even years.”

Over 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain at a cost of around $600 billion a year in medical treatments and lost productivity.  Chronic pain can severely diminish quality of life and many turn to opioids. Over 11 million people are on long-term opioid therapy that has contributed to a national epidemic of opioid overdose deaths and addictions.