Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Anemia - Week 17: ankle sprain/calf pain

Chinatown/Year of the Rabbit 
I was in a restorative yoga class and we did more sitting than I was used to - I sat cross-legged and kept switching positions but towards the end of the class my ankles were nevertheless a bit sore.  The next day - out in the park early with the dog - I walked on an icy/uneven surface I was not prepared for - I wore the wrong boots.  My foot had cramped a few minutes earlier.  All of a sudden I could barely walk, it was my ankle and my calf.  I held on to R. who was fortunately with me.  I sat down on the nearest bench and slowly rotated my ankle, flexed it, did inversions and eversions trying to gage the extent of what seemed to be a sprain.  Naturally, the walk came to a rather abrupt end as we decided to head back home.  Not really expecting much, I did some Dien Cham, thinking that whatever it was, certainly would take a while to heal.  Well, by the time I got home I was back to normal - honestly, it seemed like a miracle.  

I had to run for the train since, and my ankle did not cause any problems.  At the beginning of the week, there was some heaviness in my L arm which disappeared after reflexing the respective area using the frog projection as well as some stress related to work.  I continued to use the usual points to strengthen the immune system as well as the points to avert a cold; my nose was a bit stuffy at times.  I was out in the cold for a couple of hours on Saturday and enjoyed the New Year's festivities in Chinatown - it was perfect timing and I wound up in the middle of the lion and dragon dancers, having fun filming the dances and taking photos.  The year of the Rabbit began on February 3.  Happy New Year.  To read more about the Chinese zodiac:               

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Anemia - Week 16: focus: neck

My right shoulder started feeling heavy once or twice last week while I was sitting at the computer; I stopped immediately knowing what might be next: neck pain.  I rubbed the respective reflex according to the frog on the face projection; the heaviness subsided within a few minutes.  In the past until a few weeks ago, I used to practice headstand, in Sanskrit Sirsasana  It had been part of my yoga practice for a long time and I did not attribute it to neck issue.  I had given it a lot of thought and had observed very closely.  I took time setting up the pose, going up and being in the pose, coming down in a very controlled fashion and paid attention to how it felt afterwards.  I always did counter poses.  It never hurt.  My acupuncturist at one point, however, suggested to let go of the pose for a while anyway, so I compromised by cutting down at least.  However, within the last few weeks I decided to drop it completely (I think it was when my inner teacher told me to focus on hip openers).  At this point I am confident that my neck could actually heal completely which is unlike how I felt about it previously.  My neck has been pain free, I think it was a good idea to eliminate the pose for the time being and perhaps reintroduce it slowly down the road.  In addition, I think my alignment generally has improved much and before I got sick, a neck-related protocol was part of my Dien Cham session.  Being mindful about the neck has become of utmost importance to me.  I have come a long way.  To me the neck was somewhat separate from the rest of the spine and I know I am not alone.  Now it is part of the spine and much more integrated in the way I move.  It was probably a combination of factors that resulted in being without any pain for such a long time.    

Working with Sarah - timid dog

Aside from Mowgli there was only one dog called Sarah at the dog run.  I spoke to Muriel (names of dog/owner were changed to ensure privacy), the owner who said Sarah was bitten at a different dog run long time ago and had been timid ever since.  She did not ever play with other dogs at the dog run and had only one friend she played with in the park.  I did the Dien Cham protocol on Sarah, and I gave her and Mowgli a treat (Mowgli does not mind if I give other dogs treats especially if he gets one as well; some owners feels it can create fights; I guess it depends on the dogs)  
After a few minutes of trying, Sarah, let me chase her instead of us trying to make her chase us; I guess she did not like the game we suggested - I took that as a good sign.  Mowgli by then was getting more interested in playing with her too and they ultimately chased each other a bit. At first it was only a few seconds before Sarah disappeared behind the bench, but the intervals were getting longer.  This went on for a few minutes.  One could tell how surprised Sarah herself was.  It was a delight to witness the shift.    

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Working with Suzie - dog in foster care

I had two encounters with Suzie (name of the dog was changed to ensure privacy of foster parent and dog:-)at the dog run, she was a rescue in foster care; the first time, she did not stop barking and was a bit aggressive trying to play with every dog but none of them being interested.  Mowgli was her favorite, but he was not interested either.  The foster parent kept trying to make her stop and was very apologetic so I told him about the massage I gave Mowgli every day; I did it on Suzie; she stopped barking and was more into herself.  The same thing happened the second time; I gave her a massage again, which she seemed to relish, and again she stopped barking, changed pace and was more into herself;  I did not hear her bark again; they left about 5-10 minutes later.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Anemia - Week 15 "Guruji's reminder: be more like birdies"

The weekend was great-I was ready to brace the cold weather (20s and lower) in PA and do some cross country skiing on the frozen lake. To prepare myself, I did some Dien Cham followed by gentle yoga using ujai breath which heated my body from the inside; I did not want the slightest cold to have a chance this time, thus dressed in layers and took it easy once on the skis.  Inhaling through the nose which warmed the air kept kept me from getting any cold air into my lungs, which I also wanted to avoid at all costs.  This meant I could not do any sprints which I sometimes do to challenge myself a bit; over exerting means opening the mouth to get extra air.  
By the end of the weekend after having skied twice for about an hour - the third day, we just explored the lake by foot - I felt very fit, healthy, and rejuvenated. 
The week was a bit hectic but I had time to do my protocol once a day, I dropped the cough protocol but continued to use the others to keep strengthening my immune system.  
Hearty but healthy soups, lots of teas are still staples. 
I have been trying to go to bed earlier (11pm is ideal) but it has been challenging. I was reminded to keep trying at a lecture I went to at the Angel Orensanz Foundation (, a synagogue built in 1847 which was turned into a cultural center in 1992.