Thursday, March 24, 2016

This Morning....Ouch!

I am doing something Un-German by keeping my sentences short.  Being challenged by a friend.
This is what I vaguely remember about this morning:

I think the alarm clock had gone off, but I was not fully awake.
I tried to move but my neck felt so stiff.
Must have been in a weird postion, no problem, I remember thinking. 
With some effort I repostioned myself but the neck still felt the same. 
A second of panic.  What happened?
I adjusted my tiny pillow.
I just keep it underneath my neck and move it around all night as needed.

It's Just Too Easy! Knee Pain Anyone?

Left Knee Reflex on the Hand
I was showing a friend of mine how to alleviate knee pain.  It is easy.  Chances are, however that he will not do it, because it is just too easy. And yes, I will send this to him.
I showed him the knee reflexes on the hands and said that he could literally work those reflexes without stopping to do what he was doing - he had just done a major run and told me that at one point his knees were hurting.

This blog, my petite obscure blog, as I sometimes lovingly refer to it keeps reminding me how often I have helped myself with very simple and non-invasive tricks to feel better, to be able to continue an activity, to get through a crisis with less stress.  
(I also have averted more serious challenges; just check out older posts...) 
However, I am not saying, replace medical attention with reflexology, that would be illegal and very foolish of me.

If we pay attention to the body and treat it with more respect we can help ourselves very often to relieve pain and discomfort.  Treat it as if it were your baby.  Spend time getting in touch with your body (and mind, of course, and breath..).  

If we keep working against it (oh it's just a little pain, "my pain" and I have things to do, sorry...) and let discomfort become chronic it can become "rocket science" to undo it...  

I am saying get curious about REFLEXOLOGY.  
  • If it does not work immediately, do it again, but often it will work immediately. 
  • Or schedule a session, experience a private session conducted by an ARCB nationally certified practitioner like myself and ask for pointers on how to use it for self care to help you with an ongoing challenge.
  • This is another way to start.  Have a look at your reflexes via the below link to an interactive reflexology map of the hands and feet.



Monday, March 21, 2016

Do I not Love? Now that the Roses are Wilted and Valentine's is Past...

I may have a problem with the word L.O.V.E., do I?  And if so, is it okay? 
A big part of me is always hesitant to use the word as generously as others.   

Perhaps because as a yogini I have been surrounded by it for too long. I always read about it for sure.  I can not even say I hear it in yoga class because I foremost have a mat living room/Central Park bench yoga, mobile practice these days.

Or do I perhaps not L.O.V.E.?     

Having had this on my mind for a while, I started noticing recently
that the word or let's say the concept of L. seemed to have begun to literally sneak into my yoga classes about two years ago; I found myself using the word as a teacher if in a round about way.  Surprise!
For one and a half years, I was a wellness consultant utilizing LV Chair Yoga and Self Hand Reflexology in harm reduction (then the city decided to not LOVE those who need it most despite the fact that there seemed additional funds and cut the funds, but that is another story).  
I worked with a challenged minority population with long-term challenges, such as substance abuse, homelessness, mental illness, etc.  I dislike using labels generally because they are limiting; anyone of us is more than a label.  It was not a job in a yoga studio, and most of my work does not take place in yoga studios. 
Getting to know my students, I found it most necessary to focus on the concept of "openness", as "being open to ourselves, forgiving ourselves, being compassionate towards ourselves" and then extending all that to others, so that we all have less stress and more balance and a better life - regardless how impossible that often seemed given the external circumstances.  And that is when I realized in a way that I found my own way of talking about love.
Because yoga is yoga because of the breath, awareness of the chest area is very important; opening the chest area so the lungs can have space and we can breathe better.  So there I was getting very close to "love."  Speaking about the chest I had to mention the heart due to it's anatomical location in the chest.  The heart is nestled between the lungsBut still, it was mostly coupled with openness as in spaciousness and in the same sentence with lungs and stress reduction.  That is how it made sense to me the most.  So I was indeed talking about love and possibly not ever uttering the big L word.       

So being open to yourself and therefore others (including lover, partner) and perhaps more so than anything, homeostasis is a really good word for me at this point to describe LOVE.  If I allow myself to return to balance (homeostasis) or work on it again and again, I will be open - and openness means love.  And yes, I do not need to use the word love, if I do not want to just because I am a yoga teacherBy the way this is not a critique of those who do. 
Now remember, openness can also mean being open to closing doors.  Love is not a destination - unless we are speaking about these LOVE sculptures (see photos) - but it is a path that we choose over and over. 
So could love really equal homeostasis or am I selling love short?   I continued to indulge a little longer and decided to do a google search.
And, please, do remember that homeostasis is compared to a tightrope dance; that is it requires commitment and that may mean simply letting go.  L requires work, and the work may entail letting go or releasing or saying no; we need to get intelligent about the way we love... 

This is not an attempt to redefine love.  So back to google.  This is what I found in an article in "Psychology Today."  At the bottom of the page you will find the link.

And, hm it looks like I have made a valid point: "... in what could be called a state of ‘homeostasis’ – a state of balance or equilibrium, where we feel physically and emotionally ‘safe’ – our capacity to feel and express love is generally greatest."

And as for modern city dwellers, oh no, "We’ve also discussed what Todd Ritchey and I have proposed (link is external) is a dysfunctional ‘addictive’ drive, which arises from ‘evolutionary mismatch’ effects that occur whenever people live in environments – such as modern cities – that they are not biologically or evolutionarily adapted for. The addictive drive tends to throw people out of balance or equilibrium, into states of survival mode. Survival-mode states like anxiety or fear can become dysfunctionally reinforced in the brain, we’ve proposed, because they trigger the release of stress hormones that various lines of evidence suggest can deliver unconscious biochemical rewards to the brain. In this way, literal biochemical addictions to distressing, survival-mode emotional states like anxiety or fear can develop in nearly all of us. The addictive drive therefore throws us out of balance, into survival mode, and directly opposes the homeostatic drive, which is always seeking to bring us into balance, or homeostasis.
What I want to propose in this post is that the homeostatic drive is, in effect, the force of love."

A+ according to the above.  Love IS homeostasis.  I must take out my mat now or reflex or simply do some breathwork because my day was a bit stressful, and I do not feel that loving right now and may also not be that lovable... 

Many thanks to my students, who probably have no idea why I disappeared from one class to the next, and must have felt again abandoned.  We had something very special.  Thank you for your trust, thank you for giving yourself and me a chance.  You continue to be in my heart, Juan, Jose, Deborah.   


Blessings and namaste,


Friday, March 4, 2016

Craving for Sounds, even Noise!

This post is about what was going with my ears last year; it was quite a journey and it was not easy to write about it and has been sitting in my draft folder waiting to be finalized.     

- One day in January my ears remained a bit clogged after the morning shower.  That day, we sat outside with friends after  Mowgli's morning walk.  It was sunny but there was a bit of a chilly wind.  I assume I wore a hat as usual.  However, the next day I developed mild cold symptoms.  My ears continued to be off a bit but it was manageable with self care if a bit irritable at times; the other symptoms disappeared.   

While self care alleviated the clogged ears, it did not last very  long, and I had a bit too much stress aside from that to have time for a long session to do exchange with a colleague.

So I decided I needed medical help.  It did not feel like an