Finally a Yoga Practice

So, at some point I mentioned that I had changed up my morning practice to accommodate my super cranky hips and lower back.

Here is what my morning practice has been looking like lately.

My intention was to gently warm things up while creating some strength and stability in my hips. So far, so much better 🙂 ahhhh

Happy Practicing!

 

Still in the body: Emotionally Constipated

Damn ya’ll, I have hit a big snag in my mmmmm… voyage into the body. My emotions are literally fucking me up. I was in pain.

No, really I was in break-out the whiskey and bite a stick because you are about to cut something off pain. It started as a twinge in my right hip. I thought it was due to a little bit of rough housing combined with improper alignment during my yoga practice. So, I shifted my yoga practice, stopped rough housing with my son and had confidence that the pain would go away.

It didn’t. Not only did the pain increase, it started to rise up into my lower back. Meaning whenever I woke up in the morning, I rolled out of bed scrunched and hunched over on my right side and could barely walk. It took most of the morning to warm my body up and picking up my son was out of the question. Try not picking up a toddler 🙁 To let me know that it was serious, my body started waking up at God-awful hours and not going back to sleep until 10 minutes before my alarm. No herbal concoction could bring me good sleep. Only NyQuil would do and even with that shit I was up at 5-ish.

In the midst of all this physical pain and frustration, I forgot to feel my feelings. I never checked in. I mean I kept grounding chakras and shifting around my yoga practice which offered some relief. But, it took me a week or so to actually stop and feel my feelings.

My emotions (and I have lots of them) have a way of pooling in my hips and lower back. When I refuse to pay attention to what I am feeling, this is usually where pain starts and increases until I listen. If I am super stubborn (and I am) my sleep starts to mess up. When I wake early and my hips throb– that is my clue to just let my feelings flow. So, eventually I did just that.

What did I hear? I heard all sorts of nasty stuff 🙂 Rage, frustration, pain from many moons ago. All sorts of things that I have ignored over the years because it has been easier to bury my feelings underneath food, dick, alcohol and/or good weed over the years than to actually feel anything.

All this listening and feeling has led me to another book. I know, I am a sucker for heal your bullshit books. But, my lower back has stopped hurting and my hips are less cranky. There is hope for me yet 🙂

Until next time, Stay warm and be good yourself!

J

 

Kinda back in the body: Feel the fear

As I continue my journey to being fully engaged in my body in the present moment I feel so much fear. Fear is deep within me. It quietly saps my will and makes everything so much harder than it needs to be.

Fear pools up in my lower back causing pain and a bit of low-key mayhem. Fear tells me I am getting sick. Fear inspires miscommunications with dear loved ones. Fear  prevents compassion for myself and others as we all go through whatever we are going through.

I feel so much fear that I just want to stop, curl myself into a ball and just sleep all day long. I don’t want to do shit. I don’t want to play with my son. I don’t want to cook. I don’t want to socialize or do anything where I can be seen or have to say shit to anyone. I want to hide in the safe space of my imagination. In my imagination there is never anything to fear. I can always imagine again, if I don’t like where my mind is wandering.

This fear, my fear, is old. The time when it kept me safe has came and went many moons ago. I don’t need it anymore. But I keep hanging on to it and it keeps hanging on to me. It even pops up when I haven’t been with it in a while; like it’s an old friend coming to visit.

I want to say that I am doing something to deal with the fear; like there is some magical yoga practice combined with some herb that is eradicating my fear. There isn’t such a thing; not that I’ve found :). Or maybe there is and I am too comfy with my fear.

I know that I get like this. The best I can do is put one foot in front of the other. I’ve shifted my practice to strengthen and ease my aching back. I have been on top of drinking my daily teas. I am trying not to be completely antisocial. I also remind myself that I am no longer in the past, but in the present moment. Sometimes that helps, sometimes not so much. For now, that’s all I got.

I remember the saying feel the fear and do whatever you are going to do anyway. It sounds cute, but not quite as easy as it sounds.

Things  get better though. They always do.

 

Take Precious Care,

J

 

Still in the body: Transforming nature of Emotions

So, I am still working through Peter Levine’s book: Healing Trauma. I am currently at an exercise where he asks that you track sensations in the body as preparation for sitting with your emotions. After grounding and centering yourself, he suggests that you sit with whatever emotion comes up. He asks that you observe and feel said emotion in your body without analyzing, naming or putting it into context. Levine asks that you sit with the emotion until it changes.

I want to say that I find this practice easy. That would be a lie, though 🙂 It’s challenging to do in the moment with a toddler. Sitting, feeling acknowledging my mounting anxiety while watching my son get his breakfast everywhere but his mouth hasn’t quite worked for me :).

When I am alone and feeling courageous, sitting with emotions is much easier. I find that I am sometimes even able to restrain my desire to classify and make sense of what I am feeling and why. Grounding into the sensation that the emotion causes in and around my body helps me stay present. I find the more I pay attention to my body, the more at ease my mind is. It’s like my mind becomes absorbed with the body rather than with itself.

The practice of sitting with emotions as they evolve reminds me of yoga. Even though my yoga practice occasionally makes me uncomfortable; the more I practice the more things change. Sometimes things change for what seems like something better. Sometimes, things get worse. But the more I practice, the more I feel like I can handle whatever comes up because I have space to handle it with. I love space. As long as I can have space, I can get through anything.

We’ll see what bubbles up and through next!

Take Care,

Jeannette

 

 

Yoga and Herbs to the rescue: Terror and Panic

So as I continue to ease off the crazy amount of tinctures I was taking a couple of things began to emerge namely terror, anxiety and panic.

Anxiety and I are old buddies. He’s always humming in the background; ensuring that my i’s are dotted, t’s are crossed and that all the doors are locked. Although, he’s a bit much sometimes, I always found him to be comforting and manageable when I allow him to do his thing.

However, terror and panic are new to me. At least, I thought so. After being a bit more honest with myself, I realized that the only time I wasn’t actively cycling through terror and panic was when I lived in France. So, I’ve been actively freaking the fuck out on the regular now for years.

Now my version of terror and panic aren’t about pulling my hair out and throwing things. I am sure it looks different for everyone, but my version resembles righteous anger coupled with self – destruction. I build something for myself then start to lash out at those surrounding me as if I am responding to what initiated (and still fuels)  my panic and terror many moons ago. Finding myself  quite embarrassed, I then self-destruct, taking everything down around me. Next I hide out and not speak to anyone for about 3 – 6 months. Rinse and repeat through out my 20’s and most  of my 30’s. I can’t continue to do this with a kid.

Rather than get into the origin of my anxiety, terror and panic, I will tell you what I have been doing about it; especially since I can actually feel  and see it in action these days.

  1. I changed my yoga practice. Since my terror and panic are on an upswing (yay!) I’ve realized that I need a more vigorous practice. Now vigorous is in the eye of the beholder, but I’ve kicked things up a notch. I have also been working with extending my exhalation when I practice pranayama–which has been awesome for those nights when I am up at 3am and  pissed about it.
  2. I’ve been focusing on being more present in my body. It’s kind of bizarre for me to only recently notice that I have been low key freaking the fuck out for years now. If I can’t connect with myself or my feelings it means I am not fully in my body. So I start the morning off with a practice to help bring me into my body.
  3. I’ve been working with my personal boundaries. Meaning, since I am re-learning to be in my body, I am coming to understand how my body acts as a boundary between me and everything else. In short I am beginning to experience where I end and where you begin.
  4. I’ve also been asking plant spirits for help. Although I am still enjoying some herbal teas and tinctures, I’ve been calling up the divine essences of certain plants for help. For example, did you know that Yarrow is excellent at helping you create and maintain boundaries and that stinging nettles will actually defend you? I ask for their help (and a few others) every morning.

I’ve also been playing with Karla McLaren’s The Language of Emotions and Healing Trauma by Peter Levine, Phd.

As things evolve with my yoga and herbal practice I’ll keep you posted.

In the meanwhile, take precious care.