Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Falling Open

I've added to my New Year's resolutions: At least one blog post a month! Honestly though I have so much to write about these days I want to do more. With my semester starting tomorrow, I thought I'd at least try to get one more post in. I've been successful in keeping up with yoga as a daily practice. Even though it's only been a few weeks since I've started I already feel a lot of rewards. Taking a half hour or more every day for myself has been important. "Me Time" has been one of the things I've missed the most about my previous gym rat lifestyle. Yoga has helped me gain more acceptance of myself. At the end of every practice, when the old thoughts of "Oh this isn't enough of a workout, do more" begin to rise I tell myself, "This is enough, I am enough." Then I think about all the benefits one can attain just from yoga practice and I feel so much better about myself and where I am right now.

We've all had our memory jogged by places and scents. Through daily practice I've found that my memory and emotions can be brought forth by poses. Every time I'm in Downward Facing Dog and I move my left leg forward so it's between my hands to do a lunge, I am so grateful. A month after surgery that pose was impossible for me. Now it's a reminder of healing, of progress and hope. Most days, when I do Baddha Konasana I find my left knee coming closer and closer to the ground. And some days, I'm tight, and it doesn't go so far. I don't get discouraged as much anymore. I know that each day my body is different and especially now that my hip is going through ART (Active Release Technique). Muscles are loosening, scar tissue is releasing, there is a lot going on and that's just in my hip!

Besides doing yoga I've been focusing on a "detoxifying diet"*. Most days I have a green smoothie that consists of kale, broccoli sprouts, tart cherry juice, fiber supplement with probiotics, shredded carrots, aloe juice, frozen blueberries and frozen mangoes. Some days I also try to add brown rice protein. This smoothie is a combination of foods that help both my stomach (the now latent gastritis/h. pylori) and reduce inflammation. I recently found out that broccoli sprouts are really good for controlling h. pylori, which is awesome! I'd rather have broccoli sprouts as a preventative than take Mastic Gum and Monolaurin when I feel symptoms acting up (as in when it's already too late). I've been eating a later, "second breakfast" of oatmeal with flaxseeds and raisins or craisins to keep me going until lunch time. Most recently I've tried to make quinoa for breakfast, and I've got to admit I really like it! I've been doing really well at making big, filling, delicious salads with some help from my friend Diana and Gena at Choosing Raw's awesome blog post "How to Build a Meal Sized Salad". In a world where I have all the free time I could want, I would love to write about different foods, their benefits and how to integrate them into your diet.

Last Saturday was the first day in three months that I didn't have noticeable hip pain! I spent most of the day so happy, so grateful that I'm feeling proof that all my efforts, all the pain I go through in ART is paying off. Overall I've seen a significant decrease in my daily aches and pains. I know that I'm going to continue to have ups and downs, but I feel I'm doing everything I can mentally and physically to push through the hard days. I know now that if I push myself too hard, even if its doing upper body strength training, it can set off a chain of reactions within me that can send my body back months. I hope to continue all the hard work I've been doing this winter break and keep with it through this next semester – hell, through the rest of my life.

I must note that the title of this post comes from a yoga philosophy blog by the same name that I have recently discovered and really enjoy. I've been working a lot at opening myself, to my own body and to those around me. It's just another way I've been trying to heal and that's helped by yoga practice. I've come across a lot of blogs and such that I really enjoy and have made an impact on me. Please check out:
The Everything Yoga Blog
Jennifer O'Sullivan at iHanuman
Flying Yogini
Brené Brown's TED Talk

* Note: I don't mean "detox" like I'm following some set plan by some guru, quack, former model, current celebrity where I drink water with maple syrup and lemon juice, fast for days, subsist on juices or anything like that. I mean "detox" in the sense that through research I've mish-mashed together an idea of foods that are good for me. Some of this has been through trial and error since I've started eating a healthy, mostly plant-based diet: Eating what I've noticed my body likes and avoiding what my body doesn't like. The main foods I avoid: sugar, dairy, coffee and alcohol. All of which are foods that increase inflammation. Oh and I've added in a lot more greens and antioxidant rich foods, ie foods that reduce inflammation.


Anonymous,  January 25, 2011 at 9:24 PM  

Love this post and kudos on all you've accomplished so far in 2011! Working through an injury is not easy and can be immensely frustrating. I had two last year (neck and shoulder) and it completely made me rethink how I could do yoga. I learned I was pushing too hard and needed to find my ease on the mat. While a hard lesson, it was also a very wonderful one and has changed my practice for the better.

So glad you found our #365yoga group on Twitter and my blog. Thanks for reading and sharing it here. Maybe we can meet up sometime in CT for a class.. I'll back off on the shoulder poses and you can back off on the hip ones. :-)

rock on

The Column March 2, 2011 at 6:19 PM  

So encouraged reading this post!!! Couldn't prescribe a better diet and eating choices!

But I am so glad to know you are able to do the yoga every day, and that you are getting more and more improvement with the release therapy.



bob April 16, 2011 at 12:26 AM  

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