Yoga: do it at home. You don’t have to start in the classroom!

Woke up last night and wrote the below blurb, most of which appeared on Beyond Meds Facebook page.

yogaI still have days where I’m too sick to move much at all. I need to be in bed most of the day and I’m really, really, sick. Almost like the flu sick…it’s hard to explain but it’s global and complete and still happens with some frequency. Anyway, what I find fascinating (and wonderful too) is that first, it moves through much faster than it used to, but secondly how as I come out of whatever it is my body is going through my body starts SCREAMING for yoga. I had to get up tonight in the middle of the night and do yoga. Twice now since I’ve been up. The process of mindful attendance of my body/mind/spirit now allows me to further move through and heal what had been stagnant toxic energies…it’s a slow process but it’s also clearly deeply intelligent and it’s my animal body directing all of it.

yes…these heavy, sick days are a tide that visit far more often than I’d like but there are very clear patterns…that strongly suggest process…it’s good to watch in this way, with curiosity because then it’s all just very interesting…allows me to step back from the discomfort and pain…and let it happen.

Yoga has been and remains fundamentally important to my healing process. Not only did it allow me to slowly rehabilitate my bedridden, atrophied muscles. (it’s rather astonishing what happens to the body after being mostly inert in bed for two years). But it has since started to slowly deeply strengthen me in a multitude of other ways. In this process too, since yoga is also a profound mindfulness practice, I’ve come to learn to deeply listen to my body. Yoga, among other things, serves as a system of somatic release. In this way layers and layers of trauma and pain can be accessed and healed.

Everytime I bring up yoga and how it’s been an important part of my healing process in public forums like Facebook or Twitter, people tell me how they can’t practice yoga because they haven’t found a class, or because they cannot go to a classroom given how ill they are. I want to remind everyone I STILL cannot go to a class and I rose up from my sick bed using yoga when I could not even leave my house! I have one thing to say. YOUTUBE. If you don’t like youtube: yoga books and tapes. Start really slowly. Be gentle and kind. Listen to your body.

Below I’m posting some of the yoga posts that include very easy videos that I started out with as I got out of bed. Look for RESTORATIVE yoga videos when you first start. These are deeply healing to the nervous system and those of us with withdrawal syndrome need to heal our autonomic nervous systems. 

Here are some links that can get people started if they’re still ill or if they’re just beginning a yoga practice:

these sequences have also been very healing…belly breathing is also really really good for the calming of the nervous system:

The above can get you started with baby steps. Don’t feel beholden to do all of any of these videos. Pick and choose from what your body likes and wants.

Here is a longer but very gentle routine as well…again, remember only do that which your body likes.

I want to underscore that I rarely do more than 20 minutes of yoga at one sitting even now and I’ve been doing a deep and profound yoga practice for several years now. My body is still healing…this is what it needs. Being a good yogi doesn’t mean necessarily stamina (or great physical flexibility)…it’s much more about listening and attending to the body right NOW. On physically stronger days I may do yoga several times a day. Anything from 5 minute to 20 minute sessions. On a really bad day I may do nothing at all or more often just really small laying down stretches for no more than a few minutes.

Trust yourself. Trust your body.

MORE: Yoga posts on Beyond Meds

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