Christmas Indulgence and Pain

As we are mid Christmas season about to embark on a few days of absolute indulgence, let’s enjoy the space to have time out from our normal routines. It is often in the time out that we can see things a little differently: when we are kicked out of our ‘busyness’.

Whilst this is going on, I am still recovering from these injuries, which has led me to be interested in the notion of pain. I have been reading about this guy, Dr. Lorimer Mosley, who gives a different outlook on pain. Our nociceptors send information about tissue damage up to the brain. The brain then evaluates the extent of this damage, and ‘decides’ how to respond. Watch the video below to listen to Mosley’s funny account of how this works. If people can feel pain in their prosthetic limbs, it tells us that the picture of damage = pain is not that clear cut. It is not to undermine the importance of pain since it is a guide to protect us! Below is the closest image I could find to explain the experiment.

His talk also underpins how our rational thought can override or, at least, influence our perceptions in some instances. It is a constant interplay between how we sense the world, and how our past experiences influence this incoming information and shape who we are. You may know what I mean when I say that sometimes we can oscillate between growing up and falling back into well-carved patterns from our past. Being aware of our patterns of behaviour is a step in the right direction. This is stuff that happens all the time, not just on the mat.

Merry Christmas and see you all next year <3 xx

Learning through Injury

So, I have recently injured my achilles tendons: they are tight, not torn. I am not someone who has ever really had an physical injuries in life, and so recent times have been an eye opener. I am being interested in the injury and learning through the different ways to approach it. From a yoga perspective, I am doing movements that lengthen and contract as well as eccentric exercises that do both. There is nothing my achilles tendons like more than the eccentric movements. Using a stair, from a planter flexion position, I move my calfs down into a dorsiflexion one: the muscle contracts because it is being used, and it lengthens.

Keeping it Real with a Daily Practice

Hey, I just wanted to share a little of my practice with you. We have our different ways of approaching how we practice. I have a daily practice pretty much, which sees me through the swings and turns of life. But, like everyone else, I have days when I am in conflict with myself, days when I am more peaceful, and days when I am raging with the world. I am not one of the people who thinks that once they do dog pose, they are gonna be living in some ideal harmonic world of bliss. I think it helps find balance; it helps us find out who we are in life; and it helps us face ourselves: for better of for worse. And, maybe with time, those conflicts work themselves out, by shining the light of awareness on it. I think that those who favour the ‘love and light’ philosophy are missing out on the darkness we all keep in our souls, and if we do not recognise this in ourselves, we could turn into one of those ‘yogis’ who project the darkness out. I have heard some people call it the spiritual bypass or disassociation, but what it amounts to is not being in your body. The reason this happens, I feel, is because that kinda work is hard and it takes time. I have been in and out of fairly light to very intense daily practices over the years, but, at the moment, it basically consists of a little yoga where I am following the work of the amazing Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen, the odd sunrise run and some continuum breathing, using sound and free movement. It would be great to hear what anyone is working at the moment and how they find it! <3