One yogini sharing her path of discovery

Posts tagged ‘yoga’

Whiplash and Yoga

Common Whiplash Symptoms

Common Whiplash Symptoms

Whiplash is not an uncommon injury in our culture. Unfortunately, it is quite frequent. According to the Whiplash  Prevention Campaign  nearly 200 rear-end collisions occur a day in BC alone. With rear-end collisions being the main cause for Whiplash it is safe to say that many people are effected.

For many individuals with a yoga practice already or those who haven’t tried yet, a physical practice is generally taken off the table as am form of rehabilitation. Pictures of big twists and memories of shoulderstand can understandably send someone running the other direction. Thankfully I am able to work with individuals in various stages of a whiplash injury sharing asana, pranayama, and meditation practice to aid in the stages of healing. And for those patients and physiotherapists who have been willing to give it a try have seen the great benefits.

Some benefits of Yoga in the various stages of a whiplash injury:

-Aids in easing anxiety and calming the fight or flight response

-Improves propreoception and overall body awareness

-Can gently maintain mobility and function while the body heals

-Balances energy levels

-Improves sleep

-Strengthens posture

– Aids in improving immune function

– Increases overall strength and core stability

The list goes on….

The most important and long-term benefit that I have noticed, however, is people getting back in control of their body. Often, those that come into the clinic for treatment are not at fault for the collision. They also usually have lawyers or family and friends telling them to “hold out” for larger settlements and they very quickly fall into the role of the victim. Some even hold tight onto the strings of entitlement, believing that they are “owed”.  According to a study by the NHS, it generally takes 32 days to recover, but one in five sufferers continue to still have symptoms up to a year later. Not surprisingly, this can lead to depression, anxiety and a range of other stress-related illnesses.

It is clear to many in the rehabilitation setting that people very quickly give up the right to their body and get stuck. Believing that it is someone else’s responsibility to make them better and deciding that they won’t be happy until they can feel “normal”again. All the various aspects of Yoga practice truly play a vital role in showing people that they can be in control of their breath, their body, and their thought patterns. It puts individuals back in the drivers seat and  creates a more realistic template for setting goals and moving away from being the victim to the victor.

 

So how should you go about adding a yoga practice in safely with physiotherapy/RMT treatment when suffering from whiplash?

1. If you don’t have a physiotherapist already look for a clinic or rehab center that is associated with a yoga studio or employs someone who does Yoga rehab/therapy so that it can be an option on your recovery road. Some insurance companies will even approve active rehabilitation by a physiotherapy assistant or kinesiologist so use this to your advantage and find one that also teaches yoga.

2. Schedule some one-on-ones with a therapeutic Yoga instructor. Sometimes (not always) more pricey but a great way to get some insight into  moving forward with a yoga practice independently. Just one or two sessions can make a world of difference and keep your body safe in the class setting.

3. Once you have moved beyond the acute phase of your injury and your health professional gives you the okay, check out a restorative or gentle hatha yoga class. ***Also let your instructor know your injury*** Most instructors know how to provide students with props and modifications to suit every body.

4. If your budget is a little tight from paying for all your treatment and possibly loosing time from work, the internet is a great source for meditation tips and gentle yoga videos. Find something that resonates with you. Also websites like YogaGlo are a great source for at home practice.

 

For more information on Yoga for rehabilitation or how to enhance your practice after an injury please don’t hesitate to contact me .

 

Namaste

 

x Carly

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February Food Foundations

Eating in

Eating in

Good news : February is almost past

Bad news: I am afraid of loosing all that I have gained from this last months resolution.

We chose “No Eating Out” for the second month of the year primarily because we wanted to be healthier and it only had 28 days in it so we wouldn’t to deprive ourselves of restaurant food for very long. It also seemed like such a daunting task since I probably average 1 meal out a day. Our lives are busy ones … along with everyone else … and grabbing a sandwich here and a burrito there just seemed easier then carrying around a bunch of food with me all day long. The benefits of this all, however, have expressed beyond those initial intentions as all of our resolutions do.

First, I noticed a drastic change of energy. I felt more awake and stronger after my first week of preparing all of my meals by my own hands and with fresh ingredients. Many “Well Duh!” ‘s may follow that last comment but it really took doing it myself for an extended period of time to realize the importance of making our own food.

Second, I am saving hundreds of dollars! For some, another “Duh!” moment. For me, I expected to save some money but I truly had no idea it would be this much. I am terrible with money. I never really know how much I have, how much I owe, or where and how it gets spent. I have always been completely hopeless and happily delusional and this has been a surprising wake-up call as well as new-found motivation into being better with where my money goes.

Third, our relationship has improved. Along with the “eating in” resolution we also decided to eat every meal at the kitchen table instead of the usual Netflix 1-2 hour dinner watch-a-thon. Now, I will be honest. On those nights when I got home late from work and wanted desperately to never sit in a chair again, we did end up cross-legged on the floor in front of the TV, zoned out and unconsciously shoveling food into our mouths. But the majority of the time we ate at the table and would stay there talking well beyond our plates had been emptied and cleared. My partner even started helping out with meals (Despite our “I cook, you clean” arrangement) which I really appreciated on those nights when I would usually vote for take out sushi.

Now as we munch our way into March this coming week I want to stay connected with the foundations that we have cultivated. New habits of making lunches, brining snacks, and creative cooking are always available and in a city where it is incredibly easy to forget these things I think its important that we keep ourselves reminded on all that we have gained from this months experience. And as always, even though I have always known this was the better way, it took actually doing it to make the difference. Practice makes for more practice. Horay!

Happy Eating In !

Namaste

xo Carly

Its a Resolutionful Life

After a year of a different resolution every month it seems completely bonkers not to continue doing it. It is also easy to be inspired when I hear that friends and family members are also taking on our challenge along with us. (If you didn’t see our resolutions for 2013 check out “December Giveaway” for a re-cap)

As we roll into the New Year of 2014 my motivations for resolutions are less about “fixing” myself and more about enhancing my experiences. Despite my intention of guilt-free resolutions, there still was a lot of guilt attached to my goals and it took a whole year of trying new things and various challenges to see the resolutions that really made me grow and those that just made me feel bad. There is always going to be a bit of give and take for any new intention and I believe I can enter into any new goal with a bit more understanding an love knowing that more deeply.

So what is January 2014’s Resolution you ask?!

January is “Take a Picture Everyday” month.

My partner and I have a pretty lovely little life together. Lots of trips, lots of laughs, and lots of love. We also live in one of the most beautiful places in the world. Surrounded my sky and sea and in the 2 years that I have lived here I don’t have much documentation of the beauty in our day to day as well as the spectacular.

Secret look-out beyond English Bay

Secret look-out beyond English Bay

We are constantly making new memories but so rarely have evidence of those memories afterwards. “Hey remember that time we went to that place? It was May and it was hot out. Where was that?” Even looking back in old journals are lacking in my actual life events and instead I only tend to write when I am feeling bad or lonely.

I am all about living in the moment which is why I am in this position in the first place but hopefully a month of documenting our life a wee bit better can help me get more into the habit of doing it in the future.

 

I always love to hear about other’s experiences and ideas on the topic of resolutions. Please feel free to share yours.

November Pick-Up

It is hard to believe that the year of resolutions is coming to the end. It has been a bit of a roller-coaster ride of emotions, failures, successes, and allowing myself the opportunity to be an honest human. Honest about my habits (good & bad), my expectations, my judgements, and my willpower. I am proud of how far I have come and the variety of resolutions that my partner and I have taken on. It has inspired some extreme self-awareness and acceptance of others. As November makes its way around the bend I am feeling almost sad about the end of this year. But it is not over yet and I still have 2 months to take what I have learned and share it out into the world.

November clean-up

Inspired by a foggy evening by the ocean, Burning Man, and a community clean-up program I decided that I wanted to help keep the earth cleaner more than just once a month. So for November I have made the choice of picking up some form of garbage off of the ground outside everyday. Save your “ew’s” and “yucks” for someone else as well. It doesn’t have to be a lot and just once a day. I try to pick-up things like pieces of plastic, coffee cups, etc. I have yet to pick up anything extremely dirty and most of the stuff on the ground is just needless trash (accidental or otherwise).

litter

My intention for this exercise is not to judge the reason for the trash but instead try to do my part in my community and to show that if we work together we can help keep our home a little cleaner.

The first couple days I did not pick up anything. I was talking about it but somehow had never “gotten around to it” which is barely an excuse. It was clear to me then that it needed to become a part of my routine and after 4 days in a row it has become a valued part of my day as well.

So if you see me on the side of the road picking up garbage its not because I am trying to cheat my own jail sentence but instead hoping to the reduce the death sentence we are creating on our  planet.

Rolling Without Sugar

I generally have a hard time writing these “half-way” points in my resolution month because the moment I sit down to translate my thoughts and feelings I realize how terrible I am doing at my resolution. Now, here I am, halfway through July’s sugar-free month and I also am having a hard time writing but for a different reason. There is just too much I want to say about the subject.

 

In a nut-shell… not eating sugar (basically cutting out anything that isn’t a naturally occuring sugar) is tough, but I have been doing half decent at it. Despite it being the most challenging resolution so far for the first week… its a lot easier now 16 days in.

Why ? Well, I have a lot of help. The internet is filled with all sorts of nice little tid-bits on how to cook without it, what products to avoid, and meal plans. It was time consuming for the first couple weeks, I won’t lie. Grocery shopping took me at least 50% longer  as I read every single label trying to find where they have snuck in the sugar, but now I know what I can and can’t eat so its a quick. My partner is doing it with me and its so awesome to have someone on the same journey to help support and encourage. I also feel amazing. … but this could have to do with a lot of things. I have also majorly cut down on my coffee intake – only having one when I actually have time to sit and enjoy it and not just drink it as a stimulant or out of habit. Also, meat of any kind doesn’t grace our table very often which seems to work for my body.

So what does that leave to eat? A variety of amazing veggies, fruit, and other delicious items that don’t need sugar to sweeten them up.

Its not all sunshine and roses, however. I still get cravings, eating out is pretty challenging, and once July is finished I am nervous that I will just fall back into old patterns. Depsite those fears, as with all of my resolutions, I believe just culitvating awareness plays an important role and helps me make better choices in all aspects of my life.

 

Loving the journey!

Namaste

x Carly

Yoga: What is your perception?

300px-Cup_or_faces_paradox

As I was prepping for a one-on-one session with a patient I found myself intercepting a conversation. I am a fairly obvious eavesdropper at the best of times but my ears and heart always will perk more at the mention of yoga.

A couple women who do private Pilates sessions at the clinic were discussing their current injuries. One was complaining of back pain and said something along the lines of “I should maybe try doing more yoga” . I smiled as I gathered my props feeling the warmth of triumph at the statement. My feeling was short-lived, as most triumphant moments are, when the other women replied “No, yoga will make it worse. I get worse when I go to yoga. My boyfriend won’t even let me go to class. He just tells me to do more Pilates because that doesn’t hurt me. All yoga will hurt you.”

Now usually I am pretty non-bias when it comes to people’s opinions on things but to hear this blanketed statement being said about yoga really aggrevated me. Taking it too personally ….?  most definitely. I make a living primarily teaching yoga as a form of therapy for individuals with acute or chronic issues. This women’s statement immediately effected me because I felt like it was a attack on MY profession as well as MY abilities as a health-care worker.

I did not hesitate to make myself a part of the conversation by adding “It depends on the type of yoga” … I then turned up my nose, gathered the rest of my props and went into the treatment room where I let my patient quickly jump to MY and yoga’s defense.

Okay… so I as tempting as it is to decide that this women is ignorant and I am the one who “knows best”  I need to look at the bigger picture here. Who or what is really at fault? Inquire.

-The words MY, I, ME played a big role in this whole exchange. Enough said. It was only a perceived personal attack because this women doesn’t know who I am, my patient’s, or what I do.

-I don’t know anything about this women, her body, or her previous experience with yoga.

-The perception of yoga varies from person to person due to experiences, history, and the media and not everyone is aware or fully understands of the different aspects of it.

-Perceptions can be dangerous and extremely limiting. I strongly believe that there should always be an open inquiry about our lives whether things are good or bad, whether a type of treatment hurt or healed, whether a certain food felt nurturing or inhibiting.

-In the end, we all have a choice and we all have to be conscious on what we are stating as FACT to people. I try to be really careful about “preaching” the benefits of yoga because its not every individual is going to resonate with it. There are many different forms of exercise, breath work, meditation, and therapy that work for different folks.

What are your perceptions?

*Remember this is merely an inquiry into my own thought process as well as the space & people around me. The world is not black and white … its full of color.

Namaste

x Carly

Sugarfree July

sugar-free-candy

I missed out on doing a mid-month post about my June truths… consciously?? Perhaps. Although, I do feel it was a success. I am feeling dramatically better in regards to my self-image and was diligent about only speaking when I had something completely true to say. The culmination of it all happened near the end of the month when my longest, bestest friend came for a visit. A fellow yoga goddess and someone I admire deeply for her courage and eagerness to explore. When had many long talks about all things yoga. For anyone that knows yoga teachers, that generally means talks about life and living yogic-ly. She recently gave up sugar for a teacher training and it was interesting to see how her own body image has changed and how awesome it was to see her stay true to her goal. So that brings me to July with my new resolution… No sugar.

While my friend was here I discovered a surprising number of products contain sugar. Things I didn’t even consider. When I think of my own eating habits… sugar isn’t really on my radar as an indulgence. I put raw sugar in my coffee in the morning and eat the occasional treat and will most definitely get  a fountain coca-cola when I go to the movies but that’s hardly ever. But as my friend and I scanned the grocery store for supplies for dinner and snacks for the week I was shocked that only one of 10 different brands of granola didn’t contain sugar. Almost every cereal has sugar or a form of as the second or third ingredient and  countless other products line the shelves with sneaky sugar added in. The time is now… sugarless July!

It’s day 4 and am feeling my lack of sugar for the first time as my body slowly lets go of what is still remaining. I have come to realize how much sugar I do consume… consciously or not. So many fruits and spices contain natural sugars and sweetness to them and I am looking forward to getting back control of my taste buds that have been tainted by the food industry’s glutenous use of refined sugars. ***Also as a side challenge my partner and I have also stopped drinking coffee… a major part of my sugar consumption.

Gratitude to Keira for inspiring me and Wes to do this and of all my resolutions so far, I am very interested to see how it plays out.

Do you have thoughts or tips to share? I would love to hear them.

Namaste

xo

Carly

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