Tag Archives: health

Words I have heard in my yoga practice that you might need to hear right now

First of all… this poem called Joy For No Reason by Danna Faulds:

I am filled with quiet joy for no reason save the fact that I’m alive.


The message I received is clear – there’s no time to lose from loving,


no place but here to offer kindness,


no day but this to be my true, unfettered self and pass the flame from heart to heart.


This is the only moment that exists – so simple, so exquisite, and so real.

woman wearing grey long sleeved top photography
Photo by Artem Bali on Pexels.com

Secondly…

…You are beautiful, inside and out.

…Sometimes it’s tough.  Mentally.  Physically.  Emotionally.  But you push through it and the relief at the end is a feeling unlike any other.

…The most valuable gift we can give our bodies is time.

…This breath in…this breath out.

woman in black bikini underwater photography
Photo by Engin Akyurt on Pexels.com

…May you be happy, may you be safe, and may you live your life with ease.

…We always seem to be tied up in what has happened and what is happening later.  But when we lock into our breathing, we are in the present.

…You are here, you showed up.  You did the hard part.

…Appreciate that you are alive beneath your hands, that you are the only person under your hands that matters right now.

Image result for supta baddha konasana with hands over heart

And don’t forget…

…If you can balance your body in here, you can balance anything out there.

…It’s okay if you fall.  It means you pushed it to your edge, and you get right back up.

…You’re the most graceful fall-er I’ve ever met.

…Your pose is not going to look the same as any other pose, because every body is different.

…Every day, your body needs different things.  One day you may be able to hold a headstand for 10 minutes, the next maybe you need to lie down into child’s pose most of the practice.  Wherever your body is, is perfect.

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Photo by Zsolt Joo on Pexels.com

…If you are really stressed or overwhelmed, try doing a few handstands.  They take conscious effort and focus, so it diverts your mind for a minute, and brings your attention to your balance and breath.  I think of it like hitting a mini restart button on whatever you were doing.

…We all know about the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would like to be done unto yourself.  But did you know it goes both ways?  You should do unto yourself as you do unto others.

…Find comfort in the discomfort.

…Whatever it looks like right now is beautiful.

…You’re sweating and you’re breathing: that’s all that really matters.

..Nothing changes if nothing changes.

…When the merry-go-round of thoughts come in, let them.  But don’t get caught up on any that don’t matter in the right now.  Just let them keep going around.

carousel at the park
Photo by Salma Smida on Pexels.com

In case you need a reminder…

…You are enough, you do enough, you have enough.

…Practice self-compassion.  Compliment yourself and appreciate your body just as you would another person.

…If your loved one was going through this, what would you tell them?  Sometimes what we tell others is what we need to hear ourselves.

…Find softness in your edge; the furthest point you can push your body.  Then exhale, soften, and push just an inch further.  That’s where the change happens.

…Sometimes what we need is not what we want.

…Heart open, back straight, booty low.

…It’s so easy to just send a text, or post a photo.  Showing up, being present – that’s showing passion, commitment, appreciation, drive.

…Just being here, right now, adds to the dynamic of the room.  If one person was missing, this whole practice would be different.

And finally…

…The light in me sees, and honors the light in you. Namaste.

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Photo by Vinícius Vieira Fotografia on Pexels.com


Special thank you to The Yoga Shop of Salem (well the entire TYS community, for that matter) for allowing me to grow in my practice, my mind, and my life.  Thank you for sharing these words with me in and out of our practice.

If you would like more mantras like these, I highly suggest getting yourself a copy of  Journey to the Heart by Melody Beattie. (Shout-out to Amanda for the best Secret Santa gift this year.) Some of these words came from this book, as many of my instructors use it for their opening meditations in class.

Or, better yet, come join a practice sometime.  I promise you won’t regret it.

When a Health Issue is a (Financial) Death Sentence

When I was let go from my first full time teaching job due to budget cuts, many things went through my mind.  Would I find a new job?  What will happen to my students?  How will I tell my parents?  On top of this my biggest fear of all was that I was losing my health insurance.

I don’t remember much of the meeting.  I was called into the Principal’s office (something equally if not more scary for a teacher than a student) and there was a Human Resources representative sitting in the room.  I sensed what was going to happen.  My face felt hot and there was a rock in my stomach.  When I was told that I would be finishing the year but not having my contract renewed, I sat, shaking, and asked why.  The principal listed reasons but I barely listened.  I began crying and blurted out “but what about my health insurance?”

This job loss came only a week after I found a tick in my leg.  At first, I thought it was a scab–possibly from a razor nick I didn’t notice.  ~WARNING: GROSS TICK-IN-LEG DESCRIPTION AHEAD~ The next day, I took a closer look and realized something was embedded under my skin.  It was black and no bigger than a poppy seed–it was a tick nymph.  Nymphs are the smallest and most likely to transmit Lyme disease.  I did my best to dig it out, but it wouldn’t budge.  I was not able to fully remove it until about a week later–when my skin had grown and pushed the (now dead) tick up.

My fate was sealed.  After only a couple days, the signature bullseye showed up around the bite and I felt fatigued.  My worst Lyme symptoms were the fatigue and brain fog.  Being tired is one thing.  Being sleep deprived is another.  Having fatigue is an entirely different beast.  I would have trouble waking up, be falling asleep at my teaching job, come home and nap, work my second job, and then go to bed and sleep for ten hours.  My work schedule was tough but I had never had an issue with being so tired until this symptom showed up.

In addition to the fatigue, I had brain fog.  I had a lot of issues with communicating.  I remember getting so frustrated in conversations when I couldn’t find the word I was looking for.  I was having trouble articulating exactly what I wanted to say, causing misunderstandings that I struggled with clarifying.  The fatigue was awful, but the brain fog was frustrating.  Luckily, I found help.

I was connected through a friend of a friend to my wonderful doctor who tested me for Lyme, which came up as positive–with two cases.  I was shocked to hear this.  She told me that often, the disease goes undetected because the symptoms can be mild and hard to pinpoint.  We figured out Lyme had been in my body already for at least ten years and that I had developed this new case on top of it.  I started on antibiotics right away and have been on strong antibiotics for six months now.  My older case is gone and my treatment is progressing as planned, but my monthly tests are still showing Lyme and a weakened immune system as a result.

When I lost my health insurance, I went back onto my mom’s.  Unfortunately, many insurance providers don’t cross state lines, and if they do, they have confusing hoops to jump through (like sending a fax–not an email or letter–a fax).  My monthly appointment with my doctor is just over $300 a month.  My medication is $100 a month.  My lab tests are $150 a month.  For someone who just lost a job, an unexpected $550 a month expense is financially devastating.

My mother’s insurance is able to cover some costs and I am able to apply for some reimbursement for my treatments, but it is still costing me about $200-300 out of pocket per month.  This is much more manageable now that I have a job as a substitute teacher and my second job in the evenings, but I much preferred my $20 copay and partially covered prescriptions.

At the end of the day, I am thankful.  A lot of things could have gone wrong over the course of this journey.  I could have never found my doctor.  I could not have responded well to the antibiotics.  My mother’s insurance could have refused coverage for all of my medical expenses.  I am thankful for my caring doctor, my mother, and the support I have received from family and friends throughout this journey.  That being said, I must now get up on my soapbox.

I have said it so many times over the past six months and I will sound like a broken record to anyone that knows me: we need Universal Healthcare.  I am so privileged to have access to the healthcare, finances, and (albeit lacking) insurance needed to treat my Lyme.  I can’t imagine how much worse my situation would be if I did not have my two jobs or my mother to help me.  I am lucky that my condition isn’t much worse.  I don’t need surgery, chemotherapy, or insulin, just antibiotics and a monthly check-in.  I hate to think about the financial ruin I would be in if it was worse.  If we had Universal Healthcare, we would only worry about getting better, not the cost of treatment.

The fact that millions in the United States do not have health insurance and are susceptible to suffering from treatable diseases due to a lack of funds is a national embarrassment.  We are the generation with the lowest voter turnout rate.  So vote.  Advocate.  Make this issue known.  Because a bug the size of a poppy seed should not become a financial death sentence.

 

Music: The Universal Beats of the Heart

The Heart. It beats somewhere between 60 and 100 beats per minute for an adult over the age of 18. We all have one, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, sex, religion, etc.

But why is this important?

We can’t always listen to what our heart is saying. That is where I believe that music comes in.

Music is a form of art that is not only able to be listened to, but comprehends and speaks to the heart, mind, and soul of a person. It simultaneously can uplift, motivate, help grieve, and at times is a reflection of who we are at our best and at our worst. Music therapy is also a growing field, which helps to prove how beneficial music is.

According to a study by Harvard Medical School, listening to music has a lot of health benefits such as improving exercise ability, easing stress, and help blood pressure levels as well as heart rate return to baseline quicker than when compared to studies where there is no music present.

Everything we do in life has a beat, a rhythm, as the keyboard clicks away, the fan spins away in the background, or the tires spin on the old Honda Accord. We’re surrounded by sound. Surrounded by music. All of us enjoy different sounds, reflective of who we are and who we want to be. Music isn’t just a part of life that we can enjoy, it’s with us every step of the way.

Study Here: https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/tuning-in-how-music-may-affect-your-heart