Fear of Rest

In our society it seems people value their importance by the craziness of their Calender. In the clinic and with my friends, as we try to coordinate schedules I hear it all. Everything from meetings, to lunches, Yoga reverse plank one legclasses, to running schedules, kids, friends, traveling, IOS update malfunctions. We are always moving, stimulated, texting, talking or sitting plugged in. I am a culprit as well.

On the East Coast I attended Relax and Renew a Restorative Training hosted by Physical Therapist, Yoga Teacher Judith Lasater. She reinforced the importance of relaxation and finding quiet and stillness. She also mentioned how sometimes we actually fear rest and the quietness, because the initial letting go can be painful.contemplation And, are we also afraid to be alone with ourselves?

It is usually in this first moment of actually beginning to relax that I realize how wound up, tight and anxious I was in the first place. The first phase of letting go can be uncomfortable physically and mentally. But, it is also in this phase that we receive important lessons our body and minds are telling us, or it is time to integrate all activities and feelings from the day.

relaxing wide leg foldMaybe we need to learn to be more comfortable slowing down, and turning in. Practice makes perfect. The more we stop, the easier and more comfortable it becomes. Until we actually crave the silence. In the beginning Judith recommends setting a timer for a few minutes while in a comfortable sitting or supine position. Sometimes knowing there is an end allows the mind to relax easier.

This is only one way to start at home. If you find you are distracted easily you might consider trying a Restorative Yoga class. Sometimes it is a welcome break from busy life schedules and active workouts or Flow Yoga classes. The next challenge is to unload our busy schedules by prioritizing. But, this is a whole other topic, and one of my biggest hurdles.

How do you slow down?


Summer Inspiration

These days life goes so fast. As we rush from one thing to the next, and cross items off the list, and look forward to the next one, it is important to take a moment and appreciate the now.

kauai storm motivation

This summer just flew by. Concerts, hikes, friends, Yoga, the beach, Camping with my husband and I couldn’t ask for more. At times, however, I had to remind myself to stop and enjoy the moment. And, as I take a deep breath in that moment I finally feel the tension melt away I didn’t even realize I was carrying. The pictures here were captured in those moments. I sunset

Camping in Idywilld

I meditation

Mid hike break

swamis sunset

One of the first Sunsets of the summer at our local beach.

purple sunset

On a beach walk after work.

backyard sunset
Caught in the backyard.

endless encinitas summer

San Diego’s endless Summers….

What is Scoliosis?

There are three normal curvatures of the spine:

spine labeledthe lordotic Cervical, the kyphotic Thoracic, and lordotic Lumbar curves which help you to stand upright, walk and absorb impact and shock during activities of life.

Some people have one or two additional curves of the spine, when shown from the back appear in almost an “S” form. This is one marker of Scoliosis.      scoliosis2

There are two types of Scoliosis: Structural and Functional.

Structural Scoliosis is typically diagnosed at a young age. During a forward bend forward test a Health Care Professional will notice on one side the rib or scapula sits higher. This curvature can be Idiopathic, meaning cause unknown, or because of a bony fusion or change in the body during growth.

Functional Scoliosis is typically diagnosed later in life through similar forward bend test by a Health care Professional. This type of Scoliosis can be corrected when changing positions, or alignments of the body. Functional scoliosis can occur due to a difference in leg heights, muscle spasms, avoiding pain or through a repetitive task occurring over a long period of time.

For both types of Scoliosis, if no corrections are made the curves worsen over time. X-Rays or imaging maybe required to determine the severity of the mis alignment. Depending on the degree  of Scoliosis a patient will experience different severity of symptoms. Some symptoms include back pain; which can either be in the upper back or lower, tightness in the shoulder region, difficulty sitting or standing in one position for a long period of time, or a difference in height or the pelvis or shoulders.  Treatment depends on the direction of curvature, and severity. In some cases a brace or even surgery is required.

Both Physical therapy and Yoga can help prevent further worsening of the Scoliosis and in some cases reverse the misalignment helping to ease pain. From personal experience I can tell you both work, and helped reduce my discomfort tremendously.  If you have any questions e-mail me at berryhappybodies@gmail.com

For information view NIH’s resource page.

The Power of Breath

We do it every day, whether we are conscious of it or not. However, most of the time we only pay attention to our breath when there is a lack of it. Without it we would not be here, and it should not be taken for granted.

Recently, many studies concluded that deep breathing, and meditation can assist to heal the body, and relax the mind. Both are so important during these busy times, and especially when you are in pain.

kauai hike meditation

Don’t let the word meditation scare you off. It does not necessarily mean clearing your head of all thoughts. This is one form, but there are other varieties offering the same benefits with a little more flexibility. You just have to experiment and find a form that works for you.

When I have thoughts coming at me rapid fire, I focus on a picture or scene that calms me.

bird sunset2As I concentrate on the picture in my mind, I take deep inhalations and exhalations. Sometimes it helps to count during the inhalation and exhalation slowly increasing the length of breath.

If you are having pain in a certain area of the body, arrange yourself in a sitting or supine position using whatever pillows, bolsters or props are needed. Bring your attention to the area of discomfort. Here you can listen to what it may be telling you, or you can think of breathing into this area bringing blood flow and nutrients to heal and release whatever maybe stagnant there.

Start slow, 2-3 minutes maybe all you can tolerate. Over time you will be surprised at how fast you can build the length of time, and how easily it can be to let go of all thoughts and

Just be julian lake