Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Bye bye, bells palsy

image compliments of wall art hd gorgeous lavender

Over three and a half years ago, I suffered a scary event on the day before my due date.  My face stopped working on the left side.  Thankfully, it wasn't a stroke.  Unfortunately, it was bells palsy.  The good news at the time was that the baby was fine!  (And he still is).  The news that sort of slowly dawned on me was that my face, my gateway to the world, was a bit damaged.  It took a while to sink in during the early days of motherhood.

However, upon my return to the workforce, I realized I had lost something.  I'd lost a sense of confidence.  I felt tentative and vulnerable, especially in speaking and sales roles.

Without the bells palsy, a nervous system condition, I never would have come so far in the world of yoga therapy.  Without having been left so low, I never would have had the guts to spend the time, money, and effort to pursue training with the American Viniyoga Institute.  First through the teacher training and finally now, I'm about seven months from completing the Yoga Therapy certification.

I am continually progressing with seeing the opposite (Pratipaksa Bhavana) and understanding this process as a gift, rather than a hindrance.  Through this process I've come to find my path - the service I was meant to perform in this world.  I'm still figuring out how to reconcile this path with sending two kids to college - but my faith is developing.

The practice that has helped my bells palsy is a daily event.  It has been supplemented with gentle exercise, acupuncture, myofascial release massage, and craniosacral therapy.

I start on my back, with arm movements coordinated with breath.  I then add pelvic raises to those movements.  I move to my belly for many small variations of breath-centric movement.  I transition through a kneeling posture and to a standing forward bend with arm modifications, and a standing twist, also with arm movements.  I close the asana part of the practice with a table/child's pose variation called cakra vikasana.

I move to my cushion where I chant vowel sounds, in a rising pitch, with nyasa (gesture) and then I chant to ojas, tejas and prana to balance the doshas and perform some cool inner alchemy.  I ask for my faith to be nourished.

I move to a pranayama (breathing) practice with alternate nostril exhale (segmented and regular), alternate nostril inhale (segmented and regular) then nadi sodhana for a few rounds.

Meditation for a few breaths....

At my upcoming training I will be adding the final touches to my practice - meditation and prayer... modification of chanting possible.

With this post, which I've considered writing for some time, I recognize that the bells palsy is on its way out... and that I am SO CLOSE to recovered.  And I am grateful to the process it has engendered.