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I wish to start by thanking you dear Universe: I am much healthier now than I was then.
Research reports suggest Neuromuscular and Musculoskeletal disorders are among the leading health problems and causes of disability worldwide.
There are numerous books, students, teachers, and patients who have been verbal about their learnings while practicing Iyengar Yoga (a form of Hatha Yoga that emphasizes proper alignment and clarity with the encouragement of using helpful props) however, having a rare neurological disease (a problem for which even science doesn’t yet have the answers and is searching for a medical breakthrough) this article speaks about my experience with this exceptional technique.
Health issues hit us in many different ways. I was diagnosed with Isaacs’ Syndrome (a neuromuscular condition stemming from muscle hyperactivity) and Membranous Glomerulonephritis (a progressive kidney disease) apart from Lyme disease (a bacterial illness transmitted by ticks) and Glaucoma (which damages the optic nerve) when muscles tightened till its core, the breath narrowed down and even after years, body denied forgetting the held traumas.
Sometimes, unbelievable situations emerge from nowhere, yet we are certain that solutions will emerge, though not as quickly as we need them. In such times I was introduced to the experience of Iyengar Yoga by a person who constantly practices mental and physical discipline in his approach to life. Though many other therapies and applications contributed to my healing by doing their jobs silently however this concept gave me the inner strength to say ‘’my core has started to heal’’ and if practiced diligently has the potential to cut down and make me independent of medicines. During my research, I came across numerous inspiring stories that transformed people from being in a wheelchair to becoming yoga teachers. That’s what led me to give Iyengar Yoga a try since it is known to focus on people with special health conditions and injuries and has worked wonders with the central nervous system.
Though I didn’t need my Neurologist to tell me that Yoga is essential for a healthy life however considering my past painful experiences with physical activities I wanted to be rest assured before taking it up. To my surprise, it was a wise decision as he gave some essential tips that contributed from the very first day of practice: inform the trainer about your condition, follow exercise guidelines, start very slow, and be under observation, training hard could worsen the condition, listen to what your body has to say, keep hydrated, no extra protein or supplement intake apart from what is prescribed, initially start with alternate days and see how your body responds, stop immediately if there are any symptoms like cramps, fatigue or increase in fasciculation, don’t ever force yourself, measure essential parameters like blood pressure, blood sugar, pulse and weight and most importantly consult back after fifteen days. My training started keeping the following instructions in mind.
I was taking up Yoga as a therapeutic practice and therefore some basic etiquette like starting early morning hours, sound sleep, proper rest, healthy food, practicing in the open air, turning off the cell phone, keeping an open mind towards what is taught, and be prepared for the next day were certain essentials enforced to have a meaningful experience. I started with a series of easy postures that referred to the way I held my body while walking, sitting, relaxing, and standing as it is known to prevent unnecessary stress to the muscular system. It’s a continuous learning curve to train our body to the right postures as the muscle memory gets programmed with the wrong applications. To reduce the risk of further injuries, various sets of Props like belts, yoga bricks, blankets chairs, poles, and bolsters were used for proper alignment and to ease the poses. What makes the training unique is the potential to have something for all ages and modify the asanas using techniques that help one to perform it for long periods effortlessly.
Though the initial few days made me uneasy with body weakness and pain but in the process, I learned to be gentler with myself and started believing that smart efforts could generate positive results as the moves showed a profound effect on health and day-to-day activities. With perseverance, my body recalled the language of letting go of the pain and stress. I felt an increment in the Pranic element or the energy medicine that is responsible for the natural healing process. Information: I was constantly instructed to relax, feel the posture, and surrender to gravity rather than trying too hard with the poses also in my experience, treatment or therapy works well when other collective environmental and integrated factors like food, mental state, lifestyle, etc. support it.
Every wound has a story, its own history, the process of its healing, and the patient as a whole. Soon, the nature of the therapy became a way to process my symptoms by strengthening the spinal column, relief from mild frozen shoulder, increasing mobility, building strength and the vital forces of the body, cutting down on pain, improving flexibility, releasing muscle stress, and the most importantly an improved metabolic process. Iyengar Yoga is among the most crucial healing expertise that helped ease my journey and treat wounds.
During that hour of practice, I could leave everything behind and just breathe the life force within.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not represent any kind of medical advice.