Yoga & Lyme – 5 Ways It Helps

We’ll be experiencing some of these practices Sunday, Jan. 13 @Integral Yoga Institute at the Yoga for Lyme and Chronic Lyme workshop. Link to info is at the end. If you’re in the NYC area, join me!
1. Deep Relaxation/The Power of Intention– Learning how to relax reduces stress and allows all the body’s systems – including circulatory, respiratory, neurological, hormonal, balancing, digestive, biochemical – to do more of what they already know how to do: restore, renew, repair cleanse, rebuild, in short, heal. Deep relaxation brings the formidable power of the mind’s intention and imagination to the mission of finding ease and peace.
2. Restorative Yoga – a therapeutic yoga practice based on safe and supported positioning of the body. With the support of blankets, bolsters, a wall, a chair, a strap, blocks — and breath-based awareness either in deepening the stillness or in informing gentle movement — those living with Lyme can find ways to listen to the body, support themselves and enjoy the benefits of movement and deep physical release without causing injury or aggravating symptoms. Of course, the more vigorous movements and poses (asanas) of other variations of yoga are also wonderful, but that’s as we are able, and sometimes, we just need to find deep support.
3. Making Peace with the Moment – Finding peace, contentment, gratitude, stillness and full awareness in the moment, as in meditation, makes space for the difficult challenges of Lyme and Chronic Lyme and can allow for worries, fears, anger, resentment, depression, pain and suffering to ease their hold.
4. The Breath – It’s the bridge between the body and the mind. Focusing on the breath allows us to come out of what yogis call “the drunken monkey mind” or the “wild-herd-of-elephants mind.” We bring our compassion and attention through the breath to our feet, calves, hips, back, heart, our pain, our discomfort, our nausea and confusion. Allow the breath to be the wind that moves your limbs, branches, leaves …. When the exhalation is longer than the inhalation, the body receives a powerful signal that it is not “running from a tiger.” It’s free to cleanse, build, restore and rest.
5. Guided Visualizations and Affirmations – Whether the subject be fighting Lyme and its co-infections, reducing pain, surrounding one’s self with protective forces or even welcoming much-needed sleep, guided visualizations have been shown to be a statistically significant resource in healing, recovery and resilience. The ancient Buddhist practice of Tonglen, which can transform suffering into a deep sense of compassion for ourselves and others, is just one of the countless forms of visualization that we can call up and tailor to just what we need in this moment.

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