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Finding the Edge

Monday, May 16, 2011

After yoga class today, I had lunch with my teacher. I’d been wanting to meet him for a while and finally got the courage up last week. Sometimes I still feel hesitant and shy around people who I learn from but have nothing structural or defined to give in return. Asking my teacher to hang out is the first example of what I mean by finding the edge.

Over lunch, we talked more specifically about what’s it’s like to find the edge in yoga poses. I hang around at the edge all the time when it comes to doing things with my body. Then, if I don’t fall over the edge, I get to try again the next day. When I go over it, I crash for a few days and try again. Outside of yoga this happens when I walk to much or schedule too many activities with not enough rest.

In class each week, we do poses on one leg at a time. These are the most difficult for me. Actually, any pose that relies on the strength of the hip joints for balance is pretty challenging because my hips have been so damaged by Lyme disease. Today we were aiming for a half moon pose. I got kinda stuck with both arms on the ground and my torso facing the ground. I couldn’t quite maintain my balance and I couldn’t quite rotate the hip of my standing leg to  make my torso face the wall. I tried mostly to see if I could get one arm off the ground. That was my edge.

My teacher saw me struggling with the pose and offered assistance. Accepting help is another challenge for me. I can accept certain kinds of help, but I’ve struggled to literally lean on people, physically accepting support. I know it is exactly what I should have been doing all these years when my walking was impeded and my strength non-existant. But I’m so afraid of falling (in part because my nerves are messed up and my pain responses so extreme) that I’d rather just skip anything I can’t do on my own. Allowing myself to lean against my teacher while being afraid of falling put my right on the edge, again. I hovered at the edge until my hip threatened to give out. Then I saw myself falling off the edge of the pose and I asked to be released.

One of the aspects of my teacher’s style is that he chooses the music for the classes well. His playlists seem to match the mood of the poses and sequences. Today was a bit too rock ‘n roll for me because I knew the words to some of the songs. Still, one song in particular made me find another edge that I’ve been avoiding. Johnny Cash’s I Walk the Line put me in tears. It reminds me of all the mourning I have yet to do over the relationship that I started last autumn that fell apart because of tragic circumstances beyond our control. I found myself suppressing sobs during shivasana. I still miss a certain fellow.

The edge I’ve been struggling with is how much to coil: how long the sessions should be and how many days in between. I know that a few times I’ve jumped right over it (long and painful groan) and other times I wasn’t close enough to be effective in making progress. I keep reminding myself that there isn’t one right way, there are many, and my path is the one I need, mistakes and successes alike.

Finally, I took a peek at an online health quiz for people struggling with chronic illnesses. There are several parts that I think I’ve got on track. The ones that stood out for me were Order and Sleep. I know that I would be doing a lot better if I got to sleep by 10pm every night (I’m writing this at 10:20 pm tonight). What prevents me from going to sleep earlier is that I don’t have quite the right schedule so I don’t finish everything at a decent hour. I’m lonely, and that makes me prioritize contact with people beyond what makes sense in a given moment because I take phone calls and visits when people are available, not only when it’s convenient to me. This is what I need to work on so that I can actually manage my full detox program. I’m not near the edge in this realm. I have yet to find it.

Coiling

Today is a Bartonella day. I’ve got this sneaking suspicion that skipping it for a few days last week to recover from the allergic reaction gave the infection extra time to grow back. So when I coiled on Saturday the Herx gave me that headache that lasted all day yesterday (8 on a scale of 1 to 10) and kept me from sleeping last night. I’m coiling again today hoping that it isn’t as intense this time.

  • Bartonella: abdomen, 5 minutes; chest, 2 minutes
  • Babesia: chest, 5 minutes; liver, 5 minutes
  • Candida: abdomen, 10 minutes; chest 2 minutes

Detox

I got up at 8:30am for a few minutes, but I was so trashed that I landed on the BioMat shortly thereafter. I rested for 30 minutes on level 3 and another 30 minutes on level 4. Level 4 was enough to make me work up a sweat on my back but not enough to heat me all the way through. Still, sweat is sweat and it gets toxins out.

The yoga class today was also challenging. I tested my edge in one additional way, not stopping to rest between poses but attempting the less rigorous version of the basic vinyasa. That helped me work up a sweat…more toxin release through the skin.

  • homeopathic support
  • kombucha
  • juiced greens
  • skin brushing
  • BioMat
  • castor oil pack on liver
  • yoga

Body

Last night, I couldn’t sleep. The headache was so intense. (That’s why yesterday’s post was written the way it was.) I lay in bed wondering if there was some way to release the pressure from my head. Nothing came to me. I tried focusing on my breathing.But I kept picturing a tube coming out of my skull letting high pressure gas escape. So I tried remembering my favorite moments from various tv shows or time with friends. Sometimes I can find something compelling in my brain to replay that gets my mind off the pain. No luck. Eventually I fell into a light and fitful sleep.

This morning I felt trashed. My hands and arms and feet and calves hurt pretty bad when I woke up. My lower back had a chill in it and was painfully tight. My bronchial tubes hurt. (I imagine that’s a remnant of last week’s adventure with procaine.) Then when I got up, I didn’t want to open my eyes because they were tired. You can see why I landed on the BioMat. Still, the headache had gone down to a 2 which was a huge relief.

I was pretty tired even after I got up. Post breakfast, I lounged in a semi-reclined position until I needed to get ready for yoga. That’s when I noticed the weather: misty, damp, chilly. No wonder I felt so bad.

Yoga was challenging, given the condition I was in before I arrived. Somehow, I made it through. I found that my hips and shoulders are still really stiff and weak. My left shoulder was hurting something terrible, especially in downward dog. I kept trying to pop it but it wouldn’t realign in a comfortable way. Then after class, I did a little extra walking only to find myself a bit winded. For some reason I held onto the pretense that I could keep up with my yoga teacher without mentioning that I was struggling to breathe. Yet another thing to figure out…

Tonight, my headache is back but not so intense. Eye pain, floaters in my vision and pain on top. Plus pain in the back creeping into my cervical spine.

I need to find my sleep edge.

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