Skip to content

Healing Yourself with Yoga

by Jo Wilkie

How I wish I were going to say to you all, “I’m healed! Pain free, and I’m here to tell you my amazing secrets of healing…” Nope. Not this post. But, I haven’t posted for a while about my ongoing saga with daily pain, so I thought today would be a good day.

To be quite honest, I don’t really like to dwell on it. It just is what it is, but, I feel compelled to write about it when I have big leaps in my understanding of why I’m on this path. And over the last few weeks, this is just what has happened.

It started with me being a bit malcontent with my weight. I haven’t gone above what, for me, has been an ideal weight for years. 135, to be precise. This was my weight in high school and it is the weight I strove for, post-Susanne. However, last year, when I was feeling quite a bit worse than I do now, I lost an additional ten pounds. Slowly, I gained it back over the last six to seven months, post-procedure. Which is a good thing, right? To feel like eating normally?? Yes, this IS a good thing, unless you are an emotional eater (like me) who also likes to eat VOLUME. I like to eat LOTS of food. And when I was running 35 miles a week, it didn’t matter, but now? My body isn’t so hip on pounding pavement for 35 miles a week, so I needed to find another way. And I knew it was not going to involve a diet. I have come to a point in my life where dieting just isn’t appealing. I would rather fix the cause, not the effect.

You might ask, “Well, if you are at your supposed goal weight, then what’s the problem??” There isn’t a problem, per se, but I knew that there was going to be a problem if I kept going with the current eating extravaganza!

So, seriously, I don’t even know what led me to look on a website. I have a deep love, hate relationship with Oprah, and typically avoid her experts. But, for whatever reason, I’m looking around and I find this telecourse that I can just download and I compulsively purchase it.

This was $45.00 well spent for me, Yoginis.

This amazing coach just SPEAKS to me. I’ve heard it a million times, “Eat when you are hungry, stop when you are satisfied”. I’ve even had periods of time where I did this- normally in conjunction with a diet or, most recently, this illness. This woman is a certified coach, but she also draws and then, another name that I typically avoid. But, dammit all, after listening to the tele-course and just feeling like I had been given some very good news, I went to check out her website and dusted off my copy which I bought about 10 years ago and it didn’t really do much for me at that time. Well, this time? It really made a lot of sense.

Maybe doing Yoga for so long, maybe having a mystery, ongoing, low-level illness has opened my mind enough to slow down and be willing to watch my thoughts. And it is fascinating stuff. In any case, I am starting to work with this, too, and feeling cleaner, emotionally, than I have in a long time. But actually, I’m veering off course here. Well, a little.

So, things are clicking together the tele-course solidifies, and gives some form to, eating with awareness and mindfulness. I love it. It feels good, it feels right and it feels, most importantly, very healing. Because, when I’m only eating when I’m hungry, and stopping when satisfied, I am naturally eating 5-6 smaller meals a day, which is easier on the ol’ digestion. And, doing this method is helping me to process the thoughts that fuel my desire to eat an entire plate of brownies if they are within the walls of my home. And I KNOW that if I’m eating in the fashion that she talks about? My body is going to land wherever I should be, which may be 135 or some other weight. My body gets to decide- not my brain.

So, here I am, feeling great about the food I’m putting in my body and feeling emotionally clean and then, I start wondering, “Do I really need to be on Prilosec (daily) in perpetuity?” I recently read an article about how these types of drugs aren’t the greatest thing for our health long-term, and I’ve always known I wanted to get off of them, soooo, let’s try! It’s easy to go back on if need be. My suspicion is that eating smaller meals, focusing on fueling my body, will keep the need for Prilosec at bay, combined with the other stuff I’ve been incorporating into my healing, self-care program.

Speaking of self-care. I am still practicing Yoga, to some degree or another, every day – of course. However, it has changed slightly. Remember when I mentioned that I have been teaching myself Qi Gong? Well, the 100 day course ended up being way too time-intensive for this householder, and I ended up buying Qi Gong for Cleaning, a quick routine that is 10 minutes once you learn it. Every morning, I practice my 10 minute routine, and it feels wonderful. The ideas that I took away from the longer QiGong course that I incorporate into my Yoga practice are: visualizing the health of the organs and also the energy moving through the body, synchronizing the breath with movement, and visualizing during movement- which I use not only during Yoga, but when I’m walking and jogging. None of this is new to me, but my Yoga has slowed considerably and I focus a lot more on deep, abdominal breathing as I move through the postures. I will be talking more about this in later posts…

In all earnestness, I can say that without this ongoing saga of physical pain, I would have missed out. I have had so many amazing opportunities to challenge my idea of who I am, what I believe, and what I am capable of because of this illness. I am learning that I am not my pain, or my thoughts, or even my body- revolutionary! Not only that, but I’m learning how to take care of this body that supports me tirelessly, shedding the dysfunctional ways that I’ve used in the past to disappear.

The only way I can possibly sum up what I have learned to date, is that every irritation, every challenge, every single thing that we think we cannot possibly deal with for one more second- is a precious gift from life, waiting to be opened, waiting to open us to who we are meant to be, taking us down the roads we are really, honestly meant to be on. Perhaps some people are born into this state of grace, but at least for me, without my heartaches, illnesses, and challenges, I would just plod along through life, dumb and (un)happy. In time, I hope to be smart enough to not need the Universe’s “pain” calling card to become more of who I am.

A Yogini can dream, can’t she??

Comments are closed.