Tag Archives: yin yoga

It’s Been A While.


I had to stop the oil pulling. I was starting to itch at night in my sleep, whenever I got into the hot tub, or in the sunlight. Basically: whenever I was near heat or warm. I suspected that I must’ve had an allergy to coconut or coconut oil. Once I stopped swishing, the itching went away. I’m a little bummed about it because I was hopeful that I would clear my body of all the toxins and sarcasm but then I realized that my liver’s been doing a pretty good job of that, the toxins anyway. But then I got norovirus, so maybe that was what caused the itching. It was bad here for a few days. First Thing 2 on a Tuesday, then me on Thursday, then Thing 3 last Friday. We were a mess. But I’m not really ready to start itching and swishing again, so… I’m out.

That conversation I had with myself about my liver reminded me about the lecture we heard on the yoga retreat by the lymphatic and myofascia massage consultant who spoke to us about the chakras and energy systems in our bodies. During that discussion, she all but said, “Don’t sweat bug sprays and environmental toxins and using real toothpaste with fluoride in it because your liver has been protecting your body all along and it’s doing a fine job already…” and while I agreed with that notion, largely, I also found myself shaking my head because … well: cancer. I mean… that’s where liver’s been beaten rather handily. It was sort of irresponsible. She said that the anxiety from worrying about all the exposures is more harmful than the exposure and the liver is doing just fine. She had a point: anxiety can kill.

Then that lecture got me thinking about my yoga certification and that I haven’t updated any of you about it.

I’m certified!! I’m done! I have paid my funds to the Yoga Alliance to have them put me in a registry and I’m already lined up to teach two separate classes near my home in a pretty coveted location. I’m taking over the slots from a beloved instructor, so while I’m excited for the opportunity, I’m also a little freaked out about it because … well: attrition. People love and become attached to their instructors. This is life and I’m no slouch; I’m just not this person, so we will have to see how it goes. I’m pretty pumped about it though.

I do plan to write a review / follow-up about my yoga retreat. People should know what they’re getting into when they register for a 16-day teacher training retreat. Looking back on it now, I’d still go on the retreat because it prepared me emotionally for losing my mother, but tactically: it did not prepare me entirely for teaching hatha yoga, especially from an anatomy standpoint. If it weren’t for my 15 years of practicing yoga, it would be hard to teach yoga based on that teacher training.

What it did do is prepared me for teaching children’s yoga, but … that’s not an RYT-200; children’s yoga is an entirely different kind of discipline and I suppose it’s probably harder, but it’s also easier too — they’re two different animals and well, I don’t think they should be combined. Shakta, the head trainer and creator of Radiant Child yoga is awesome; but she’s not hatha yoga inspired or educated. So…  well… there is no governing body like the Yoga Alliance that discerns the training for teaching children yoga — but there should be, because kids are awesome and they need to be protected. I should stop talking. The last thing the world needs is more red tape. Nevermind.

Let’s see… our puppy Charlie is 33# now. He has lost about six teeth and he looks really goofy. His adult teeth are coming in though so I hope his incessant chewing will eventually slow down. Today, he chewed through the eco-friendly (paper) DVD case of a chakra and meditation DVD I just got to help me develop my yin practice both here and I hope at one of the classes I will be teaching. What’s yin yoga? Oh: awesome. Yin is really deep and slow yoga. It’s a practice of yoga that breaks down the poses inch by inch where you can build strength and really get into the pose and release and stretch. Ironically, you have warm up with some flow yoga to do it, but once you are warm, then you get to really slow down and hold the poses. I love yin practices and I believe the world is starving for some quieter, slower paced and more mindful work.

Spring begins today. Like right now. Like balance an egg on its end and see if it stays up. I can’t believe it. It’s finally here. Winter is officially unwelcome until December 20. I love snow. I’m totally good with it. I love how it tells us all to slow down and bundle up and read a book or cuddle with our pets and family. But … I’m over it. My kids have had only two full weeks of school since Christmas break. But I’ve had only one full week without them because we’ve all been sick in one fashion or another. I’m not going to add myself to the litany of ranting mothers who hate snow because I don’t hate snow. I just want my kids to get back to a program of learning. The snow days were totally disruptive.

I haven’t been writing at all much. Clearly not here on the blog and not personally or privately. I think I’m suffering a little emotionally because of it, too.

I’m battling a fair amount of external energy which is a remnant of old energies I picked up as a child. Lots of shame and fear: I feel like I shouldn’t at all be writing about my life and my challenges and triumphs and so even writing right now, about what I’m going through and the yoga and the dogs and the abundance of snow is even something I shouldn’t do. I’m not sure where that’s coming from. I know that it’s irrational and that it’s not mine. It’s a vestige of my youth, when I could be controlled by external influences and so I’m trying to let it all go.

It’s like I have an angel on one shoulder saying, “go for it! you can help people! you can tell your story in a true and authentic and giving way which will spread hope and light…” And then there’s a devil on the other shoulder saying, “dish it out. dish all the dirt. smear everyone. tell all the stories because that’s only the stuff that people want to hear about. they want the dirt. smear sells…” And then there’s me saying, “it doesn’t have to be like that: it doesn’t have to be smear and it doesn’t have to be saintly. i’ve read so many memoirs — i’m fascinated by them… but maybe people don’t care anymore. maybe they’re blasé now? and then what about the memoirs i’ve read by the adult kids of writers? crap! i don’t want my kids writing that or feeling that way about me… saul bellow’s kid’s memoir was PATHETIC!” so here we are.


I don’t know what to do. Maybe I’ll do another challenge. Maybe I’ll write some fiction based on some cool quotes by great writers. Maybe I’ll do a fiction challenge based on quotes I get from Gratefulness.org. I need to do something. I started to write some fiction the other day, but then my son took my computer and I don’t know what happened to it. That’s another part about all this: GET OFF MY COMPUTER. But I can’t say that because he used it for school.

School. It’s not good. We will be in school here until June 24. I said I wasn’t going to talk about this. Now I am. I’m talking about it.

Lalalalaaaa. Maybe I will do one of those WordPress prompts. Prompts for the promptless. I need to do something. I hope you all are doing well.

Well, this post reads more like a letter home from a homesick camper. I suppose that’s what I will consider it and move on. I’ll be back. I really miss this place. 🙂

Thank you.

When Tennis Elbow is (%$#**& Hilarious


I have had tennis elbow in my left arm since January. I am left handed.

Tennis elbow is a condition which totally hurts like you can’t believe. It’s a condition which directly affects any motion in the hand that requires grasping and lifting. As a parent of a toddler donned in overalls, envision grasping and then lifting the toddler from behind.

With tennis elbow, you can’t do that. The toddler runs off to the lion’s den at the zoo and you writhe in pain grasping your arm. Oh sure, everyone go after the kid!

I don’t play tennis. I mean, I can, I just don’t. (Sounds frighteningly a lot like an addict who says, “Ay ken quid anyzime I wantew, if I haz a prblm, I wouldquit. Ay juzdon haf a prblm annAy donwanta. Quid, thadis.”) I used to play tennis. Just like I used to go away for weekends with friends and I used to have a job and I used to travel to England. Having kids, whom I love, has changed all that.

Now because of the tennis elbow, even if I wanted to play tennis, I wouldn’t be able to. The kids are in school now, so I have the time (not to travel to England) but I could play tennis again.

I digress.

I got a cortisone shot for the elbow in March. I waited so long because I’m a glutton for punishment AND I wanted to see if it would go away on its own. Oh, and because I also hate (un)loading the dishwasher. After two months of shitty dishwasher experiences, I decided it was time to get the shot.

Shot didn’t work.

I met someone, in the health biz, last week (five months after the shot) while on vacation who told me that if the first shot doesn’t work then another one won’t. And if I continued getting the shots I’d just do irreparable damage to the tendons and ligaments and joint.

I don’t want to do that. I like my tendons et. al.

Since he was in the biz, I asked him what TO do.

“Yeah, since you’re so smart, tell me what to do. Should we shoot him now or wait until we get home?”

I digressed again – forgive me, I have a chip in my brain that activates a line from “Rabbit Seasoning” anytime I get remotely close to saying any lines from it.

He said to “use cross-fiber constriction for three minutes and then ice for five minutes every other day.”

I said, “So use a vertical and then a horizontal band at pressure for three minutes then ice?”

He said, “No. Just one band, opposing the line of the tendon [wrap] at high pressure for three minutes, then the ice for five. Do that every other day until it goes away.”

This was something similar to what I’d heard days before, on this got-tendonitis video, but there was no mention of the ice, nor did the man I spoke with mention the “distracting movements” (whatever the what that means) nor were there the sounds of weights slamming on the floor behind me. I tried the approach twice as shown in the video. It did nothing for me and the “distracting movements” bruised my arm a bit, making it look weird.

When I got home from my eight-hour drive from that vacation, my elbow was pretty sore. I asked my husband to wrap my arm in some very wide elastic bands, the “TheraBands” I have from physical therapy that I got last summer after hurting my back while rowing. (Back’s better, thanks for asking.)

The process of wrapping me was hilarious. Maybe, now as I type this, it’s one of those “you had to be there” moments, but it was funny because we couldn’t get the elastic to stay put. When it finally did stay put, then we had to pull away from each other to increase the tension. Then he had to leave enough slack but keep it tight enough to wrap the wrap into itself so it wouldn’t slip.

Three minutes of that at this pressure:

The first two minutes are uncomfortable. The last minute is pretty unbearable. Then, ice for five minutes. Thing 3 gets photo credit.

Does the blood rush out of your limb? Yes.

Does the constriction hurt? Yes.

How much does it hurt? A lot.

Does the constriction hurt more than the ice? No.

Five minutes of an ice wrap around possibly the least-fatty part of the body, the elbow joint, is INSANE. Five minutes is like childbirth. Five minutes hurts.

So then what? 600mg ibuprofen (advil, motrin – same thing) once and then wait 48 hours. The ibuprofen is my idea, it’s an anti-imflammatory, I figure it can’t hurt because that’s what my orthopedist said to take three times a day when I first got the condition.

Is it working? I have to say… yes. Slowly and surely, it is.

My pain was a 6 or 7 after the shot when it was a 22 before the shot. I have a high threshold for pain however, and so I often push through things that are physically difficult.  Now the pain is a 3 or 4, depending on the movement.

Why am I doing this? I tend to be a whole-person athlete/exerciser. If I experience pain in one part of my body, I tend to shut down and not do anything. That doesn’t work for me because I’ve got more energy at times than a nuclear bomb and so I have to do something. The yoga I most enjoy is vinyasa which is flow yoga or yin yoga which is slower where you hold the poses and cry for mommy. The aerobic work I most enjoy is strenuous rowing or interval hard running / sprinting followed by jog or walking then repeated about six more times. I enjoy shoveling snow in the winter because I build squats into it. I’m not normal. I add push-ups into my yoga vinyasa or sun salutes because it’s too wimpy for me otherwise. I actually like burpees. I like to do mountain climbers. They are hard to do and they kick my ass, but they are awesome. I like to work.

I have a punching bag in the basement (and pink 14oz Everlast gloves – they’re so cute!) but I don’t use it because of the tennis elbow thing. The push-ups in yoga are hard because of the tennis elbow thing. The rowing is hard because of the feathering which aggravates the tennis elbow thing. The running is pushed to the wayside because I have to hold my arms at 90˚ angles and that aggravates the tennis elbow thing. So then I don’t do anything. But I do actually… I just do it with pain. But I’m tired of the pain and waiting doesn’t do anything but bore me.

So I need to do something and the cortisone shots don’t work and I want to start sculling or sweep rowing again, but the elbow hurts, so I’m going all out – going compression then freeze and it seems to be working. I’m feeling better today and that’s the proof I’m looking for.

Thing 1, who’s 14, had to put the band on me yesterday and he was terrified he was hurting me. I assured him he was, but that it wasn’t his fault and that if he didn’t help hurt me then I’d have to wait until his dad got home and I didn’t want to do that. So he did it and we laughed about it. Then the timer went off and we unraveled it and then the ice. I had to leave the house to get the mail to distract myself.

We laughed. He laughed and I winced.

That’s about the only time tennis elbow is hilarious.

Thank you.