THE GIFT OF YOGA
by Dustienne Miller, MSPT, CYT
Our breath brings us into this world. We sigh with relief, laugh, and shout for joy. We hold our breath and hold our pain. Maintaining freedom of breath can inspire equanimity and decrease pain. A regular yoga practice is a mirror we can use to see our unconscious patterns and strengths.
Yoga is the union of body, mind, and spirit. Breath is the medium that weaves them together. The practice of pranayama, or breath control, provides an awareness of your breath and carries over into your daily life. Take a minute to close your eyes and study your breathing patterns. Where does your breath initiate from? Your chest? Your belly? Are you able to breathe with ease, or do you feel constriction in your throat or diaphragm?
Deep diaphragmatic breathing is an efficient and almost instant tool to decrease tension in the body. The heart rate decreases and breathing slows. The pelvic muscles passively elongate with each diaphragmatic inhale as a result of intraabdominal pressure.
People experiencing chronic pelvic pain, back pain, or abdominal pain often expect pain with movement because of prior memories stored in the body. They could become fearful of movement associated with day to day life. The nervous system can be retrained to experience movement in a pain free way. People can reconnect and reprogram to expect pleasure and joy to be a consistent byproduct of movement.
Yoga promotes self awareness. It cultivates an understanding of what your body craves and where the limits are. As your practice deepens, you may find yourself spontaneously taking on a yoga posture because your body “needs it”. Explore the edge of what is appropriate and fine tune a new boundary of expansion. Breathe, move, and trust your body!
Dustienne MIller, MSPT, received her yoga teacher certification at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health. She is the creator of the DVD Your Pace Yoga; Relieving Pelvic Pain. www.yourpaceyoga.com
References: Why Do Yoga? by Patton Sarley Spring 2008 Kripalu Catalog
Yoga and the Quest for the True Self by Stephen Cope, Bantam Books October 1999
Now available on DVD:Your Pace Yoga: Relieving Pelvic Pain Created by Dustienne Miller, MSPT This yoga program is specifically designed for people healing pelvic pain and can be ordered on www.yourpaceyoga.com