“Fall in love with taking care of yourself. Mind. Body. Spirit.”
Physical fitness and especially yoga has always been something that I found always interested me. I had dabbled in it off and on over the years quite a bit. Even when I had become diagnosed with Epilepsy. I had become determined to rise above and mend my body from the inside out from the foods I ate to my level of daily physical activity.
However, somewhere down the line, I had fallen a little behind. I wasn’t keeping up with how often I was exercising. How well I was eating and how much water I was consuming in a day. I wasn’t monitoring my stress level intake. I wasn’t managing my stress as well as I could be.
As the quote states above, I wasn’t loving myself as much as I aught to be loving myself mind, body and spirit. It wasn’t a purposeful act, no. We all can attest to the fact that there are times we can get caught up in daily routines and things that can pull us in multiple directions from where we’re intending to go. Especially if you’ve got a medical condition with you like a weighted backpack.
A short while back, I had come across an article about a successful woman, a Registered Health Information Administrator who was diagnosed with temporal lobe epilepsy. In continuing on reading her blog, she reminded me so much of my own journey. Sharon Powell says “My doctors and I realized a few years into my treatment that I was in the minority of individuals who are “drug-resistant” to anticonvulsant medication. In my case, the drugs even increased the amount of seizures. Fated to live without anti-seizure medication, I retired and went on disability to spend my days in seclusion, attempting to manage the seizures and the pain through avoidance of anything that triggered them, such as stress, noise, crowds, fatigue, and flickering or fluorescent lights—all things that make simply entering a grocery store an ambitious task.” And then Sharon made the decision to return to Yoga.
Sharon says “I was able to slow down and concentrate on the positions rather than what I should or should not be doing. Finally I was able to let the asanas flow and let my mind and body remain in peace. At the end of my visit, I discovered a surprising benefit: I had gone two weeks without a serious seizure. When I realized what had happened, I did researched yoga’s effect on seizures and found I wasn’t the only one who gained these amazing benefits. There’s something to this, I thought. I found that forward-folding poses help positively impact the chemicals in the brain, possibly reducing the likelihood and magnitude of the seizures.”
After reading this article, I sat back in my chair in silence, reflecting on my recent seizure activity over the past few weeks and months. I had began reflecting on my level of physical activity, food and water intake as of lately. I made the decision that I was going to refocus on the areas I was not being the strongest in at that very moment and additionally, I was going to re-embrace Yoga once again.
What is Yoga?
The classical techniques of Yoga date back more than 5,000 years. In ancient times, the desire for greater personal freedom, health and long life, and heightened self-understanding gave birth to this system of physical and mental exercise which has since spread throughout the world. The word Yoga means “to join or yoke together,” and it brings the body and mind together into one harmonious experience.
The whole system of Yoga is built on three main structures: exercise, breathing, and meditation. The exercises of Yoga are designed to put pressure on the glandular systems of the body, thereby increasing its efficiency and total health. The body is looked upon as the primary instrument that enables us to work and evolve in the world, and so a Yoga student treats it with great care and respect. Breathing techniques are based on the concept that breath is the source of life in the body. The Yoga student gently increases breath control to improve the health and function of both body and mind. These two systems of exercise and breathing then prepare the body and mind for meditation, and the student finds an easy approach to a quiet mind that allows silence and healing from everyday stress. Regular daily practice of all three parts of this structure of Yoga produce a clear, bright mind and a strong, capable body.
Epilepsy & Yoga
A study published in “Epilepsy and Behavior” in February of 2008 speaks of yoga and epilepsy. In the study, 18 people living with epilepsy who practiced supervised yoga for 10 weeks showed a decrease in seizure activity. No change was seen in a control group of 16 who practiced regular exercises. At the end of the 10-week yoga session, two who lived with epilepsy were completely relieved of their seizures.
Expert Insight: In his book “Yoga: The Path to Holistic Healing,” internationally acclaimed yoga guru B.K.S. Iyengar illustrates 18 poses to benefit the epileptic. The illustrations show poses using bolsters, blocks, belts, chairs and the wall as props for beginners and the less flexible. Iyengar says regular practice of his recommended posture sequence will relieve pressure on the brain and entire nervous system. Lyengar is father to Iyengar yoga, a form which focuses on alignment and holding the poses for long periods.
So there is indeed definitely something to the ideals of Yoga and Epilepsy that cannot be turned away from. It’s a path I know I will travel, wanting to seek a much healthier mind, body and spirit overall.
Just the other day, as I had mentioned, I’d decided that I would be re-embracing Yoga once again. I am very fond of one particular Yoga instructor and am eager to receive her DVD “Detox Flow Yoga” real soon. I would recommend her to anyone interested in wanting to embrace Yoga into their lives! Her name is Seane Corn. http://www.seanecorn.com/ I encourage you to check out her website and products she’s made available!
I had stepped into the realm of Yoga before. Most that I had ever encountered always felt placid and bland in my opinion. Most had felt cold and lifeless. Without meaning. Without purpose. However in my humble opinion when it comes to Sean Corn’s style of teaching yoga, you can truly feel the mind, body and soul embracing each movement. Completely different than any other instructor I had come across in seeking out a Yoga instructor. I had never met Seane Corn in person but I can only imagine she is just as humble and down-to-earth as she shows herself to be.
Now, I don’t know if this will be a cure, no. but it’s something I will add to my arsenal of things I will do to battle my epilepsy. I will fight. I will always fight for as long as it takes. For as long as I live. I will fight to live. to stay well. To be healthy. To be happy. To be seizure free. To help others do the exact same thing.
Never stop fighting.