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Health And Yoga News Letters

Recovery: Using Yoga as Part of the Process
By Sam Dworkis

Three years ago, Linda was in an auto accident. She wanted to take whatever time was necessary to fully recover, but life's pressing matters wouldn't wait; such as having a husband, two active children, dogs, horses, and building a house. Soon after her accident, Linda was up and running. Except for one thing; she kept falling down.

Along with her other injuries Linda suffered vestibular nerve damage, which affected her sense of balance and head position. Whenever she stood, she lost her balance. When she closed her eyes, she didn't know which way was up. She was constantly dizzy and nauseated. Her entire sense of spatial relations had become compromised.

Before her accident, Linda's family did a lot together. They enjoyed horseback riding, roller blading, bicycle riding, and she loved motorcycling with her husband. However, since her accident, none of this was possible. She was literally out of balance. Linda desperately wanted to exercise and to spend recreational time with her family, but couldn't without exacerbating her condition; and it was depressing.

Before her accident, Linda's family did a lot together. They enjoyed horseback riding, roller blading, bicycle riding, and she loved motorcycling with her husband. However, since her accident, none of this was possible. She was literally out of balance. Linda desperately wanted to exercise and to spend recreational time with her family, but couldn't without exacerbating her condition; and it was depressing.

Linda called for her initial appointment. After just six months of a regular yoga practice, Linda's balance problems are all but resolved and she is again doing all those things that previously caused her so much discomfort. Although her results are dramatic, they are far from unusual.

This is because an appropriate yoga practice helps move you toward balance; a balance of body, breath and mind. What makes yoga so different from all other exercise programs is that you do not "try" to do yoga, but rather you establish a fundamental awareness of breathing. From there, you learn how to slowly move your body incrementally with your breath, based upon what you can do, and not what you can't do.

You would first think this process is slow and boring, but just the opposite is true. Yoga quickly becomes fascinating and extraordinarily challenging, regardless of your physical condition or flexibility. Yoga works deep within your body and brain by reconditioning, or reeducating, your proprioceptive awareness, much like how you learned to control your body when you were a kid. And in so doing, you enhance not only your balance, but also your strength, flexibility, and endurance.

After all, that's exactly what yoga is: It's a movement toward balance and union of body, breath, and mind. As Linda soon discovered, there is no magic to yoga. You do not need to be flexible or strong or even healthy to do appropriate yoga; yet through a regular non-forced practice, yoga is a basic fundamental program that has the potential of restoring balance to your life.

 
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Reproduced with permission

Resources: with profound thanks to Sam Dworkis of www.extensionyoga.com.

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