Friday, May 4, 2012

No Pain No Gain

Today I was given the gift of a full, half-day with Emmy Cleaves - morning class and afternoon lecture. Just when you think you've heard all of her pearls of wisdom in class, she one-ups herself on the lecture podium. Today's topic - what else, but PAIN. I've personally seen and felt a lot of it at Training, not to mention, I've lived with it on some level my entire life. We all have...but since this is not about me, I will share with you what I think YOU will find meaningful from her teachings today:

  • Pain is nature's early warning system. 
  • Pain is vital; without it we destroy our bodies in short order.
  • Pain is an intensely personal phenomenon.
  • There are 50 million chronic pain sufferers in the US today. The cause of chronic pain is seldom structural.
  • Pain in yoga is the sensation of stretching and using body parts that you haven't before.
  • Bad posture alignments / bad yoga habits can pull muscles, so practice with awareness; always listen to the body.
  • Flexibility is not the product of effort; one must develop a good technique.
  • The ability to stretch your muscles depends on your level of relaxation; the greater the tension, the more muscle pain.
  • By calming the mental turmoil, you reduce excess tension.
  • Healing is age related. The younger you are, the faster you heal.
  • Stiffness = Nature's Splint
  • Ice, Ice Baby! Icing slows pain down and limits tissue damage. Heat only after swelling has subsided (moist heat is preferable).
  • RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation)
  • Find your own recipe for therapy.
  • Eccentric Contraction = Stretching; Yoga is the only form of exercise that both contracts and stretches the muscles.
  • Do not take pain medication before you practice.
  • Scar tissue has no blood supply and will cause tightness and other issues around your problem area, which you should consider before going under the knife.
  • Discs DO NOT slip! They either rupture or herniate.
  • Your entire body records your emotional thinking. How you internalize stress dictates pain.
  • Emotional tension slows your circulation, causing blood deprivation and oxygen deprivation to the muscles (creating pain). This stagnation causes a chemical build up of waste, which under normal circumstances, should be carried away by blood flow. Bikram Yoga is life changing because it releases this stagnation by sending freshly oxygenated blood throughout the entire body in every class.
  • Only you inhabit your body, so stop living mindlessly - live MINDFULLY!

What will you do to eliminate your pain today? 

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