When I was very young, someone told me that we can never “own” a person: no person is ever ours to have and to keep. At that tender age I was impressed, but understood it to be true: people move on, people change, age, die, … Yoga philosophy teaches us that we find inner freedom when we let go of attachments. Of course, understanding this does not make it any easier when the time comes to part with a beloved person. Loving without possessiveness, and thus freely letting go, is hard, very hard. My son is ‘leaving the nest’ and even though I considered myself prepared, and I have had to feel grief before, it hurts. Yoga practices have given me an array of tools to help me deal with grief. They can, as it were, hold me by the hand and bring me back to a sense of inner peace. Because I know we all have to deal with loss and grief sooner or later, I decided to share some of these practices with you today.
When you have back pain it is not easy to find the one sleeping position that will keep you comfortable for several hours. You may have been used to sleeping on your abdomen, only to find recently that this increases your lower back pain. Even when lying on your back or side, you wake up with pain at night and feel stiff in the morning. Back pain is difficult enough as it is, so if your sleep suffers as a result, you may feel even more miserable. This blog gives a few suggestions about what to do for your back before going to bed, and shows which sleeping position has been found most comfortable by other people with back or neck pain.
One of the greatest causes of back pain in our Western societies is the amount of sitting we do every day, and the way we sit, out of alignment or slouching. I realise that sitting straight is not cool; it is less relaxing and may look uptight. However, there are so many negative side effects from slouching, that it is essential to include a good sitting posture in our self-care programme. Reducing slouching habits can have a positive effect on our breathing, digestion, mood, energy and back health!
Not many people find long periods of standing easy. If you have to stand while listening to a long speech, for example, does your back start aching? Pain and muscle strain arise when the body is not aligned with and hence not served by the line of gravity. When we manage to find this straight downward pull, standing becomes more natural and effortless. It can make us experience a deep sense of peace. This blog considers two common types of misalignment that make long standing harder.