Posts Tagged ‘yoga’

#YOGAEVERYDAMNDAY

As a compliment to my calling as a chiropractor, I am yogi and have been for decades now.  If you are in the yoga community, you know that there are online yoga challenges happening all the time, all over the world.  I finally decided to join one called “#yogaeverydamnday”.Chiropractor Fenton Michigan - #YOGAEVERYDAMNDAY - Dr Erica Peabody

The point of this challenge is have yoga as part of “every damn day” no matter what.  It doesn’t mean to strike a pose and take a picture (although to some people it does).  Yoga is a way to mindfulness…or is it mindfulness is a way to yoga?  To me, they are one and the same.  To me, it also means to move the body in some mindful way to bring our awareness and existence back to the present moment.

Every day I would find a bit of time, some days was a little and some days was a lot, to do some form of yoga and then share a bit about that day.  (It is all on Instagram @drericapeabody)
Chiropractor Fenton Michigan - #YOGAEVERYDAMNDAY - Dr Erica Peabody

I have been a yogi for over 20 years.  In a past life, I taught yoga for years inside of a gym setting (have I told you that in said “past life” I was a group fitness instructor?).  I also took Yoga Teacher Training with Ethos Yoga about 4 years ago.  I didn’t take the teacher training curriculum in order to teach yoga in my current life, it was more about bringing even further awareness into my own personal practice, I don’t have the ability to commit to more in my regular week at the current moment.  Who knows, maybe someday.  Chiropractor Fenton Michigan - #YOGAEVERYDAMNDAY - Dr Erica Peabody

You also probably know about the walking boot I am currently wearing that I discussed in one of the “Sitting on the Sidelines” blog posts.  My physical yoga practice has taken a back seat to my healing and I haven’t been able to attend many classes since June.  Following my summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro in March I was fine while taking a yoga class, but after class my foot would start screaming and I decided was not doing it any favors to continue so I took a break.  Chiropractor Fenton Michigan - #YOGAEVERYDAMNDAY - Dr Erica Peabody

September rolled around and one of the people I follow on Instagram, Rachel Brathen aka “Yoga Girl”, decided to do her “Yoga Every Damn Day” challenge for 30 days.  I needed a little shift for myself and decided I would join.

After decades of yoga, I like to attend very specific hot, intense and sweaty classes with specific instructors.  I am reminded of the irony of having rigid guidelines of classes and instructors as I practice more and more yoga…seems it should be the other way around.  Honestly, if I am going to be in class, I want to spend my time exactly how I want to practice and I have my favorite instructors all over the region, just depends on the day and time for which one I would attend.

Chiropractor Fenton Michigan - #YOGAEVERYDAMNDAY - Dr Erica Peabody

I also love yoga for the community aspect of it.  Doing yoga with other people has a very different feel than practicing solo, or at least in my mind.

I am currently limited in my range of motion as well as the ability to get into different postures.  But inside of the the 30 day challenge framework I just mentioned, I learned so much.Chiropractor Fenton Michigan - #YOGAEVERYDAMNDAY - Dr Erica Peabody

During the month I did make it to a couple classes, having to modify almost every posture…I learned new modifications.

Some days I felt like I am all the way back to square one with my practice, a beautiful reminder of all the progress i have made.

The only way in and out of the postures is through breath and where in my life can I take some deep breathes?

As the 30 days progressed, I relished going back to the basics and cherished the strength I have built in my core.

My movements were slow and very deliberate.  Where else in my life can I be slower and more deliberate?

I had to change many of the transitions in and out of postures.  Are there other paths in my life I can or should alter?Chiropractor Fenton Michigan - #YOGAEVERYDAMNDAY - Dr Erica Peabody

As I look around in life, I see so many ways yoga has opened my eyes and offered me different perspective on life outside of the yoga studio.  That is the whole point of yoga and is one of the most powerful parts of having a regular practice.

Of course there is also the part about being flexible so as life comes at me, I can bend instead of breaking.

Thank you #yogaeverydammnday challenge, i have learned more in the past 30 days about myself and my life and how to alter and modify things and be ok with doing less than I am used to.  In the end, I am so very very grateful that my body even allows me to move around like this at all…and I am (fingers crossed) can announce that I am on my way (although slow) back to a BOOT FREE LIFE!!!!

 

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BAREFOOT AND FREE

I had an incredible weekend!  It was just about as much fun as one could possibly pack into the minutes of one single weekend and a good portion of it I spent at the Barefoot and Free Yoga Festival.

Chiropractor Fenton Michigan - Barefoot and Free Yoga

Pack up yoga mat and hike to the “unknown”

We live, work and play among some real superheros and it is hard to know who those superheros are until something like this weekend is pulled together through the vision of one woman.  Of course, there will always be so many people behind the scenes that do not get enough recognition, however, it takes one person to have the vision to start with…and that person is the one who ultimately takes the initial step forward.

Proud Lake Recreation Area is a super amazing place just south of Milford, Michigan.  I had never been there before and although I had signed up for the yoga festival just because of the idea of it…quite frankly I had no idea what I was getting into.

I pulled in, parked my car and took a walk to the festival site.  It was an absolutely ideal location allowing for yoga classes to be held in a few different areas on the grounds.  There were vendors, big tents that would hold yoga classes, a bunkhouse for those that wanted to stay, areas for tents, food vendors and so much amazing positive energy, it could not have been in a more perfect place!

Us yoga peeps, even though we are supposed to be super flexible (not only in class but in life in general), sometimes get stuck with wanting to only take our “favorite” instructor(s) and become actually quite rigid with our regular yoga routine.  For me, my time is precious and I am always wanting to maximize my time spent in any yoga class and so I have my favorites and stick with them.

The great thing about the festival setting is that there are options and you are exposed to some other really

Chiropractor Fenton Michigan - Barefoot and Free Yoga

The reflection is the view while laying on my yoga mat

exceptional instructors…and because this festival was so close to home, those instructors are easily accessible to me, well if you consider “easy” to be within about 45 minutes.

When I am at my usual yoga class(es) during the week, I am usually running in there last minute and heading out immediately following closing postures.  Life is busy, busy, busy!  The flow of this festival and the timing of classes

gave us some real time to spend with these like-minded people.  There were a few people I see regularly at class but I actually had some time to ask them about themselves and their lives outside of the studio.  We shared time, space, laughter and snacks together.  We had time for conversation between sweating our behinds off.  We had a few moments to jump in the river together.  I have stronger, tighter connections because of the weekend.

And then I should mention what it means to the body and mind to do that much yoga in a condensed timeframe.  I took six, 75 minute vinyasa classes in 90-100 degree temperatures.  I took an inversion workshop, a slow burn class and attended a lecture.  This all happened in a matter of 48 hours starting at 7pm on Friday and finishing Sunday at the same time.   That much yoga for me would usually be over a 2 week period and so putting myself into that many different postures, that much intensity, that much breath work, that much laughing and that much dancing, shifts a person at their core.  Barefoot and Free has such

Chiropractor Fenton Michigan - Barefoot and Free Yoga

Grateful for the fresh water of the Huron River

divine timing as I am in one of the most stressful weeks of my life in a long time.  In the midst of playing a mean hand of “52 Pick-Up” with my life, I find peace.  Peace is my center and I am craving more time on my mat like I have never felt before, such a strong draw for that level of intense movement and shifting.

I have shared about my experience over the past day and so many have asked “How do I get involved?”  “How did you find out about that?” and “When is the next one?”  I can say this for certain, DO NOT MISS next year!  It is a simple 30 minutes from my home and if you are around the southeast Michigan area, probably within an hour from yours too…very central location to many.

I seriously had no idea what I was getting into.  This is yet another time that I simply said YES and made it happen.  Leading into the weekend I was asked, “Are you meeting a bunch of friends there at the festival?  Do you know many people going?”  No I did not know many people going, but I knew by the time I left, with the nature of yoga and the woods and the connection with Mother Earth, I would have new friends by Sunday.  Plus I am not sure I love anything more than being BAREFOOT AND FREE!!!!!

 

Thank you to that teeny tiny superhero, Beth James, for creating a place for all of us to play…and be barefoot…and FREE!!!

 

 

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A TINY HOME

I have a very tiny home that I go to about 4 days a week.  It is about 2 feet by 6 feet and is easy to transport and move from place to place.  This tiny home is my yoga mat.

As I enter the yoga room, I always find myself gravitating to the same location on the floor.  In one yoga studio is is one particular location, in another studio it is another spot and the third is still quite a different spot.  There is a feel to the location in the room and is all very much part of my process.

I usually arrive early, sometimes 30 minutes early, because I want to be in that same spot.  It may be a location where just a class or 2 before, I found myself staring at a ceiling tile and bursting out laughing.  It may be a spot that just the day before, I left a huge puddle of tears on the floor.  It may be a place that a week prior I had such an awesome flow and was really linked in to whomever was practicing next to me…either way there is a reason, and I cannot always put my finger on the why of my choice in locations.fenton chiropractor yoga room

When I arrive at the perfect place for my tiny home, I line my mat up perfectly parallel to the planks of the wood floor, fold my hand towel in half and put it near the top of my mat and find the ideal un-kick-able spot for my water bottle.

As I am laying on my mat waiting for class to start, I spend a little time observing others as they walk in to find their “spot” to set up their tiny home for the next 60-75 minutes of their lives.  It is interesting the process they go through.

Some walk in confidently, drop their mat, roll it out, set up their water, climb on and lay down to meditate.

Others set up their tiny home, lay down, get back up and move to the opposite side of the room with a “something about the mojo of that spot isn’t quite right” tone to their walk.

Still others will stand by the door and survey the scene to decide their plot before making a move and others will stand and have a discussion with their friends about perfect location for their tiny homes.

There is such a magic to all the happenings.  People arrive at different times for different reasons but one by one we all stake our claim to a 2 feet by 6 feet plot of wood floor to set up our tiny home and by the time class is about to start…it is all in perfect order.

The floor of the yoga room is covered in brightly colored mats of all shades, big towels, little towels, water bottles of all shapes, sizes and colors, and beautiful bodies of all shapes, sizes and colors that have found a “tiny home”.

The dance begins.  The music fills the room.  The sweat pours onto the mats.  There is reckless abandonment during the flow…a vulnerability that you would only find if you were inside your own home and no one was watching.  The bodies turn and twist into all kinds of shapes and forms and the energy is indescribable.

The classes I attend are taught with such incredible intensity that it sometimes takes everything I have to keep breathing just to make it through the next movement.  When I am physically working that hard, there is no time to play with other thoughts in my mind and it is a 60-75 minute moving meditation.  The only goal ever set out by the instructor is to “keep breathing and stay on your mat”, in other words…”stay in your tiny home”.

At the end, everyone lays down on their backs and melts into the floor.  All the hard work, the physical, mental and emotional garbage has a chance to settle out and be absorbed by the floor of the tiny homes we have set up for ourselves.

When all is said and done, we all roll up our tiny homes and head out into the world.  It is the feeling that has filled the body at that very moment that gets us all to come back time and time again for years.

Our tiny homes find their usual spot in the back seat or trunk of our vehicles waiting for the next 2 feet by 6 feet plot of wood floor in another yoga room to stake claim of next time the chance arises.

The tiny home that I go to on a regular basis, though exposed to the elements of the room and surrounded by people within inches, is a profound place of peace for me.  I hope you have a place like that for yourself somewhere in your life as well.  Namaste.

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LISTEN TO YOUR INNER VOICE

I cried when I read this.  This spoke to me in a huge way and is a small lesson to help teach you to listen to your inner voice:

Hi Erica,     I’m going to call and make an appointment for both an adjustment and massage.  I could wait and tell you all this when I see you but sometimes it seems easier to put my thoughts in writing rather than to just tell it, plus you are a busy person and I don’t want to take a lot of your time.  (Although I’ve been known to write books instead of messages, which could take a lot of time anyway.  LOL!)   

      I keep trying to think of how I got so far off track!  It’s just these little slips that happen without thinking it will be permanent – like family coming and just not taking time to take care of self.  It’s preparing food that they like (and I like) even though it is not at all healthy.  Pretty soon, a slip becomes a slide, doesn’t it?  So that’s part of what happened last summer.Fenton Chiropractor Begin Again

      But then, I decided that the yoga schedule was too hard for me to work out so I joined a local gym, not intending to never go back to yoga.  However, I got convinced that working with a trainer would be a helpful thing so I paid huge bucks for that for several months, which meant I couldn’t afford to go to yoga, to the chiropractor, to a massage therapist, etc., etc.  The trainer also believes in eating vegan, but is strict on high protein and low, low carbs, which I tried hard to do but couldn’t stick to it.  So I started doing high protein/low carbs eating meat, cheese, eggs, etc.  

     Then, the knee that you had been adjusting got worse and worse and I went to a surgeon who said I had a torn meniscus and he did surgery.  He also said I have a significant amount of arthritis in my knee and probably in the other one.  That was back in September and I’m still in pain, still stiff and am now doing physical therapy trying to get some strength and flexibility back. 
     I eventually could not afford the trainer anymore and began so slide off the diet and because my knee hurt so much I also quit going to the gym for the most part.  Then I started eating whatever I wanted and gained some of the weight I had lost back. 
     So, there I was, sitting in my recliner, hurting all over, swollen up in my joints, feeling tight in my muscles, feeling dead in my stomach and OLD, OLD, OLD!!!!   And I started praying about it and asking God to help me.  And I began remembering how I felt when I fed my body the healthy foods – fruits, veggies, whole grains, nuts – all the things that are good (I was basically off fruits and whole grains on the low carb diet).  And I remembered how limber I was, doing yoga, and chiropractic, and how great it was to have you support and encourage the yoga and the healthy diet and how easy and wonderful it was to get massages. 
     I think in the midst of all the voices that have swayed me one way and then another, I finally heard God’s voice – and my voice – saying “you know what is best for you!  you remember what works, what is gentle, what is peaceful, what is healthy.  
     Sunday night I could hardly walk, hardly climb the stairs, barely even turn over in bed, I hurt so bad.  Monday morning wasn’t much better and that is when I decided to make a change NOW!  The yoga schedule will be the priority and my work schedule will be worked around it. 
     I will be going to PT for a while, but I want to come back to Cafe of Life and get back on the journey to health and wholeness.  I have to stop allowing myself to get pulled off the journey and to stay focused!
    I will be calling this afternoon and trying to get in next week.  But I just wanted to tell you where I am in all this.  I never intended on stopping my treatment there.  It just little by little, day by day, time went by and pretty soon, I almost forgot. 
     As the yoga instructor says  “BEGIN AGAIN.”  I went back, by the way, on Monday evening.  There was so much I could not do with my stiff knee but I did a lot and I felt more limber and not as tight and did not have as much pain Tuesday morning.  The yoga instructor reminded me “Be gentle with yourself, but be persistent.”  Good advise for someone who gives up rather easily, isn’t it? 
     I miss you and your gentle smile.  I will be glad to see you and hope you haven’t given up entirely on me!  I’m hoping to get this right this time.
Have a blessed Easter.  I will see you next week, I hope.

MY RESPONSE:

Thank you so much for that email.  I really appreciate you giving me all the details in your update because all of that stuff is important for me to know.

 Life is a game of slipping and checking and BEGINNING AGAIN is always an option. 

 I never give up on anyone.  Instead, I hold a space for healing for people whether you are at the Café of LIFE or on a journey that takes you from here.  Either way, you will always be welcome here no matter how long it has been since your last visit.  I realize that life takes twists and turns as mine does exactly the same.  Healing comes from within and it is best to find something on the inside to anchor to so you can stay consistent, which sounds like you may have found that.  Being gentle and persistent is how we progress, but take bite size pieces so you keep yourself having small successes that lead to bigger ones and then celebrate those.  

There is a lot of “should’s” that can fall on us during a day and make us feel like we are failing in one area or another.  Just do your best every single day and know that is all anyone can ever ask. 

And give yourself a break, drink your water, find time to stroll and enjoy your days, make good food and exercise choices and believe in your body’s ability to heal.  Your thoughts are powerful so make sure to use them in your favor. 

Looking forward to seeing you…

Erica

Health & Happiness,

Dr. Erica Peabody

Every time I re-read this, the tears well up because I know there are so many people that have slipped and are struggling.  Bless this particular person who shared her words so eloquently and is allowing me to tell her story.

Do you have a little voice in your head that guides you when you are lost?  Does it talk to you in a positive way or negative way?  Do you listen to your inner voice?  It may be the most powerful guidance system you have for your life.  There is so much technology, so many opinions, so many things trying to influence and steer you in this direction or that direction.  Take some time to be quiet and listen to that inner voice…it is always right.  Once you start to listen, and if you find yourself way off course…just BEGIN AGAIN.

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