Monthly Archives: December 2013

The Active Yogi Takes a Tumble

April Laliberte

Even the most active yogi sometimes faces situations which force them to slow down. Always doing more, striving to be better and to go further in less time comes with eventual drawbacks. As a very active person I had a recent set back that forced me to look at my own mortality and impermanence while on a combined vacation and business trip with my husband. We had an unfortunate accident that I don’t wish to repeat ever again. While on motorbike in Koh Samui, Thailand, we were cut off by a bad motorbike driver.

“I have never been relaxed on the back of a motorbike in a foreign country where rules of driving are more like suggestions rather than rules.”

As I sit here facing the ocean, watching the rain, feeling the burn of my road rash, I feel grateful; grateful that something more serious didn’t occur. But, I also feel like something was taken away. I had hoped to use my early morning vacation hours to do yoga, to meditate and to write—and yet even though I might not be able to do those things for a few weeks, I am trying to remain grateful and not resentful.

“What a humbling experience to view yourself as a healthy athlete and to know, from an unfortunate event, you can be in a very different situation in less than 10 seconds.”

The saying that life is fragile and impermanent is really true, but I wouldn’t want to live in that state of mind forever. What have I done in my lifetime that I might not have done if I lived all of my moments from that perspective? What would I have missed? The scrapes and swelling and bruises on my body are reminders that life is fragile; but it’s also worth living to the fullest.

Three nice souls come to our rescue when we needed them. They brought us saline. They brought us Betadine. They made us laugh when we wanted to cry. They helped us to wash our fresh wounds that at the time looked more like something that belonged on a butcher’s block than on my knee. One of the men asked if we have been to Koh Samui before. “Yes,” we both said. He said “Well, now you have the Koh Samui tattoo.” 10 hours later in an email to my mother, telling her of the incident I responded to the kind man’s words by saying “I would have liked to choose the design and color of my tattoo, thank you very much!”

Reliving the trauma of those first moments when I knew something was very wrong; I realized something could have gone much, much worse. Over breakfast I thanked my guides and my guardian angels for keeping me safe, my wounds minimal, and for watching over us in our time of need.

While yoga in its “athletic” form is so valuable to me in times of health, yoga in its mental form is even more valuable to me in times of distress. By focusing on what I was grateful for, and not resentful of, I was able to mentally deal with a painful and difficult situation.

I am forever in debt to my yoga practice and bound to the benefits of yoga. I remain committed to teach those benefits to the best of my ability to those that are willing to listen and learn.

Prenatal Yoga and You

Women looking for an exercise routine that works around their pregnant state may look into taking up yoga until term. Cozy Orange provides yoga apparel for mothers-to-be as well as a blog here that answers many of the questions women may have in regards to their yoga routines and how to best benefit from them.

The Benefits of Prenatal Yoga

Prenatal yoga is multilayered and involved increased focus on breathing techniques and centering your core. The benefits of yoga classes while pregnant have been researched and studied in several reports, many women noting a significant reduction in stress and anxiety levels and improved sleeping patterns. Also, many women reported less pain during actual childbirth and less nausea.

A Run-Through of a Prenatal Yoga Session

Womens Yoga ApparelAdded attention is given to breathing techniques, with practitioners inhaling and exhaling slowly through their nostrils. Humming, grunting, and other sounds may also be incorporated into the session. All of these exercises work to help women manage their breathing during heightened times of stress. All extremities will be stretched to their full range of motion. Holding positions for several seconds at a time will gradually increase flexibility and promote lean muscle mass. The end of a session involves returning the body to a normal resting heart rate. This will also be a time when more meditation is occurring.

Before Taking Up Prenatal Yoga

If you are excited about taking up prenatal yoga, the first thing you need to do is notify your gynecologist for any health concerns. He or she can help to determine the best type of yoga for you physical condition and medical history.