I have written about how the pain has been excruciating lately, and I haven’t written much because it has been more pain all the time. I have begun lying around with my feet up at all times because that is the only way I can be remotely comfortable. It has been unbearable and I was sort of at my wits end Saturday. I looked at my husband and said, “I think I need to go to the emergency room.” He said, “I think we should try some yoga first.”
I love my husband but my head instantly thought, “F*&^*^ off. How’s that gonna help me?” Isn’t that horrible? I am lucky as hell that my filter was on and it didn’t come out of my mouth. My husband takes care of me patiently and full of love when I am in this pain. So these thoughts are doubly awful but you must understand I was in so much pain I just kind of hated every minute of my life. I have sadly been very sensitive because of the pain. I got mad at everyone who has ever had any part of my life and thankfully they are all so amazing they understood and forgave me. However, when Brad offered to do yoga with me, I couldn’t very well say no. I reluctantly got off the couch and we pulled out the yoga mats. An amazing thing happened; I stopped having as much pain. It wasn’t an amazing miracle or anything. I started breathing deeply and focusing on where my limbs needed to be. The remarkable thing about yoga is that it quiets my mind because I have always been balance deficient. I can’t EVER phone it in when it comes to yoga. We didn’t do anything intense. We only did the truly stretchy yoga moves. It was so wonderful how great it felt. I still had the cramps but they were far less painful. They were like aftershocks to the cramps I had been experiencing. I think it is probably like a little worse than a normal period. I figure this is what normal women experience.
I had to eat major crow for even doubting my hubby but it was worth it. The next day I did yoga twice, once in the morning and once in the evening, and the cramps slowed even more. They were softer and farther apart. I still relaxed and took it easy but I felt seventy five percent better and today I feel ninety percent better. I have rarely had any cramps. It is as if I have cured myself with yoga.
When Brad and I first started doing yoga, I showed my Aunt Nicole our routine. She talked to us a little about how to deepen a stretch when we breathe out. That is how I am dealing with the cramps now. I take a deep breath and then release my muscles with a great exhale. The difference is remarkable.
I would recommend yoga for anyone who has been experiencing chronic pain, health problems, and for women like me who have been through abuse. I don’t know why it is working for my cramps specifically but I have read so much about its health benefits. Our bodies get inflamed when we go through trauma (it’s that whole fight or flight response.) According to a lot of what I have read (including Total Recovery by Dr. Gary Kaplan if you are having chronic pain it’s worth a read), sometimes our bodies can stay like that. Yoga helps with that. I think that is what was going on with me. I have been having pain for so long that my body knows the pain is coming. It goes into full alert mode, and I need to tell it to calm down with the yoga, meditation, and deep breathing.
I am not saying that I have cured the pain. I am saying that it has EXTREMELY helped me. I can’t express enough how much love I have for this process. I love to just lose myself in the yoga, and I think that total concentration is the key to the health benefit. This isn’t just the stretching that has helped me, it is the breathing and knowing what my body is doing. It has helped to actively inhabit my body. I think doing yoga that day reminded me that my brain is in control of the muscles, not the pain.
Thank you, Brad, the most amazing husband in the entire world, for opening my eyes and helping me through this time. I want to say this publicly. You were right, and I was wrong. I’m your b*****.