Yesterday is dead
Tomorrow isn’t born
We can only live in the present…
Yogi Amrit Desai
When I was in teacher training years ago I started out with Hatha and then went to a school in St Augustine, Florida where I studied Kripalu (Krih- PAH-loo) teacher training. So I thought it would be nice to start our fall review with Kripalu.
Kripalu was first brought over from India to the US in the 1960’s by Yogi Amrit Desai a disciple of Swami Kripalu (the founder) but its roots go way back to the ancient yogic traditions. Kripalu is taught with compassion and intensity. However, Kripalu is not based on the guru/disciple principal, but rather on what is true based on your personal experience with it.
Anyone can practice Kripalu, there is no limitation. Since everyone is not built the same Kripalu is great because it allows for modifications versus classic postures. Kripalu is different than other types of yoga in that it recognizes both movement and stillness as its practice.
There are 3 stages to Kripalu:
- Body & Breath Awareness
- Focusing Inward
- Meditation while moving
Some great rewards of practicing Kripalu are:
• Revitalize the body –Prana
Your body is animated by an energetic life force tied to your breath
• Calm your mind
Open your heart and clear the mind, removing obstacles allows you to reach your full potential
• Deepen your self-awareness
Ability to honor and listen to your body.
Heal emotionally and psychologically grow, learn to express yourself clearly
Please read below then work on today’s breathing exercise.
Kripalu Breathing Excercise
- Sit on the edge of a chair with your chin parallel to the floor, don’t put your back into the chair instead elongate your spine and press your sitz bones down into the chair. Extend through the crown of your head keeping your posture.
- Close your eyes and focus on your breathing
- I want you to try to make an ocean sound in the back of your throat. If you can’t seem to make the sound then I want you to exhale out as if fogging up a mirror then try the ocean sound again until you hear it out loud. I know it sounds weird at first.
- Listen to the volume of your breathing and adjust it so that you can hear it but others are not disrupted by it.
- Allow your breathing to increase breathing deeply develop a rhythm- Pranayama
- Flow the breath smoothly listening to the ocean sound
- Allow five minutes of deep breathing
- Release, relax and observe, what just happened?
Don’t try to understand it all just let it be as it is and allow and accept always returning to your breath.
In closing today I would like to share a very important personal story with you.
Fifteen years ago I had Cervical Dysplasia removed had I waited even another two weeks it would have been Stage#1 CA. I had skipped my yearly pap testing visit and had an almost Stage one golf ball of dysplasia inside of me. I was 31 and worked as a medical practice manager with great insurance, I don’t have an excuse for being foolish back then. It was promptly surgically removed and I was spared and that is a good thing because I had a six-year-old to raise at the time and had just lost my mother after being her caregiver the last decade of her life filled with years of illness that I wish she could have been spared.
There is no excuse for putting your own care last, but somehow we often do that.
Flash forward 15 years later. I suffer from RA and Lupus type connective tissue disease issues and the past two years it has changed my life completely. I am no longer working with great insurance anymore. Four weeks ago I had a Colonoscopy. The Doctor removed 3 polyps one large one but he said all looked good I’ll retest you in three years and I went home. Then the phone rang a week later and I was rushed back to speak to the Gastroenterologist because the pathologist said with certainty that the large rectal polyp had cancer on it. This is a well-known pathologist whom often gives 2nd opinions to patients in other parts of the country. So you can imagine how my husband and I felt going home awaiting another lab to look at it and wondering what the outcome would be for me.
It was sent out to Cleveland Clinic a leader in research and I just got my 2nd opinion today another week later, no carcinoma found. My dad died of it when I was sixteen and yet my insurance denied any testing last year so I ended up canceling the night before as they wanted $4,000 to proceed (which was overpriced please shop procedures around). This year I was fortunate to go get the colonoscopy and the three polyps removed especially the one with severe dysplasia right before it went into CA. Now I go back in a year again.
We struggled with other medical bills this year and my husband saved up and went in asking to pay cash and put a down payment down. Here is the kicker, the insurance paid for the colonoscopy after having told me last year I’d have to wait until 50, and our best guess is probably because they saw the pathologist first bleak report. It’s amazing how screwed our healthcare system is in the US. So I have once more been spared from CA it is removed.
Please don’t wait, don’t listen to denials or “put off till later” from anyone including your insurance, go get checked and keep all of your tests and exam due dates up. Go out of the country if you need medical attention and can’t afford it in the US, do whatever it takes, that is what we have learned in our family. If you need help please ask us we are here for you and we will help refer you.
Live on better terms, find a solution for every obstacle and then get back to what matters your life!