What to do? I tried to explain. I tried to make it clear. I have a need. He wouldn’t hear.
Yoga teaches us to be in touch with our bodies. As yogis, we discuss what may be right for our growth and awareness. We talk about our needs.
I knew what I needed. His ego was in the way.
So I searched.
I knew there was something that would satisfy this ache. I had no qualm about the solution. Tonight, tonight I will take that step. The night fell near—darkness, would this be my answer? It was there again, that familiar ache, a tingling like electricity running through my body. My muscles twitched. I rolled over in the tangle of covers, reaching…finding. One to my right, just behind a bit. The other, lower—yes, lower still—and on my left.
My body twisted, spine undulating. My breath quickened, and lips parted in an exhale—at last, sheer bliss! Total release!
You must try this to feel the complete and utter satisfaction of renewed alignment—and blood flowing freely throughout the body again.
I no longer will see “him.” He can move on. His other patients can continue to seek their healing. I am breaking up with my chiropractor for a tennis ball. Now, I sleep with two.
Even though I have a regular yoga practice, I still experience stiffness and pain—a pain that sometimes extends from my shoulder to my elbow and wraps around my thumb on my right arm. The trigger point for this is behind my right armpit. My lower back is also a problem. To alleviate this pain, I place the ball above the tail bone, just below the small of the back. This provides much relief to the pelvis, as well as, to the hip region.
I also have tight hip flexors—the area just above the crease of the front of the leg and below the hip bone—that cause me discomfort when I am driving for long distances or sitting for long periods of time.
When I’m standing, if I feel stiffness or pain in my lower back and hip region, I do the following with my ball:
If I am feeling sensitive, I lay on a soft mattress. Though, sometimes—if I prefer a firm pressure—I will lay on the floor.
Laying on the side affected by the stiffness or pain, I place the ball just below the hip bone, and in front of the crease of the leg I am laying on. Placing the opposite hand on the floor in front of me, I guide myself slowly, tipping forward onto the ball. From here, I will lay—taking in full, deep breaths—allowing my body the time to release this tightness. This can be a slow process.
If I am feeling unsteady, I will place a pillow on the floor and place the knee of the top leg onto the pillow—providing me much more stability. Or, I will simply take a break and try again. But, I have slept this way for hours! I make sure to do this on both sides, to ensure that my body remains completely balanced. I also sit up on the floor or a firm, cushion-less seat, and place the ball at the same crease behind the leg. I’ll do this again on both sides of the body.
If the stiffness has been ongoing, the pain can take a little bit more time to release. It can also be something that I need to do daily. But, I do sit daily, right?
When practiced daily, there is such a feeling of ecstasy in the release of my pain. So much so, that I take these balls to bed— that way, if I wake up feeling tightness or pain, I can just repeat this process all over again.
But for now, I am breaking up with my chiropractor for a tennis ball. I sleep with two, do you?
Stacy Reis was introduced to the practice of yoga and meditation at 16 by her Mother—as in life and as in yoga, taking many twists and turns to this15-year steady journey through the darkness and the light. Stacy is an artist, yogi, mediator, and teacher of this love of possibilities to those who seek the same.
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Assistant Ed.: Tara Lemieux