* Prana and Dealing with Pain

This is a personal story about dealing with some physical pain while I was at Kripalu. For those of you who live with chronic pain, I hope you will be inspired by this.keep calm breathe and ouch

I have a deformity of my low back – one doctor says I was born with it and it comes from a mild form of spinabifida, while an other one has said it looks like a sports injury that he sees in football players…… (?) The bottom line is that I have to be real careful and not jolt or do backbends that could make it worse.

So, going to Kripalu, I make sure I have ibuprofen and strong antispasmodics if my back goes into spasm. I don’t want to be incapacitated for yoga training! I’m alert and prepared. I’m also pretty tense about it.

The first 2 days I’m being so careful. Avoiding certain poses and making my own adjustments. I feel good about taking care …  “of this darn back of mine that is preventing me from having as much fun as everyone else!”

Then I got a sharp pain in my left knee. With all the sitting I wasn’t surprised, and I needed to give it attention.

pranayamaWe were doing pranayama and meditation practice, and what I was learning was to breathe deeply, adjust my body, and  let the prana or life force flow into the area that  hurt.

The idea is to allow the channels to be open so that the body’s natural healing can work. We use different breathing techniques to activate and move the prana (life force) through us.

The next day my knee stopped hurting. But there was a shooting pain in my ankle.

So I adjusted my posture and breathed deeply letting the prana flow there.

The next morning, there was no pain.

What about my back? I had forgotten about it. It should have been aching after 6 days of sitting but it was doing okay!

In fact, I felt wonderful. No pain anywhere.

The lesson I want to share with you is:

Notice it.

Let it relax.

Give it space.

Breathe into it.

Let it be.

What I now understand is that this can work for all pain – whether its physical or emotional. Our body has a way to deal with hurt and brings its own ability to heal when we recognize it and allow it. I’ll still take the meds and apply ice packs  when needed …. but I’ve learned a valuable lesson about living fully from my Middle Ground.

I am so grateful.


8 responses to “* Prana and Dealing with Pain

  1. So true Val! So often we fight pain and only make it worse (as it does for most things we fight). Accepting and being with it allows it to dissolve. Thanks!


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