Wednesday, November 28, 2007


I went to my first yoga class taught by my friend, Nancy, this morning. (Ruby already takes her children's yoga class.)

It was awesome! My body definitely felt weak and I had problems balancing but I think yoga is really going to help with both those things moving forward. I had to hold onto the wall doing tree pose and my legs were shaking when we were stretching them up in the air with the strap. I cried at the end of the class (I don't think anyone saw my tears since I had a little lavender pillow over my eyes at the time and so did everyone else.) I think the lavender face massage Nancy gave me (and everyone in the class) during shivacinay (sp?--when you are lying in corpse pose relaxing n the floor at the end) opened something up and freed those emotions. I'm not quite sure why I was crying. I think it was just another little visit to the grief stage on this crazy journey of acceptance.

I'm so busy writing about ME that I almost forgot the most exciting and scary part of the yoga experience today. An older woman and an even older man walked up the stairs to the studio as we were rolling out our mats before class. Nancy saw them and said they were probably looking for the insurance company downstairs. Nope. The woman opened the door, let the man come in and said, "Bye Dad! See you in an hour!" and left. Nancy introduced herself and asked him if he had been to yoga before. He said "yes" just not at this studio and then he filled out the registration form. Nancy later told us that he said he had absolutely no health problems. Not surprisingly for a man in his 80s, he had some trouble with certain positions. Nancy assisted him or made suggestions for accommodations. All of a sudden, about a third of the way through the class, he stood up and said, "I don't feel well." Turns out the man had high blood pressure, high cholesterol and hypertension and shouldn't have been doing some of the positions, particularly downward dog. A woman in the class who had some medical training took his pulse and made sure he was ok. He drank water, sat still for a while and was fine while the rest of us finished class. Nancy now plans to insist on emergency numbers for yoga participants since the man didn't have or know his daughter's number. I later found out he just lost his wife LAST WEEK. I know the daughter was grieving, too, but dropping him off without a conversation with the yoga teacher wasn't a choice I would have made. Who knows. I can't imagine Bob Baker doing Yoga. Heheh. I also found out that the classmate with the medical training who helped the man just lost HER father last week to a heart attack. Weird.

Ken came over last night and we had a long conversation into the wee hours about all kinds of things we needed to talk about. I dread those kinds of potentially emotional conversations but they ALWAYS make me feel better and more connected. During the MS portion of our conversation, I shared with him a realization I had yesterday. I posted an article about a project were researchers are collecting blood samples from people with MS in the hopes of finding a cure. I went to the web site and read about MS and the project. You should know that I probably own 25 books about MS and have been to every English-language Web Site with information about MS. So, I've read virtually all the basic info about what MS is, etc. Then, why was I shocked when I read that MS meds will slow the progression of MS but they will not halt the progression.

That means it's going to get worse. No matter what. I have a progressive, chronic illness. Not just a chronic, relapsing and remitting one. It's progressive. Hmmph. I told Ken and he said, "Ya. I read that on day one before your diagnosis was confirmed." That means I must have, too. But I DIDN'T read it. Or didn't understand. Or didn't want to understand. Denial is so fricken weird. How is it that people who care about me knew I was going to get worse, for sure, not probably, but I didn't know that. I thought that it was a possibility but that I should focus on the positive, etc, because it wasn't necessarily going to get worse. Hmmph. Well, that kind of blows, doesn't it?



  1. Yay for you!!

    I just received a prenatal yoga DVD I ordered from Amazon. I hope I enjoy it. I hear good things about yoga. My mother did it before her back surgery. Glad to hear more positive things.

    On a separate note, did you know that PacNW has the highest concentrated number of cases of MS than any other region?

  2. Julie,
    It is hard to understand all the emotions you are going through and I can only imagine how tough it is to come to terms with it. What I can say is that practicing yoga is a great way to find both inner strength and outer strength. Like anything, you gain more and more confidence in yourself and learn to channel your emotions. If anything, your practice may help you find peace in a time of great turmoil. savasana is also meant to be a time where you focus on your mind since your body is tired. Nameste