I’ve had a difficult week in some ways, with one of my usual MS symptoms being particularly strong: pressure in my head and face, almost feeling like it was going to explode! I always have a certain amount of tightness and pressure in my head and face, but for some reason (and it’s usually not worth trying to figure out the reason why, when it comes to MS!) it was a lot worse. I spoke to the MS nurses, and in the end we agreed to increase one of the drugs I take for neuropathic pain – Pregablin – and if I’m not better by Monday (tomorrow), they will see me in hospital.
Thankfully, I think (hope!) that the intensity is decreasing a little, and it’s feeling more back to ‘normal’ (‘normal’ = quite bad, but manageable). I’ve done more today, and my yoga practice this morning was a little stronger, rather than the yin and restorative practices I’ve been doing for a few days. I included three of the warrior (Virabhadrasana) poses in my practice this morning. I think they were a perfect practice as they have helped me feel stronger in lots of different ways today, so I thought I’d share some of the benefits of the warrior poses. There are specific benefits to each of the warriors, but they also have lots in common. Whenever I’m practising them I feel strong and balanced, and have a sense of being still, with strong foundations, whilst still being ready for whatever life might bring.
All of the warrior poses help us build physical strength (they use so many muscles!) and balance (so a big plus for anyone with MS), as well as mental resilience. They also help to develop mind-body connection, the concept of proprioception (our sense of where different parts of our body are in relation to each other), and coordination.
All pictures from http://www.yogajournal.com
- increases body awareness
- opens the heart
- develops inner strength and courage
Like Virabhadrasana 1, this pose increases body awareness and alignment. I like how http://www.doyouyoga.com describes Warrior 2: ‘finding ease within effort’. Getting the alignment right allows us to notice where we are holding tension in our bodies, and we can question in which areas of our lives we can relax more, and where we still need to be strong.
Virabhadrasana 3 (Mine was a bit wobbly this morning!)
- improves physical balance (obviously, if you look at the picture!)
- teaches us to stay balanced in our emotions and to stay present
- helps us stay in a challenging pose (or any life challenge) without holding too much tension
How have they helped me today?
Even though I’m feeling a lot better than I was earlier in the week, I still could have easily cancelled today’s plans, but after my yoga practice I felt strong and ready for the day. Here are some of the things I’m pleased I’ve done today (and those of you with MS or a similar illness will understand that these few things take a LOT of energy!) and the reason why they’re important to me:
- Spanish tuition with the daughter of a friend of mine = mental challenge, thinking in two languages when I often can’t find the right word in English! Using my brain 🙂
- Making the most of the good weather and walked further than usual = physical challenge, my legs hurt but I paced myself and had a lovely walk; beautiful views 🙂
- Some weeding and tidying up in the garden = physical challenge; appreciating nature and the outdoors 🙂