Pain *can be* Great Teacher

So many of us suffer in silence. Afraid to share our pain with others. Afraid we might be judged, afraid of feeling vulnerable. We sometimes hide the pain, whether physical or emotional, because we are taught to do so. We should be strong! But, strong doesn’t mean Alone.

If you are suffering, speak up, and be your own advocate. Don’t worry about what others think of you. Try not to let pain or illness isolate you. Healing begins when we are seen and heard. Work hard at finding people who will listen and help you. And it really does take work. Find doctors/healers/helpers, and don’t be afraid to fire them if they don’t *see* you. Research, ask questions, look at your diet, your thoughts, the people you surround yourself with, your habits. Don’t let the pain define you, because it’s not you.

I really feel it’s important to share this, because of my own experience. This past week, I was diagnosed with Lupus/RA, after more than 12 years of going to different specialists, then feeling ok, then waiting, then another flare up or weird symptom would happen, then remission, then it would come back worse, etc. These past couple of years it has really risen up and asked me to take note, and finally showed it’s face and demanded to be seen. Autoimmune diseases are sneaky that way. They like to mimic one another and play hide-and-seek in the body. This diagnosis has tied all the mysterious symptoms together. The knees, the neck, wrist, the arrhythmia, the weak immune system, the kidneys, all of it. All part of the inflammation beast. It took a lot of work. But, I have learned to be my own health advocate. And if you are suffering, so should you. Do everything you can to help yourself to heal, whether physically or emotionally. We have so much more power than we realize.

I would also like to say that, (I) wasn’t diagnosed with it, my body was. It’s in my body, not my aliveness. It will not define me, but it will be my job to treat it, to deal with it, to learn from it, and to hopefully use the experience to help others.
Pain is also how many of us are first brought to yoga. Myself included.

Pain *can be*teacher.

Love,

Melina

We are all in this together

Any self doubt I have had about teaching while injured, physically limited or dealing with chronic pain, is gone.
Last night, after subbing a class at The People’s Yoga, a woman approached me and said something like this, “Thank you for creating a safe container for me and for every other person in the room who struggles with their body and the idea of being perfect or fitting-in at a yoga class. It says a lot about this studio, that they have a teacher like you, teaching while experiencing pain and/or limitation in your body, just like the rest of us. It makes it easy to relate to you, and I felt very safe and ok with myself tonight. Sometimes yoga teachers seem so physically perfect, and all look and move a certain way, and it’s hard for many of us to relate. Thank you for relating to us.”

This is why I teach.

Love, Melina

Back to Teaching Two Weekly Classes

Greetings,

I am back to teaching Monday Gentle at 9am, and Fridays Restorative Flow at 7pm. Both at The People’s Yoga NE 2nd Studio. I had a less invasive knee surgery than expected, and the other major surgery is postponed until later or after summer. Come see me!

XO Melina

Summer Schedule Changes!

Greetings!

I am scheduled to have another knee surgery on July 1st, that will keep me from teaching my regular classes for about a month, maybe more, while I’m healing. I plan to continue teaching the Embodying The Zodiac classes with Renee, as they aren’t quite as asana based. Although, I will be missing my Full Moon class on Tuesday, July 8th.

But, I am still teaching all my regular classes through this month of June, so come and see me!

Love Love Love,

Melina

Hypermobility and Our Joints

While researching hypermobility, I stumbled upon this wordpress post;

http://movingprayer.wordpress.com/2013/06/05/teaching-yoga-to-people-with-hypermobility/

It contains some great information for those of you living with hypermobility, like myself. As well as useful information for yoga teachers.

Over my almost 20 years of yoga practice, I have met very few yoga teachers who have actually understood my hypermobility. Most teachers, especially in the early years, seemed to always encourage me to go deeper and deeper into my joints, because I could. So, I did.

This went on for so long, until I starting injuring myself, and finally met teachers that pointed it out to me, and told me I was going ‘way too far’ in certain poses. I will always remember my teacher, Bhava Ram’s advice to me, “Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.” And I still hear his voice telling me this, whenever I get a little too far into my flexibility.

Over the past few years, a lifetime of overdoing it in my knees, it caught up to me. I developed Chondromalacia Patella, which is a condition where the cartilage behind the kneecap begins to soften, break down and tear apart. Also, my lateral meniscus, on both knees have begun to deteriorate.  All due to wear and tear on my hypermobile knees. The fact that I was practicing ballet until age 27, and being tall, didn’t help at all either.

But, finding yoga has helped.

Maybe not at first, but over the years it has taught me to be keenly aware of my body and it’s alignment. It’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as where I am open and where I am more closed.  As a result of my personal experience, I have developed an understanding of others with hypermobility, and hope that through my direct experience, I can be of service to others, to help create awareness and prevent injury.

Warmly,

Melina