DVD: Overcome Pain with Gentle Yoga

As a yoga teacher and someone with a strong back, it never even dawned on me that moving the huge tubing washing machine on our family maple syrup farm was way beyond my back’s capacity. As I fell to the ground writhing in pain, my back let me know that I really should pay more attention. I’m not superwoman. I’m not accustomed to having pain as I lift my leg to put on my pants in the morning. Or asking my husband to tie my shoes because I can’t bend over. This pain made teaching yoga out of the question. I may not have been able to get myself dressed, but one thing I could do was Neil’s DVD: Overcome Pain with Gentle Yoga . I started the DVD practice barely able to move. I ended an hour later feeling more free physically, more at peace mentally, and better able to cope with the recuperation period my back needed. The DVD practic e did not stress a particular alignment, or give a demanding series of contorted postures. Instead, Neil leads those in pain through movements that are coordinated with a calming, rhythmic breath which induces the relaxation response—a perfect antidote for the fear that accompanies pain. Neil also gives the viewer insights on how long to hold a posture and gauging how far to push the stretch. I love the questions he poses so you can judge for yourself the right amount of movement. I did more than one practice (there are three thirty minute practices on the DVD) and found that I could do most of the postures even in my acute pain. When I skipped a posture or two, I simply breathed along with Neil. The biggest challenge I had was transitioning between the floor and the standing postures. I paused the DVD to give my slow-as-molasses movements time to catch up, using a nearby coffee table to assist me in my ascent. Neil’s method to overcome pain is the perfect recipe to work with the body/mind in a healthy way instead of being stuck in fear, forcing movement, or shutting down in depression. Click here for more information about the DVD.

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