The Chronic

The thing about chronic illness is, it’s chronic. Meaning, it’s not going anywhere. Those of us who live and walk with chronic conditions, aren’t going to just snap out of it and suddenly be as we were before, or be *cured*. How lovely if that were true.
When this body of mine decided to go completely haywire a few years ago, I heard so many stories from people with chronic conditions about how lonely and isolating it can be, how many friends drop away after a while, and how misunderstood so many feel. I couldn’t really relate then, but I see it now. Why? Why do we connect more with the cured than the uncured?
People love a story of *healing*. People want other people to just get better. It’s healing they praise and not the daily enduring or the actual surviving. Harder to praise a daily dogged persistence.
People get tired of hearing or knowing about those who don’t get better. Why is that? And why do those who are suffering often feel ashamed to share for fear of judgement or being blamed for seeking sympathy or wanting attention? So much wrong with that.
Our environment is becoming more and toxic by the day. Autoimmune illnesses are epidemic because of this.
Let us hear each other, before we are all howling and nobody is listening.
I have shared this before, but my favorite saying these days is, “the objective of a howl is to be heard.”

Yang and Vinyasa Yoga

As some of you may know, I quit teaching *vinyasa* classes or any of the more yang styles of yoga a couple of years ago. After 20+ years of practice and 14 years of teaching, I knew it was time. I felt like my body was being pulled apart and crumbling and I even stopped practicing asana for a while. This was due partly to an autoimmune disease I was diagnosed with, that likes to target the joints and organs, BUT – it also had much to do with the wear and tear I caused to my own body by years of going much too far into my flexibility. I even considered retiring from teaching altogether.

I’ve always loved a challenging yoga practice and “advanced” postures, because I could get into most of them. I thought it was healthy to be so *open*. I mean, I was told this repeatedly and praised by all my teachers regarding my ability in asana. This encouraged me to keep going deeper and opening more, and of course I thought this was a good thing. Then.

As a result of the pain and damage this past way of practicing has caused, as well and my predisposition to joint degeneration, I have avoided vinyasa style classes. I’m also sensitive to loud music, showy teachers, and classes that feel like they are some sort of choreographed workout that overstimulates my already yang constitution.

But— I recently decided to trust my gut and took a vinyasa class with Abby Kraai of who also happens to teach classes at The People’s Yoga. I felt like I needed to really move my body more this past winter, and needed to test my ability to back off my joints and move safely. I’m so glad I did. I trust Abby. Her classes aren’t fluffed up in any way, and feel responsible and straightforward.

I highly recommend Abby’s classes. If you come to my Yin classes and are looking for a class that would be a great yang compliment, try her classes!