Multiple Sclerosis and Yoga

I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) more than 20 years ago. For those who don’t know about MS is an autoimmune and neurological disease, consisting in the immune system attacking the Myelin (a substance that covers the neurons and helps in the transmission of electrical impulses or messages in the brain and spine). It’s one of those invisible diseases that doesn’t necessarily show the symptoms which are usually very hard to explain or understand even for someone who has have it for so many years.

Symptoms

Some of the symptoms are muscle spasms, pain, numbness in the limbs, vision problems, weakness, balance problems, cognitive issues, lack of coordination, difficulty with the movement, muscle atrophy, fatigue and speaking problems. These symptoms occur by relapses or episodes, so it’s completely unpredictable when you will have one. Most patients have one to two per year, depending on the type of MS they have.

My story with Yoga practice

My doctor recommended me to stop any kind of workout, or exercises because heat can worsen the symptoms. So the only recommendation was swimming in a cool, calm pace or practice Tai Chi or Yoga. Of course that the doctor didn’t know what was yoga about, he just heard that people who practice didn’t sweat because it’s slow. I tried everything, swimming, physiotherapy, Tai Chi and Yoga.

The first time I went to a yoga class and mention the teacher I had MS she just said do whatever you can. The truth is that even Savasana was a challenge for me, because of the spasms, involuntary movements, and lack of concentration. After a few classes, I felt more and more frustrated with it so I quit. I gave Yoga a second chance and learn about Pranayama and Meditation, that was much more appropriate for my situation at that point. It helped with the stress, depression and anxiety also product of the MS.

Years and years passed and suddenly after getting worse and worse, I just started to feel a little more strength and ability to move so I decided to give Yoga another chance. I found a yoga studio where they practised Iyengar style. It was just love at first sight, for the first time I felt I could get into some poses, I used lots of props to help me with the practice and I started getting all the benefits. I could always adjust and find a way of getting into the posture, there were also lots of restorative poses that I used to recover myself.

After some months of practice and lots of patience with myself and my body, I decided I wanted to go deeper into my practice. I started to practice at home almost every day, slowly, little steps but with perseverance. I remember my first planks a few years back were against the wall, yes a horizontal wall.

I thought about my improvements every day, even if people could not see them, I knew I could move my hand a little faster, or I walked the whole day without falling. It felt great! You can read more about my recovery process on my personal blog

Then I moved to Singapore and kept my daily practice for months and months. Until I found Tirisula Yoga studio and started practising more seriously. Twice a week in the studio and the rest of days at home. After a year I decided to do the YTT and here I am, learning how to help other people in their practice and also improving myself slowly but constantly.

So don’t stop practising, find what is best for you and always challenge yourself, it’s the only way to go beyond your limits.

 

Adriana

2 Masters and 14 students

I’m coming into the last week of the yoga teaching course. I wanted to write about my experience during week 1 but realised I wasn’t ready as I stared at my screen for way too long and didn’t get to write anything.  I was processing the information and now at the end of the third week, I feel I can put into words what this experience has meant to me.

Two of my very close friends completed the course recently and I more or less knew what I was getting into in terms of areas covered during the course. I was expecting anatomy, some sort of yoga philosophy, breathing techniques and asanas. I knew that asanas was going to be a small part of the course and it was going to be much more holistic that the physical part. I didn’t expect however the level and depth of conversations about life in general. I have enjoyed being in a room with the same 13 people every day and exchanging views on life, death, work, family, the economy and more.  It is not often that we discuss such topics with people who are so different to each other in terms of culture, religion background, age, and personalities. 

I have seen myself changing in the last 3 weeks. Not only I am a bit more flexible and can touch my legs with my head when I’m in Pascimatanasana pose (something I couldn’t do before), but I am much more open minded than I thought I was. I have always been quite skeptical about things like healing with crystals, or music, bad and good energy, etc but part of me it’s very intrigued and wants to learn more and experience all of these for myself.

I take away with me some key messages that I want to apply in my life and live by.

– self discipline

– self observance

– yoga is individualistic

– we need to break all the barriers that have inside our head 

– feedback: Coming from a corporate background and managerial role where you are constantly encouraged to get feedback from your piers, hearing from Master Paalu how we shouldn’t think too much about what our students think of us really surprised me. This really contradicted everting I’ve been taught but I am ready to apply this in my life.

So I take this opportunity, even though we have 1 week to go, to thank Master Paalu and Master Wei Ling for inspiring me, teaching me and sharing their knowledge with me. 

I’ll be back!

– Angela-

 

Yoga philosophy: DOs and DON’Ts ?

After a physically intense first week that focused more on the asanas, this second week led my understanding of yoga to a more philosophical level. Master Paalu spent hours sharing personal stories to explain the 8 limbs of yoga, and all its concepts of self-awareness, kindness, selflessness, contentment and so on that would eventually bring us closer to our goals, no matter what they are. I am way to immature on this philosophy to elaborate here but a lot of it resonated deeply in me, although I was not prepared for it.

I come from a family of non-believers and growing up in this world of racism, war and terrorism made me reject any kind of religion which I believe are the cause of people animosity towards each other. I was therefore anticipating yet another list of metaphorical stories to convince us to believe in the spiritual side of yoga as well as lots of rules. I was happily surprised to hear Master Paalu mocking certain aspects of religions and emphasizing the differences between yoga (which came first) and the later religions. Who knew that, since its creation 5000 years ago, yogis consider three categories of genders (male, female and non-binary) ? Why is modern society only just recently starting to accept a third category despite the criticism of Christianity (to name only the one I am most familiar with) ? Who knew that the first yama concept ahimsa (“non-violence”) should not be misinterpreted to prone vegetarianism ? And the fourth concept brahmacharya (“non-sexual energy”) is not asking for sexual abstinence but actually encouraging oneself to remove sexual perversion towards others so that every person is respected like a God.

There are no rules, no DOs and DON’Ts, only guidelines for a better life full of self-love and love of others.

– Stephanie –

 

Surya Namaskar

It’s your Time to Shine

First thing that came in to my mind as I am typing this, is humming the song “oh oh oh shine into the future, spreading your light wherever you are… Shine, shine your light, shine, shine your light”.  First week of YTT 200 hours, I must say that I was really attracted and keen to learn the Sanskrit names of the poses in Surya Namaskar. Through this process I have come to appreciate and comprehend each and every sequence of this Asana. I find it really graceful, powerful and energizing. I was enlightened and synchronized my breath as I practice. What is Surya Namaskar? Surya is a Sanskrit word that means the Sun, Namaskar respectful greeting (hand gesture). In some culture Sun was thought to be a supernatural entity. Sun worship has been a key factor for many civilization, such as the ancient Egyptians and Inca of South America. There’s also a Myth of Hanuman, wanting to eat the Sun. Surya Namaskar is a yoga sequence that warms up, strengthens and aligns the body.  It builds up heat and a very good exercise anytime at your own pace and can be done anywhere.

For my experience there is something in Surya Namaskar that activates and emits a smooth flow of positive energy, happy feeling, grounded and relaxing. Depending on how often you practice Surya Namaskar, you will reach a point of sense of devotion, humbleness and mindfulness on each movement. Show gratitude and say your intention as soon as you start in Samasthiti, hands and palms together at the centre of your heart.

 

Here are some of the benefits of Surya Namaskar:

• Warms up the body.

• Improves your blood Circulation.

• Helps with a smooth digestion.

• Good for your skin, gives you a radiant glow.

• For women, helps regulate menstrual cycle.

• Helps your memory, anti-stress.

• Detox.

• Strengthening your muscles.

 

 

Please allow me to share these Music video links below that may inspire you as you start your journey

and set your intentions.   Shine and Smile.

 

 

 

 

 

    The Light in me sees and honours the light in you.

 

 

Namaste,

Valerie

16 May 2018

May 2018 – June 2018 ; 200 Hours YTT/ Weekday

Between B R E A T H : 24” | RESONATION (universe)

Between   B R E A T H : 24” | RESONATION (universe)

.

.

When you peer deep into your inner void with spirit’s windows close,

The Universe conspire the ultimate plan and all time froze.

Don’t you find it peculiar, the amount of matter the Universe compose,

Invariably remained familiar, and has never been reproposed but juxtaposed.

Moments in time you ponder and question the Universe,

Contemplating between stars the endless dark spaces transverse.

Is there something that surrounds the silent air we stare,

Until the space it filled replaced, there isn’t any there there.

The secret of the Universe inheres the cycle of polar duet,

Recurrence law of rhythmic dance in everything has already been set.

Alike the endless promises the day and night made that can’t be kept,

The cumulate of smiles, tears, joy, and fears, transcends the silhouette,

Familiar repetition of every 24 hours light and darkness reset,

Pulsation of spiritual self-shaped part of all that I met.

Be glad to have voids in who you are,

Like vast empty spaces between all the stars.

They’ll make you think its all so wrong,

Remember there’s beauty and knowledge in every song.

You are born to be thoughtful sons of confidence,

And compassionate daughters of intelligence.

You are born to show raw allure of deliverance,

To wash away the dirt from their eyes of ignorance.

There’ll be times when you feel abandoned and forsaken,

And the world makes you feel empty and mistaken.

Just remember the desolate welcomes the capacity to grow,

For the hearts’ that once filled these spaces, were always meant to be let go.

The past and the memories, the time and the present,

Was once a part of something pleasant.   

So sing and dance in these spaces, where the spirits belong,

Perhaps there’re just empty, until the right breath comes along.

.

.

 

Rather than waiting for the wind; run with the kite.

Trust your body to harvest the presence; Trust your breath to carry you home.

May your whole be the breath of the Universe

.

^.^

_/|\_

 

Jack Chan ^^  |  TTC 2018’03  |  Weekend Warrior!

Between B R E A T H : 24” | RESONATION (universe)

Between   B R E A T H : 24” | RESONATION (universe)

.

.

When you peer deep into your inner void with spirit’s windows close,

The Universe conspire the ultimate plan and all time froze.

Don’t you find it peculiar, the amount of matter the Universe compose,

Invariably remained familiar, and has never been reproposed but juxtaposed.

Moments in time you ponder and question the Universe,

Contemplating between stars the endless dark spaces transverse.

Is there something that surrounds the silent air we stare,

Until the space it filled replaced, there isn’t any there there.

The secret of the Universe inheres the cycle of polar duet,

Recurrence law of rhythmic dance in everything has already been set.

Alike the endless promises the day and night made that can’t be kept,

The cumulate of smiles, tears, joy, and fears, transcends the silhouette,

Familiar repetition of every 24 hours light and darkness reset,

Pulsation of spiritual self-shaped part of all that I met.

Be glad to have voids in who you are,

Like vast empty spaces between all the stars.

They’ll make you think its all so wrong,

Remember there’s beauty and knowledge in every song.

You are born to be thoughtful sons of confidence,

And compassionate daughters of intelligence.

You are born to show raw allure of deliverance,

To wash away the dirt from their eyes of ignorance.

There’ll be times when you feel abandoned and forsaken,

And the world makes you feel empty and mistaken.

Just remember the desolate welcomes the capacity to grow,

For the hearts’ that once filled these spaces, were always meant to be let go.

The past and the memories, the time and the present,

Was once a part of something pleasant.   

So sing and dance in these spaces, where the spirits belong,

Perhaps there’re just empty, until the right breath comes along.

.

.

 

Rather than waiting for the wind; run with the kite.

Trust your body to harvest the presence; Trust your breath to carry you home.

May your whole be the breath of the Universe

.

^.^

_/|\_

 

Jack Chan ^^  |  TTC 2018’03  |  Weekend Warrior!

Between B R E A T H : 18” | CONSOLATION/ SOLACE (spirit)

Between   B R E A T H : 18” | CONSOLATION/ SOLACE (spirit)

.

.

 

Now and then we get to meet,

The truth within not many dare admit.

Mind’s limits grow from shadows of the old,

Intermixed thoughts with no elements to hold.

 

 

Perhaps your life’s mission has a checklist,

The dos, the don’ts; the beauty and the beast.

However, the spirit’s mission is just to exist,

The gift of lips to the one we never kissed.

 

 

The body, the mind, they fight for each’s pride,

So steadfast and pledge yourself to neither side.

Yet commit to preserve the balance of the mystified,

Until the consolation of spirit is unified. 

 

 

The language of spirit surpasses speech and action,

Meandering gracefully through feelings and intuition.

Alike the dance of two spirits to the cha-cha sync,

With a wink, a slink and a double link.

 

 

The body begins in space but expired in certainty,

The mind exists in time but belong to eternity.

The spirit however manifest due to a promising significance,

Between the space of breath, a silver lining of remembrance.

 

 

when the end is just the beginning of the universe’s secrets,

The spirits transverse every branch, blossoming flowers and falling leaflets.

Time will come to awake those pretending to be asleep,

As everything is connected, depending on how you breathe.

 

.

.

 

Solace begins with dialogues; Dialogues begins with listening.

May you seek conscious flow and congruency in your thoughts, speech and actions

 

.

^.^

_/|\_

 

Jack Chan ^^  |  TTC 2018’03  |  Weekend Warrior!

Between B R E A T H : 18” | CONSOLATION/ SOLACE (spirit)

Between   B R E A T H : 18” | CONSOLATION/ SOLACE (spirit)

.

.

 

Now and then we get to meet,

The truth within not many dare admit.

Mind’s limits grow from shadows of the old,

Intermixed thoughts with no elements to hold.

 

 

Perhaps your life’s mission has a checklist,

The dos, the don’ts; the beauty and the beast.

However, the spirit’s mission is just to exist,

The gift of lips to the one we never kissed.

 

 

The body, the mind, they fight for each’s pride,

So steadfast and pledge yourself to neither side.

Yet commit to preserve the balance of the mystified,

Until the consolation of spirit is unified. 

 

 

The language of spirit surpasses speech and action,

Meandering gracefully through feelings and intuition.

Alike the dance of two spirits to the cha-cha sync,

With a wink, a slink and a double link.

 

 

The body begins in space but expired in certainty,

The mind exists in time but belong to eternity.

The spirit however manifest due to a promising significance,

Between the space of breath, a silver lining of remembrance.

 

 

when the end is just the beginning of the universe’s secrets,

The spirits transverse every branch, blossoming flowers and falling leaflets.

Time will come to awake those pretending to be asleep,

As everything is connected, depending on how you breathe.

 

.

.

 

Solace begins with dialogues; Dialogues begins with listening.

May you seek conscious flow and congruency in your thoughts, speech and actions

 

.

^.^

_/|\_

 

Jack Chan ^^  |  TTC 2018’03  |  Weekend Warrior!

Stretch of Faith

Where should I begin. 

Looking back at the 2.5 months, it’s amazing how far we came. I believe many, like me, didn’t expect this. Growing, stretching, breathing, enjoying, loving, in and into yoga. And actually doesn’t mind getting up 7am every weekend and sleeping early on Fridays (no happy hrs or drinking Fridays!). Honestly, I surprised myself! 

Being my reflective self, I reflected, and here are some of my random thoughts gathered. 

Passion does exist 
It’s true. As we grow older, we conveniently chucked “passion” aside. Disregarding it as something whimsical. But me waking up early voluntarily every weekend- religiously and diligently, voluntarily exercising strict discipline in my lifestyle (no Friday nights out), pushing away all appointments (e.g. friends’ wedding) so that I can attend my wkend YTT lessons and be in my best state, says something. 

Yoga is for everyone 
I love how I am learning and un-discovering so much of yoga every weekend. Yoga is actually an extremely holistic activity, and it can take many forms. From mediation, breathing exercises, yang classes to dynamic flow classes – it can calm your soul, clears your mind, provide you with better clarify and focus, at the same time, train your muscles (core, superficial etc.), stretches and strengthens your muscles/ligaments etc., and tingles your nerves. No matter what you need or are looking for, it is likely that yoga can achieve or complement it. So practise what you need to, and watch..how you/your body change and unfold. 

Be uncompromising 
We learnt alot from our weekly wkend lessons. Master Paalu and Weiling taught us the different aspects of yoga. The science and art of yoga. The asanas, anatomy and physiology, philosophy. One key thing that I learnt from them is to be uncompromising. In the practice of our asanas – be uncompromising. Be precise, be accurate – stretch to the position where u are supposed to stretch, hold in the position which you are supposed to hold, seek alignment. Do not compromise on your poses just like how you do not compromise in life – towards your values and beliefs. 

There are many more things which I learnt from yoga, from this YTT journey, from Master Paalu and Weiling, and I believe that’s the reason why we (the coursemates and I) are so intrigued by it and kept looking forward to it every weekend. I see connections between yoga and my daily life – the principles between our practice, the attitude, the importance of focus, clarity and hence why we mediate, the chakras and that gives you awareness of your emotions, the teaching of yoga and how we need to apply different teaching techniques towards different people, etc. 

What I thought to be a tedious and intense 2.5 months of wkend asanas practice turned out to be a holistic YTT journey that brought me to a higher level of yoga practice, deeper appreciation towards yoga and better awareness towards my physical body and my mental mind. 

To you, whom is reading my post now, and wondering if you are suitable to sign up for it, I say, take the leap of faith and stretch into the world of yoga. It’s one of the best decisions I have made and I sincerely believe you will enjoy it as much as I do too <3 

Namaste, 
Peggy