My experience with HotYoga

I’ve written about one of my sports before (horse driving). I love sports, but there are not many things I can physically do, since I have a lot of problems with my hands and with my legs and a lot of other body parts. However, I do sport. By adapting everything and listening carefully to my body (and if necessary some extra pain meds, inhaler and other helpful things) I can do sports without the grave consequence of not being able to walk for a week, or having to pop too many painmeds.

One of the sports I picked up a few months ago is HotYoga. Yoga in a room of 40 degrees Celsius. I’ve done (regular) yoga in the past, but couldn’t do this anymore. Such a shame, because I love how it gives you more strength + I could use some relaxation and breathing exercises. I go with my mother, because I don’t want to go on my own (in case something goes wrong and because I can’t drive myself there). Sharing a hobby seems to have strengthened the relationship between us, which is great.

I told the instructor I had rheumatism, that I couldn’t do all the exercises and that I have to sit down often, so she didn’t have to worry. Usually sitting down means you’re dizzy and I didn’t want her to worry about me and come to me every 5 minutes. It’s been my first time that I told a regular instructor before the beginning that I had rheumatism, but I’m glad I did. I didn’t tell anyone else, even though I’m not ashamed of myself anymore or feel the need to hide it, it’s just personal and I don’t think they have a need to know. If they ask questions, I will probably answer them. It seems that the others have accepted me, which I’m very happy about. It feels very uncomfortable if you just can’t do “your own thing” and I don’t want to have to justify my choices to everyone who don’t even know me. Although they seem to still find it weird that I put 4 yoga mats on top of each other.

For me, it doesn’t really matter if I go to a special or normal class: I have to keep paying attention to my entire body and to adapt the exercises to myself. Thanks to my sports experience I’ve been able to adapt exercises quite well. It’s very important to learn that yourself, because in my experience instructors usually find it very difficult to adapt things so you can do them too (even if they give special classes).

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[Photo of the back of a sweating woman with her hands folded on her back.]

Usually my muscles can’t relax, that’s something typical for fibromyalgia. But this heat and that for 1.5 hours, that’s something that works for my body. I also do exercises to strengthen my muscles, which is always good,  if I don’t overdo it (which I would do if this were a normal aerobics class). I can do exercises I normally wouldn’t be able to do, which is nice. Oh and it helped my body to start sweating, lol. I just wouldn’t sweat for a long time during the classes, but now I finally started pouring out too just like everyone else (they say that’s a good thing). Because of the heat, the exercises are also more slowly and I need that. Just like we have at least 10 mins of relaxation/meditation time at the end of the class and that’s very good for my muscles as well. Usually every exercise is done twice for each side, but I can always do one round and then sit the next one out. Or I don’t repeat the same side immediately, but do the other side first etc. etc.

In this heat I wear a normal sports top which covers my belly, but I also wear shorts. I have scars on a.o. my upper legs so I can feel quite uncomfortable with showing them. But I’ve experienced that in my case, people usually don’t see them, unless you point them out (they’re white). I often can’t shave my legs and armpits, which can be an issue too. I’ve always had a negative body image and often have trouble with my clothing when people start saying that rape happens because of your clothing. Which is total bullshit, but sometimes it just gets to me. I really think this HotYoga class has helped me accept my body more. During class I’m not ashamed of it, because nobody looks at someone else. This also made me change my thoughts of my body and me in general: “I’m acceptable, just like everyone else. I’m allowed to do this too” etc.

It’s still painful to do this sport (no surprise there since everything is painful), but with all the adaptations I made it’s managable and I enjoy going there. It’s also good for my asthma, since I really have to control my breath in this heat and good for my mind (also thanks to the heat). I’m not really into meditation or chakras or anything, but that’s fine. I don’t have to chat about that with anyone and if I prefer to pretend I’m lying on the beach (which is very easy in that room) at the end, who cares? It works for me 🙂 For me it really is the combination of the heat and the exercises, since just sitting in the sauna for me wouldn’t work (back pain!).

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[Photo of a sweating woman with her arms stretched out.]

I’m very happy that I decided to try this out and can really recommend trying this to anyone, although I can’t guarantee it will feel the same for you. If you want to try out a HotYoga or BirkramYoga class, please keep in mind that you need to get used to the heat, so be careful. Don’t immediately sit in the hottest places 😉 Oh and I also drink water in between, but I’m one of the very few.
Keep in mind that the instructions are for ‘average’ people and bodies, don’t stretch yourself too far (in this context you could interpret this in two ways, LOL). If something hurts, stop. For example: My balance might be good during a certain class. But my standing foot hurts a lot. Then I won’t go into full tree pose, but let my other foot rest on it’s toes. For balance I could do more, but my standing foot can’t endure all the weight. I’m still doing the exercise and training muscles, but I will be able to walk afterwards.

Most important thing: do what you feel most comfortable with and listen to your body and mind.

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Petition: End the dog meat festival

Yes, you read that right: dog meat ‘festival’. What does it look like? Well, I’ve never been there but about 10.000 dogs, mostly puppies, get beaten to death. Waiting in cages without food or water, they usually have to drive for days, untill the butcher is ready. If you hate dogs and are a cat person: they also kill kittens/cats.

More and more Chinese oppose to this festival and they even try to save the puppies and buy them. But the butchers won’t sell them to these people, because then they can’t kill the poor doggie… Maybe this fact is even more shocking: most of the cats and dogs that get killed during this ‘festival’ are stolen PETS.

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[Photo of sad dog face]

The authorities of Yulin already disapprove of this festival, thanks to a same petition last year. However, it’s still continuing, so we need to urge them to actually do something against it. You can find the petition here. I think everyone is against this, even if you think ‘meat is just meat’. Because so much goes to waste and the circumstances are not right. And apparently to the butchers ‘money isn’t just money’. This massive consumption of dog meat also seems to be really bad for the health of the consumers (rabies, cholera). I can’t imagine eating dog meat, but I think there are plenty of reasons to stop this festival right now.

I think this is absolutely disgusting and I hope you’ll all sign and share this petition. And if you have one: give your doggie an extra big hug 😉

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Reblog: In no other crime

itsgoodtobecrazysometimes

Like many others I was shocked with the rape that happened by the Stanford Student, not only just by the crime itself but the father’s letter to try and justify it and I thought her letter to the courts (you can read it here) hit the nail on the head. Too him it might have been just twenty minutes but to her this is going to last a lifetime and as she said she is forever changed by it.

In no other crime do we blame the victim as much as we do in rape crimes. Its all about what the victim wore, how drunk they were, if they flirted with their rapist, their past sex life is brought in and the victim is time and time again forced to relive something that was out of their control.

I honestly believe it wouldn’t have mattered slept with 200 men…

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Reblog: Rape Victims Shamed by the U.S. Court System

Overcoming Narcissistic Abuse

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This is yet another example of how victims of abuse and rape are tormented and shamed in the court rooms of the United States. This is a disgrace. 

It encourages and enables rapists to do whatever they feel like doing. It minimizes the danger of a psychopathic predator, which is who commits this kind of crime. 

Shaming the victim with ridiculous questions and redirection is traumatizing to the victim. It is another trauma on top of the one she has already gone through. 

The lawyers should be ashamed of themselves, yet they go home and sleep fine at night. Tell me what kind of person could do this job of tormenting a rape victim in the court room? 

Correct. Another malignant narcissist, build with the same lack of empathy and lack of remorse that the rapist has.

Trigger warning. Graphic and may re-traumatize abuse victims.

https://www.buzzfeed.com/katiejmbaker/heres-the-powerful-letter-the-stanford-victim-read-to-her-ra?utm_term=.gbXYr206v#.qt40Oqlap

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Forgiveness? Part 2

A while ago I was wondering about the topic forgiveness. Is it necessary for healing to forgive an abuser? I was confused. Many people were ‘blaming’ me, because I actually didn’t agree with this saying. Those ‘conversations’ would hurt me.

I talked a lot about it with my partner. Thankfully, he and I have the same opinion on this matter. He would reassure me. I’ve also come across several blogposts from people sharing my opinion. Both my partner and the posts helped me a lot. It made me realize that I’m not the bad guy for not forgiving everything.

There might be things that you can’t forgive. We say everything will be forgiven and a person can’t be as bad as his worst deed. This might be partially true, but it’s also our hope. Our hope when we do something that we regret, we won’t have to suffer forever. However, whether something can be forgiven or not depends on the abuser and the survivor. And not everything has to be forgiven. I know, we actually don’t want to hear and know that. But there are horrible deeds that can’t be forgiven, especially if the person keeps going like it afterwards. Has no regret at all and would do it again immediately when given the chance.

Sometimes I can forgive people after a short period of time (for example 1 day). Sometimes it takes several years. And I think there might be some thing(s) I’ll never forgive. This doesn’t bother me. I was confused and were hurting myself, because I wasn’t forgiving everything. I thought it bothered me that I hadn’t forgiven everything, everyone for the massive amount of (sexual) abuse they gave me. But that wasn’t true. I realized that I was bothered by the people blaming ME. Making me the bad guy, saying I would be worse than the abuser, because I wouldn’t simply forgive everything, everyone, all the time.

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[Drawing of a person sitting on a bar stool with all sort of knives, needles and scissors in his back. Next to the person is the text: Don’t blame me for my trust issue!]

Some people might need to forgive everything to heal. But I’ve discovered that I’m not one of those people. I can’t say if it’s the same for everyone, but I think that eventually everyone can do this. I think people confuse ‘not forgiving’ with ‘ being angry about it every second of my entire life’. Which is clearly not the same.

I really don’t understand the people who say so many hurtful things to survivors. Just because they don’t understand what they mean, what they feel and what works best for them (which only the person itself can know). All I can think of is that those people don’t want to truly think about it. Truly imagine it and most of them probably can’t imagine it completely, even if you would tell them in detail. I’ve talked about that before on my blog. Realizing that helps me. It helps me with letting go. Because it’s not always me or my fault. Some people are just, well I don’t know a good word to describe it.. But I’m pretty sure you understand what I mean. They are dumb in a certain way and mean. They are very narrow-minded. And you can’t change someone. You can guide someone into changing, but only if they are willing.

My partner can imagine and understand everything from my abuse. It’s a blessing and a curse. It really helps, because he doesn’t even need words from me to know what’s going on and help me. And at the same time, seeing him hurt so much, because he can imagine it so vividly… I understand why people wouldn’t want that. They might hurt almost as much as the survivor when it happened.
But still, a bit more compassion and imagination from some people, wouldn’t hurt me 😉

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[Image of a smiling Spongebob with his hands in the air and a rainbow coming out of his hands. Below him is the word: Imagination.]

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