Aerial Yoga For Chronic Pain and Trauma Sufferers?
Have you tried Aerial Yoga? The experience may seem terrifying at first. Having a good instructor makes a world of difference though. TRUST. That's a big word: trust in yourself, trust in your instructor, trust in the fabric. With each practice, your confidence in yourself and in the fabric begins to grow. As trust starts to develop, you will feel amazingly FREE!! Floating, Flying, feeling completely supported by the fabric. It is extremely liberating and so exciting.
It's OK to feel afraid. As an instructor, I go slow with new students. Starting at a foundations level and working up to more advanced asanas and tricks. We play a lot. If you are nervous, I recommend that you still show up to class. Feel the fabric and start the beginning of the trust process. (I have had students stay cocooned in the fabric for a full class. AND THAT IS OK.) If you are anything like me, you will become hooked on not only aerial yoga, but on the support, community and comfort it brings.
For those of you who know me, know that I have Ehlers Danlos Syndrome (a Connective Tissue Disorder) as well as POTS. I suffer from chronic pain. I am also a survivor of a very traumatic experience. People often wonder if doing Aerial Yoga is helping my symptoms or making my symptoms worse. I can tell you from experience, that Aerial Yoga has been the best thing for my body, my mind and my spirit. I stay active. Keeping my body strong. Always moving. Using the hammocks, gives me an extra support. I can go deeper into poses. I can play a little more. I can push myself a little harder. Before Aerial, I can say that some days, I could barely get out of bed. My self confidence was low...like all the way underground. I was always down on myself, I hated my body, I hated my mind. Now, there is no stopping me. I AM FLYING HIGH...quite literally.
Am I saying that Aerial Yoga is for everyone? No. I am saying that if you are suffering from chronic pain, talk to your doctor and see what they have to say about the practice. I am also telling you my story. What works for me. I love the support that my yoga community provides. I live on my practice. (I'm not sure what I would do without it.) I absolutely adore my students. The strength and bravery they show every time they show up to class makes my heart soar. They are a HUGE part of my healing. I am so blessed to be provided with the gift of teaching. If I can help one person ease the torment of their trauma, their fears or even help relieve some of their pain, then I am living out my purpose.
I am including a link to a very powerful article I read the other day. It was posted by my mentor and owner of Reaching Treetops Yoga (Alyssa Konda) in Waukesha, Wisconsin. This article really hit home for me and I wanted to share it with all of you.