Tag Archives: fitness

Healing Back Pain-Yoga

Easy does it when healing back pain.

Back injuries and back pain can become a daunting task for recovery. Our spinal column is used in every movement of the body. The center of our core fitness is the back, especially the lower back.  This is why lower back pain is the leading cause of disability and why yoga is a good choice for recovery.

Back pain affects everything we do. Caring for the back requires a good attitude and a little understanding about the philosophy of healing.  With it, the recovery process will achieve maximum potential for healing and reducing back pain.

Common Back injuries and rehabilitation

My Personal experience with back pain and injury.

The strength of my teaching comes from my experience in healing injuries more than ability to perform advanced poses. Back injury is something I an very familiar with.

Early 2012  a mishap of coordination at a trampoline facility left me seriously injured. I was out of sync with the bounce and found myself with the force of my body weight on my spine without support.  Back rehabilitation is my career. Twenty years of practicing sports medicine myotherapy clearly defined the experience as not good.

I didn’t know how bad it actually was (it felt like a pulled muscle), so after a little stretching, I kept bouncing. Later that day I knew the injury was serious and was going to need long-term recovery.  Not the best scenario for someone about to leave for a year of travel.

Even more emotionally compelling for me is that my back-bends were strong and I was excited to begin practicing more advanced bends in my practice.

Core strength and flexibility of the spine
Back bend in Thailand one year earlier
Strong flexible spine yoga
Bridge back-bend Thailand one year earlier

I left for Asia and began the process of healing.

Waking up with severe back pain for months was the norm. I didn’t say much about it to my love and kept a positive mind that pain is just part of the process of healing.  The recovery took over a year before I could even think about a back bend, and another six months before I could actually do one, a little one.

Taking it easy with back injuries. First few months of rest and easy movement.

Even today I can get sore and stiff in the area but within two years I was back to my yoga practice 80% and the best part…no surgery or drugs!

Core strength and flexibility of the spine
Practicing yoga with back injury. Six months later. Keeping stress off the spine. Advanced practice

Most people get scared and wont attempt to heal themselves.

Injuring yourself can be scary, and if you don’t have a good understanding of how the body works, running to the doctor seems to be the only option. Most people wont attempt natural healing, this in part is due to the limited thinking of our western medical model of rehabilitation. The model hasn’t proven itself to be advocates of natural healing.

Yes, science believes a wound can heal, and  say the liver can heal, but unless it can be quantified, it doesn’t exist.  So other methods of treatment are recommended. It’s not wrong and it’s not right. Its simply the model of western thinking. Healing occurs naturally. We don’t have to think about, but we have to believe.

In this modern-day, we’ve discovered profound numbers of people who heal themselves in all areas of their body.  From heart malfunctions to bone structure, natural healing methods understood in many cultures around the planet such as Chilel Chi Gong, acupuncture and mind control are being used more and more. Yoga has been used as prevention and injury repair for thousands of years. In yoga we learn to be mindful and affirmative with our healing process.

Most people with sever back injury end up with surgery or long-term disability because the pain keeps them from doing what needs to be done, exercise. The problem then become worse and leads to other disabilities.

Since the back is the center of all movement, when the center of movement is in pain, all movement is compromised. Exercise is difficult if not impossible, especially the abdominal muscles, where it’s needed the most.

Here is a good process for strengthening the back,  with, or without surgery.

1. Rest.

After an injury, the body needs time to assess itself and get to work on the issue. Our body has a natural healing process and the initial resting phase is important for a good recovery. Rest may be lying flat for week or a few days. Either way your body will let you know what it can or cannot do. The determining factor is pain. Sharp pain is the no-can-do message. Discomfort and pain are normal but sharp pain is a clear signal to take it easy.

2. Diet.

Your body needs help. Certain nutrients help heal. Other eating behaviors hinder the process. There are some common healing herbs listen in my Health Insights page. Essentially, you need to offer all your energy to healing. Eating heavy, hard to digest meals, steals energy from the healing process. Alcohol, (although usually desired when in pain) can hinder healing as smoking, fried foods and sugar.

In natural healing we say “The prevention is the cure.” In other words,  the protocol to prevent disease is the same to heal disease. Fasting, juicing, vegan diet,  should all be considered for decreasing stress while increasing energy to heal.  However…

The determining factor in your fate is…

Attitude and belief.

When you’re waking up in pain everyday it’s hard to believe that pain is okay and things are getting better. The process of healing can be long, so get through it with this simple yet profound phrase:

” Whatever I am going through at this moment is part of the process for my healing and regeneration.”

It’s a good idea to believe in the natural and profound ability to heal. Visualize and feel yourself as whole and strong. With the power of vision, you create. Think of your most beautiful self. Affirm to yourself the fun things you enjoy. Find ways to be grateful.  Find ways to enjoy your human experience and drive from that power.

Here is a powerful audio meditation I created for my healing. Find time to relax and absorb the words in this Healing Affirmations Audio Meditation.

4. Ease into movement.

You must strengthen those abdominal muscles.

The ultimate strong core is being able to perform leg-lifts and navasana or boat pose fairly easily.  However, with an injured back, this is impossible because the spine must be firm and stable.

Leg-lifts for strong core and spine
Leg lifts for core strength and reduction of back pain

yoga posture strong core

In order to begin to support the spine we have to strengthen the abs, but abdominal strengthening exercise can be painful for the back. It’s a catch 22! Overall, you have to guide yourself and your body into what it is you want to do. If we limit our movements due to pain, then we limit our healing. We want to be easy, but we don’t want pain to control us. We must learn to work through it.

Healing Potential is unlimited

 

How to Exercise the Core when Injured

The action of the abdominal and back muscles is to keep the spine erect but also assist in movement, front, back and side to side.

A strong core is key to pain-free movement
How our spine moves

Depending on where and how severe the pain will determine your position for exercise. If you cannot make it to the floor, then you may have to start in a chair or in bed.

Recover from BACK PAIN
Simple movement to introduce core strength

Simply holding yourself upright and firming your abdominal muscles or bringing a knee to the chest is a good start. As you progress, you will be able to begin basic movements.

The key in all of this is to know what your spine is capable of and working to get as much potential out of your recovery without further injury.

Once you’re able to get to the floor, basic movement of core compression can be introduced. It can begin with basic knee bends and progress to knees-to-chest and eventually gentle leg-lifts and hip-lifts.

Yoga for reduction of back pain
Knees to chest can help alleviate back pain
Basic stabalizing exercise for low back pain
Basic exercise to begin core strength

Do enough exercise to program your recovery without stress. In other words, communicate with your spine and assist it through recovery but be gentle and don’t force it.  Allow your healing to happen naturally. Many times this means recovering from emotional issues as well.

As we know, the prevention is the cure. This goes for exercising as well. Here is a good list of back exercises. Once your strength improves and pain decreases you will find more and more ability.

Take it easy, but keep going. You are in control of your healing.

 

 

Yoga for spine strength and flexibility
Strong spine Maui 2016
Hip opening and good balance
Two years after injury Xcalak Mexico Caribbean

~YogaDoug

 

Yoga improves balance and coordination
Maui 2015 Baby Beach North Shore

 

 

 

Ancient Secrets to Longevity Fitness Challenge

Need to Exercise?   Short on time?   Want to add more to your fitness routine?

Challenge yourself with this ancient fitness routine to boost your health and longevity.

For 30 days take the 15 minutes to do these rites everyday!

In the book “Secrets to the Fountain of Youth” a man shares his discovery of this longevity exercise. Traveling deep in the Himalayas, he found a tribe of Tibetan Priests  who shared their secrets of their longevity health. These Lamas looked far younger than their age and lived a very long time.

Do these rites diligently over 30 days and see for yourself how much strength and agility you create. Start slowly the first week with as many repetitions as you can, maybe only three or four.   Be sure to do the same amount of repetitions for each rite. Stay with it and increase the repetitions each week. Give yourself the chance to work up to the maximum of twenty one (21) repetitions of each rite.

Along with any longevity program, be aware of your eating habits and mental stress. Stress is the main factor in all disease therefore learning more about mindfulness will help. Eating more than one type of food at a time also creates stress within the body. Eat fewer combinations of food and utilize more herbs. Do not eat late. Learn to stop eating after 5 PM. Do not eat sugar in the evening and learn to eliminate sugar all together. Eat more good fats andreduce alcohol intake. For more dietary guidelines read my HEALTH INSIGHTS PAGE.

The biggest challenge to these rites for beginners is the process by which toxins or metabolic waste are squeezed out of the system causing nausea or dizziness. This is exactly what the body needs and shows how purifying these rites are. Start slow and get through it. Health and longevity awaits!

HERE WE GO!

RITE number ONE

The first rite is a simple one. It is done for the express purpose of speeding up the vortexes. Spinning helps open the vortexes better than anything else. Spinning is also known to elevate consciousness and bring one into a heightened state of awareness. Children do it all the time when they’re playing.

Stand erect with arms outstretched, horizontal to the floor and begin to spin to the right.  At first, adults tend to get dizzy easy because they are not used to it and the energy centers spinning open creates a surge we are not used to. Once the body becomes used to spinning, it become quite an energizing experience. stay diligent.

Do what dancers do. Focus on a single point as you begin to spin then at your maximum twist turn quickly your head 180 degrees and focus on another single point as you spin.

Strong 15 minute fitness challenge SPINNING a Strong fitness challenge

RITE number TWO

Rite number two continues to open the vortexes.

Comfortably lie flat on your back. Place your hands along side your body and bring your chin to your chest. Raise your legs straight up and even a little more towards your head if you can, keeping your back flat on the floor. Do not bend the knees. With each repetition use a rhythmic breath. Do your best. You will get stronger as you go. You will amaze yourself.

RITE two of Strong 15 minute fitness challengeRITE two B Strong 15 minute fitness challenge

RITE number THREE

This rite should be practiced immediately after rite number two.

Kneel on the floor with your toes tucked under your feet.place your hands on your butt as if you were placing them in your back pockets.

Tuck the chin to the chest and them move it safely and swiftly back at the same time create more of an arch to the back and feel as if your heart is opening. Move back and forth chin to chest and then arching back. Find a rhythmic breath and keep going. You will find this very powerful.

RITE three Strong 15 minute fitness challenge RITE three B Ancient Secrets to Longevity Fitness Challenge

RITE number FOUR

This rite may seem very difficult at first. Over time you will get the hang of it and find the tremendous benefits it produces.

Fist, sit on the floor with your legs stretched out in front. Place your hands on the floor along side your buttocks. Bring your chin to your chest. Now thrust your head back as you raise your body up off the floor as if to create it as a table.  As you come to the table position breathe deep and hold the breath for just a moment as you firm every muscle in the body. Come back to first position with your buttocks in the center of your hands and your chin to chest.

Do this with rhythmic breath and continue in an even flow the entire set of repetitions. You’ll see the benefits quickly.

RITE four Ancient Secrets to Longevity Fitness Challenge RITE four B Ancient Secrets to Longevity Fitness Challenge

RITE number FIVE

Palms on the floor below your shoulders and toes tucked under. Drop your hips towards the floor and keep your shoulders down, ears pushed up away from your shoulders. Keep your neck long, chin up.

Now lift your hips to the sky and tuck your chin to your chest. Push your heels down to the floor and your hips back. This is a downward dog position. keep your back flat and your shoulders broad and open.

Continue back and forth using rhythmic breath.

This will create tremendous muscular strength. In time, this becomes a welcome finishing pose.

RITE five Ancient Secrets to Longevity Fitness Challenge RITE five B Ancient Secrets to Longevity Fitness Challenge RITE five C Ancient Secrets to Longevity Fitness Challenge

Congratulations! I look forward to your comments!

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Live and Let Die

There’s an over-riding element to ones behavior that determines the fate of our living experience.

Natural healing is a truly powerful experience but ultimately its a decision to live or die.  My love and I follow the methods of our mentors Dr. Christopher and Dr. Schulze for our own lives and share their knowledge with others in need. However, the knowledge of self healing goes deeper than the physical nature of living and places the decision to live or die on the patient.

Recently, we have been in contact with someone in need of healing from a major disease. From the onset of meeting this person, it was clear they were battling emotional turmoil which kept them from healing. Dr. Schulze says, “We would never take anyone into our clinic until they first admit they caused the illness, and are willing to deal with the emotional issue around why they caused the disease.”

Yoga teaches truth

The truth of who we are in every moment through the process of one pointed focus and meditation reveals our inner truth. In meditation, we can see clearly. When we begin to see clearly, we can take correct action for our lives. This person suffering from disease has obvious emotional issues, and is unaware of its relationship to their dis-ease. They are bouncing from one healing fad to another, not facing core methods proven to heal.

Why? Often because dealing with the truth is too difficult. Even those “trying” to heal naturally look for a quick fix. Through this experience, I have come to know what the expression “battling disease” refers to.  It is like fighting to get your way, while avoiding the rules of the game. It’s like the choice to live or die is not our choice but rather a decision based on how many external points are gained.

live or die attracts like minded.

People create avoidance energy around them to attract others who are emotionally unstable, co-dependent, even harmful to support their beliefs. My love and I, full of experience, wisdom and compassion many times have been avoided in lieu of those better suited for disabling or coddling the sick one. We see this, and still hold the perfect vision of their good health, feeding the light within them to help attract an awakening.

What we focus on, grows. As a healing team, we intuitively observe one’s presence, evaluate, and send light to those in need. When one is seeking to regain life, it is usually best to look for possible alternative to the norm or expected behaviors of those close to us.

We support whatever path you choose.

We prefer not to feed one’s weakness, instead we like to uplift. One must be ready to do the work and commit to whatever it takes, and be diligent in order to change the current reality. Live and let die. Let go of current perceptions if you seek a new reality; this in itself is a form of death which produces new life, like a caterpillar transforming into a butterfly.

Blessings on your path. Believe in mother nature. You are loved. You are love. The love that created you will always sustain you. Love thyself, heal thyself.

~Douglas

 

 

Yoga and Your Body Type

Yoga is adaptable to every body type and requires knowledge of how our body is suited for each movement.

Practicing yoga is a powerful way to strengthen and heal.  However, it requires the ability to adapt your body to function within each pose. Our yoga practice requires us to realize the challenges we face in achieving the benefits in yoga related to our body type. Let’s look at your body type today in our blog class for yoga and your body type.

Jay, the Russian fitness trainer strapped me into a leg machine then stopped and said, “I didn’t realize you were so tall. Are you over six feet?” Why do you ask, said I?  He told me that the length of my legs were equal to a body over six feet tall.  It was then I had a revelation about my body type and subsequent excuses for why I couldn’t perform certain fitness or yoga exercises.

Stand me next to the shortest person in the room then have us sit down side by side. Whilst I tower over the short person standing, they suddenly become taller than me when we sit next to each other. With these super long legs comes a short torso. I sometimes wonder how all my organs fit into such a small space and another reason why my rib cage is so large. Point being, my structural uniqueness carries with it some challenges and some advantages.

Structurally speaking leg lifts or boat pose “Navasana” are the most traumatic exercise experiences for me while bike riding is the most structurally easy exercise. In leg lifts my torso has to nearly be on the floor to counterbalance my legs. In bicycle riding, my long legs provide great muscle mass for peddling while the short torso keeps my center of gravity lower.

Many new to the practice get frustrated by body type comparisons.

Why some postures are such a challenge when others can master such postural moves easily. It is really all about our physiology.

I had a friend who mastered a head stand from a wide leg position and other arm balances easy.  Like Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps, he had a long torso and short legs. He is 6’4″ and our legs are the same length. His extra length is in the torso. He could put his head to the floor easy because of his structure. It was almost as if his legs would naturally come off the ground to accommodate his torso. With such mass in the upper body, inversions are easier. Many think inversions are the end-all to mastering yoga when in fact inversion postures are simply another direction to test the body. Some find it easy some do not.

Here is a visual of the differences between torso body types, the weight and mass of the legs  in comparison to the torso.

Structural differencesDaily movements of our body requires finding our center of gravity.

Gravity is what we work with to move ourselves.  When we begin a practice of yoga we become aware of our structural design and integrity.

Early on in yoga practice people use structural design as an excuse as to why they can’t do certain postures. I tried it, but my teacher wouldn’t buy into my excuses and called me lazy. Over time I simply became more aware of myself, dropped the ego expectation and humbly worked within my framework.

We all have structural differences which make certain activities easy and others more difficult. If you’ve ever played an auto racing video game, before the game starts you get to design your car. The design of the car will provide the parameters from which you get to experience the race.

Select your car

Whatever our structural design we all benefit from the yoga practice

Eventually we will be able to perform all the poses in the class. I see students struggle with expectation and humiliation but the humbling effect brings one further into the benefits of the practice.   Remember yoga is simply a process of understanding.

Whatever your belief or excuse about your body type, it’s the starting point to becoming aware of who you are. All the poses I had excuses for have now become easy.  This is true with any perceived limitation of health or ability. When we release the expectation and ego, we can begin to discover the magic of who we are.

Blessings on your journey. I’ll see you in class.

~Douglas

No Regrets part II

No regrets PT 2

I AM.

We use this powerful statement every day to create ourselves. It’s how you use it as your mantra I am… I am…. I am…

Douglas King: I am many things and consistently changing my I am. I am a holistic health practitioner, a yoga teacher a myofascial therapist, a reiki healer a musician and the inventor of the Rhythm Rack. I am what is known as a “life coach”

I get people to look at the essential elements of what it takes to experience life in our bodies with joy and livelihood, to take control of the experience and master the art of creation using the framework of their typical day. I take people through their day and show ways to shift their behavior to that which supports more of what they desire to experience.
The words of my guru as as clear as day when I repeat her words…yoga is not about standing on your head. It’s about standing on your own two feet. It’s difficult to be relaxed in the mind or calm in the heart or gentle in your speech or work with someone in a state of compassion when we have willingly let the body become full of ache and pain. This is why self-care is such a vital and important element in the final outcome of what we wish to accomplish.

If we are working on a project and the energy we put out comes from a sick mind or painful body. It doesn’t matter how efficient the proposal looks on paper or the presentation looks. The outcome is dramatically affected by the energy of the one’s creating it. The ripple in dark matter is constantly affecting us.

What we “put out” in known as our vibrational signature.

Not only does our energy signature effect those around us but it effects the outcome of our life and therefore leads us, to become elders wishing their lives turned out differently or elders whom are happy with their experience of life.

Sacrificing ourselves to love another

Sacrificing our self care for others in the name of love becomes detrimental to ourselves and those we love.
Sacrificing our time for health becomes a burden upon those we say we love by placing the troubles of caring for our sick bodies upon them. We don’t stretch so we can no longer move. We don’t exercise, so we can no longer stand. We don’t eat right, so we can no longer feed ourselves naturally. We don’t relax our mind, so we can no longer think clearly. This is the fate we put upon ourselves from the society we created. What good id sacrificing our health to nurture others only to put the burden of our decrepit body upon them.

Okay, what does it take to be a holistically, healthy person and treat our body and mind with the ultimate respect?

Guidelines for a healthy mind/body/life

Wake up when you’re done sleeping getting minimum of uninterrupted sleep between the hours of 12- 5 pm.
Drink a glass of warm or room temperature water with lemon upon waking
Begin a gentle exercise, stretching yoga practice
Refresh the mind with 15 minutes of meditation
Start your nutrition with easy digesting nutrients taking the time to thoroughly chew your food and or superfood smoothie 15-20 minutes.
Begin a few a tasks, which should include nurturing the earth where you live
Prepare for lunch with and appropriate balance of nutrients making it the highest protein meal of the day
Segment intend your vision of life with a 10 minute visualization
Continue afternoon tasks
Prepare for an early dinner so that the body is utilizing optimum digestion time
Utilize evening time to unwind the mind perform self care modalities and prepare for sleep.
Now let me ask. With all that is required to enjoy our body experience to the fullest, where is the time for a job.?

Well if we followed another simple rule for living, it would be easy.

Do what you love and allow money/abundance to develop around what you love.
wouldn’t this reduce a few regrets?

 

I went to visit my friend Hollywood Hal and met one of his old friends Gino. Gino was just as the name sounds, a big, deep talking, Italian from Chicago. During a brief conversation, he said it. “Never work for money.”

Unfortunately many of us were never taught these axioms of life and gave our power away at an early age and the resulting effects snowball in a never-ending array of chaotic experiences that we seem to be victim of. But in reality we were fed mantras and kept repeating them. TV is good for this, force feeding visual and auditory mantras.

Living a  healthy life comes from a completely different world of what many may believe can exist.

My love and I. We have no bills, no mortgage, no insurance, no children, no contracts. We travel the world and experience abundance in ways that far exceed what we could purchase with “money.” We keep ourselves fit and free. We use our natural gifts to empower our work as healers and find those who need us wherever we go. We give and we receive.

We trust in the never ending flow of love which in turn turns into experiences greater than we could have imagined. All because we not only believe the words of wisdom that have been passed on to our culture through the ages of time , but live in faith.

If you want to get a grasp of the final result of caring for yourself and others in the way I speak, think of how the tribes live in the movie Avatar. The book series conversations with God speak about highly evolved societies. A society where elders are effectively utilized by caring for the young and tending to the community gardens.

I believe we all want to work easier, with joy and experience the feeling of making a difference. So what can you do the shift yourself towards taking more control of your experience and your health and therefore changing the experience others have of you and the energy you project into the world?

What do people feel when they are around you? You can’t hide who you are from that inner deeper level of your energetic self. and every thought and action effects the matter around you. Some people have jobs that allow them only to  make the business run from a bottom line point of view and others work to make a difference. The best we can do is be honest and work within the framework of what we have created. Then we can choose whether or not we want to expand that framework to include more of what would help us live more of a live we could look back on…… with a smile.

 

What is your mantra?

 

~YogaDoug

Are You Really Healthy?

In the west and in other parts of the industrialized world, the masses have taken to cities where the lure of fancy goods and prestige become the priority in an ever shortening life span. The idea is to lessen the amount of time it takes to eat, sleep and exercise in order to work more. It is a glaring lacuna in the plan of happiness because when you look at the number one regret amongst the elderly, it’s wishing they didn’t work so much, wishing they spent more time enjoying the simplicity of life and taking care of their health.

But the hypnotic lure of glitter and flashing lights is too much for the average person to resist.  Then when the glitter and night life begins to lose its luster, the masses turn to producing offspring as a way to search for happiness and continue the illusion. It’s an age old symptom that has been addressed by masters for ages… the outward search for happiness.

In the midst of the illusion is our body. Our magnificent human form, waiting to give us the ultimate experience of joy. But instead many humans ignore the magic within and continue to look outward as if we have to somehow attach ourselves to something in order for the magic to ignite. Our bodies go along with the foolishness, working and fighting to keep us alive until the battle is too much for the slowly dwindling strength of our immune system. The onslaught of nutrient deficient foods, chemicals and sugar in the the outward search for pleasure and happiness shifts the focus of life to disease, and the realization that we can no longer search outward. However, there is still the opportunity to lay blame on outside circumstances and label ourselves as being a victim of disease. People can find authorities in medicine, to partner with them to continue ignoring the idea of personal responsibility for health. They can go on with treatments and drugs until the label has been attached and the outcome is assured.

The health of our life is a deep and harmonious responsibility. Many people believe that by exercising regularly, going to the gym and taking their vitamins, they are doing all they can for their health and any event of disease is therefore an uncontrollable misfortune.

Internal happiness is the key to health. I know everyone has heard this age old phrase of wisdom, happiness begins within.  The true source of our health comes from our energy field. Our energy field is created through the conscious and unconscious mind. The path of happiness and abundant health therefore lies in our ability to find happiness within. If one cannot be alone with themselves, sit in quiet without distraction and find comfort, they have not created the proper internal, healing strength. If being alone is uncomfortable and the need for constant distraction is necessary, then the path of fulfillment towards a life of joy is slipping. If one cannot meditate and silence the mind, the outside forces have taken control.

Meditation. A simple solution to everything and the most painful and feared process for many. How can something as non-doing be productive to health? This is the biggest obstacle of thought to overcome. The game of the mind. Do, Do, Do, Think, Think, Think, is the illusion, the trap, the snare that puts one on the fast-track to ill health and disease. We cannot create our outer self, our physical self, from the outer world.  The outer self is created from the inner self.

Meditation allows one to be more in control over the processes of the body. It allows one to perceive the subtleties that our body speaks when it is time to make choices. It allows us to be in touch with the knowing that we truly create ourselves from thought.

Take the leap. You don’t need anything outside yourself. There is no need for a device or a class,  a wrist band or a head piece. Just learn to be still. It’s that simple. Then the strength of self begins to blossom, the power of creation and true wisdom of health.  If one does not develop this inner wisdom of health, it will only be a matter of time until…..