Monday, August 10, 2009

My Very Favorite Yoga Pose, Ever, Of All Time

I had some good doctors and some crappy doctors when I was being treated for breast cancer. Dr. M., I am looking at you.

My radiologist, the guy responsible for shooting me with not-quite-lethal doses of x-rays, was one of the good ones. He explained to me that they needed to tattoo me to show the technicians where to shoot the x-rays. I explained to him that no way was I going to carry a reminder of my time as a "cancer victim" with me for the rest of my life. He came up with some good alternatives. I don't have any tats.

He also told me, all unasked, that, v close to my apartment, there was a great yoga studio that had a class for breast cancer survivors, taught by a woman who had survived breast cancer, and that between the surgery and the radiation, my muscles were tight and rigid and, well, I should go. Oddly, since I HATE stuff for "survivors," I went. And, the class was v good and it healed my lymphodema and made me more flexible and helped me to relax.

I don't do a lot of yoga, these days, although I should. But one pose that I learned was so amazing that I'm doing it again, all these many years later. I call it, because it's what my teacher called it, Legs Up Against the Wall. OK, it's true. I also love the revolutionary sound of it.

Picture found here


Thalia Took said...

Oh that pose makes me cry cry cry. It is just so profoundly uncomfortable, and I don't mean in a physical way (though it is a little bit). I mean, psychically, in my heart, it is uncomfortable. I don't know why.

Charlotte said...

Heh heh! It does have a revolutionary ring! I love this pose too. I often do it on my bed. When I was humongously pregnant with twins, it was about the only pose I could do! Really helped with leg swelling and fatigue.

Thalia - This pose doesn't make me cry but Camel pose has. Yogis believe you hold emotion(energy in motion) in your body. There's a book called "The Body Remembers" that talks about how the body holds onto memories at a cellular level. Maybe this pose is releasing tension in your body along with some emotional stress.

Hecate said...

Fascinating discussion. The only pose that makes me cry is the one where we would roll a blanket up tight and put it beneath our backs just under our breasts. It would stretch out the places made tight by the surgery and radiation and that could make me cry.

Teacats said...

I would love to try this pose but am wondering about the blanket/towel underneath the woman in the photo? Does it need to be folded under the bottom and then less of it under the head? I'm hoping to relieve stiffness and tension in my lower back! Thanks for any info!

Jan at Rosemary Cottage

Hecate said...


I do it w/o any blankets. Maybe try it and see if a blanket would relieve stress anywhere? The point of the pose is to relax you and to drain blood and lymph from the feet and legs

Witch of Herbcroft said...

Corpse pose is my personal favorite and one of the few I have mastered. I just wanted to tell you I really enjoy you writing and I wanted to pass on an "eaward" I received. Please come to my blog to receive it. I look forward to reading more of your posts. I only wish I was as prolific.

Teacats said...

Ah! Many thanks for the suggestions! I'll give it a try -- always hoping to keep the blood flowing!

Jan at Rosemary Cottage