As a child, I used to get headaches all the time. I look back and wonder, without attachment, what that was about? I have always been a sensitive being and that remains true, but as I have grown, I have become healthier and more adaptable. As I have learned about eating right, keeping my cycles balanced through my practices and embodying my physical body more deeply, I stopped getting these headaches almost entirely.
I took for granted how good it feels to live in my body headache free! Then, about a month ago, I had an emergency dental procedure, I still had one baby tooth left with no grown up tooth underneath it, and suddenly, it became extremely swollen and painful and needed to be removed. Since that day, I have had headaches persistently. Daily. All the time. Sometimes low grade, sometimes debilitating.
I was humbled. I tried acupuncture, craniosacral, chiropractic, all provided minimal short-term relief for which I was extraordinarily grateful, but the pain always crept back in. Somehow, I made space to attend a yoga class last Wednesday, in the middle of my work day, and there I learned a very important lesson about pacing myself. As a mother of a young one, I live an interesting dichotomy of time. On one hand, children make time move so much more slowly, but on the other hand I am constantly moving faster to make up for it.
During this yoga class, I took the entire hour to honor my own internal rhythm. I did my best to keep up with the class, but with the understanding that my rhythm came first. My headache was such that if I stood up from a standing forward bend in one breath, the pressure and dizziness that resulted were just too much. So I took three or four breaths to get myself upright every time, moving so slowly with each breath, staying present with the sensation in my head and letting that guide me.
By the end of class, I could stand up without feeling any pressure in my head, and my headache has been gone since then. It turns out I really needed a full hour to move fully at my own pace! May this blog be an inspiration to you to join me in my practice of taking at least a few minutes a day to move in your own rhythm too!