Rock Steady – Finding Balance In Turbulent Times

ROCK

It’s finished. So now where do I go from here? I feel as though I have been released, naked, into a very big and crazy jungle with a bag of tools that I barely know how to use. I have just finished my teacher training. I have felt this way before. It was the same when I finished my Canadian Forces Officers Training. You feel like you are part of something. You are part of a family that you have shared so much with.

Then you become separated. Torn apart almost because life, everyone’s life must go on. And so it does go on. I am left though, and, am always left after times like this, with a void. I wasn’t sure what was more scary, that feeling of not knowing what to do or where to go with what I had learned in my yoga intensive, or that feeling of being cut off and going back to my daily living of life with my new eyes.

I decided to become a yoga teacher because it helped me during the most difficult times in my life. I am a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) sufferer. I fell down a ladder while in the military and struck my head pretty bad. I developed a seizure disorder and required brain surgery for a right frontal lobe cyst. I lost my memory for a time, developed severe vertigo, tinnitus, severe anxiety, and many other related illnesses. Although I can’t say my health is perfect, a regular yoga practice has greatly improved my quality of life and surprisingly my creativity.

I decided it was time that I pass this gift on to other TBI sufferers like myself. I had always wanted to help people but was never sure about the medium. Yoga is it.

So now about this void I was talking about! I have been trained in Chair and Forrest Yoga, which are both healing for sure, so this would fit in well with what I wanted to do. Like I said though it’s a jungle out there, and sure I could teach for sure, but competition is fierce and cut throat.

So what am I to do? Well, I needed to provide healing but in a way that would be uniquely me.

 

Rock Steady – Finding Balance

Well, I stumbled over it. Literally! It was a rock. Of all things. I was walking with my husband near a beach close to our home and I tripped over it. I nearly fell flat on my face. My breathing quickened. My heart was racing, and a brilliant idea came into my head. If a small rock could do that to me, then I could use a rock to undo it.

I had seen people balance rocks close to where I lived. It was amazing. I decided to try it. What did I have to loose. We were on vacation in Vermont and I found a perfect beach. Nice flat shale. I told my husband I would give it a go as long as my patience held up. Two and a half hours later he came to retrieve me. I was on another planet. I had discovered something that I knew was special. Special for me, and could be special for others too.

This could be the type of meditation I would offer. It was completely and utterly grounding. Gravity is a wonderful thing. A delightful thing. As I worked with the rocks I found it centered me and my thoughts, the rocks, and my breath all together. A beautiful tripod was created. Me and my thoughts, the asana in moving and balancing myself and the rocks together, and my breath. I knew this would become part of what I would offer as a teacher.

As a TBI sufferer I found it so hard sometimes to go through a traditional meditation lying down, or even seated. It felt restrictive, confining, and even painful at times. I needed to move. Move my body while I released stuck energy. Move my mind to become grounded. The beauty of this type of meditation though, is that I can make it as simple or as complex as I wanted to get the benefit. I could stop whenever I wanted as well. So I will offer this to others. I have creatively filled the void in myself. The feeling is gone.

Each time I pick up a rock I am reminded of all its little dents and cracks and holes and scrapes. I think about myself, my life, my trials, my worries. I am that rock. We are all that rock. Then suddenly that same rock stands perfectly out of nowhere. I gently lift my hands away and there it is, as if by some miracle, it stands on its own, by its’ own power and grace perfectly balanced and strong. Needing nothing. Just being steady. I hope others will love the feeling it creates in them. I hope they will love themselves.

Pamela comes from Fortune, Newfoundland and is a volunteer Hatha and Chair yoga instructor in the National Capital Region. She has an MSc in Occupational Health and Safety and is certified in Disaster and Emergency Management (EM) and EM Exercise Design. After suffering a severe fall down a ladder while in the Canadian Forces, Pamela developed a seizure disorder and underwent brain surgery. Her recovery was slow and hard. She healed herself with yoga and through a dedicated and disciplined healthy lifestyle. You will find her when she is not teaching or balancing rocks, either standing on her head, or her hands. She loves finding and “testing” out new ideas and ways to challenge herself and her students.

She requires two things from people-that they smile, and when they fall, that they haul up their boot straps and get back up and keep trying no matter how hard it is or how long it takes! You can find out more information about Pamela and her journey at www.thristysnailyoga.com

2016-10-13T10:49:56+00:00 Guestblog|2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. John Felice Ceprano February 8, 2015 at 7:33 am

    Pamela, this is so sincere and true, yes, the yoga balances and releases energy and calms the system, it really works! I practise every day, id a day is missed, it is noticed. Yoga keeps everything more fluid and balance is the essence. Congratulations on your journey and book. And Newfouldland has some of the most beautiful blue-grey coloured slate I’ve ever seen, and not the easiest stone to balance either :) All the best

  2. Christian R Caron February 8, 2015 at 7:43 am

    Beautiful Article Pamala I am really happy you found your own way to heal and have the chance to heal others!!

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