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Monday, June 30, 2008

brief update 6/30/08

I only have ten minutes but I thoought I would just drop a quick note to inform my readers of what I have been up to the last couple of days.

I have been very busy. My sister-in-law came for a short visit. It was very fun to hang out with her. Mostly she hung out with my husband because this was one long yoga training weekend.

Friday, I went and observed a class at 3:30, took class at 4:30 and attended a Thai massage workshope from 6:00 to 9:00. Then I met my husband and his sister for dinner. I was beat.

Saturday we went to breakfast and then I was off to yoga again. I went to the park for the Chanda Plan Benefit. This was another cool karma yoga event. Vital Yoga offered a donation-based class and picnic to benefit the plan. The plan helps disabled people afford and access alternative therapies like yoga. I signed up to help in the future since I would like to help other MSers and people who can't normally access yoga.

Sunday was also a long day. In the morning we met at 9:00 am for a Kundalini Meditation (crazy stuff). Then we spent a few hours discussing yoga ethics and how the training is effecting our thinking and our lives. Some of us went out to lunch too. then we were back to class again. We learned our first physical assists and I really enjoyed it. I liked it so much that when I got home I practiced on my husband and he liked the adjustments too. I also gave him and his sister the Thai massages I learned. They said I did a good job. That was super cool. To celebrate, we went out for Thai food. Then we watched a movie and went to bed. Whew,I'm tired just writing about it all.

Friday, June 27, 2008

I think Eryxon might smile

A long time ago, almost another lifetime, I was engaged to a man named Eryxon. We were not destined to be together but even after we split up and went our seperate ways with other people and different lives, we remained close friends. Through a tragic happening, Eryxon was murdered in a horrible and brutal way that I will not relay here. Needless to say, I still think of him often.
Eryxon had a hard life. He lived through a failed adoption, several terrible foster situations and life on the street. When I lived with him, he would often speak fondly of the time he had spent at Denver's Urban Peak. Urban Peak is an organization that helps troubled and homeless youth. Tonight I got to experience Urban Peak first hand.
I went to Urban Peak for a Karma Yoga Project sponsored by Core Power. Basically, they have started to ask volunteers to cook dinner for the kids at Urban Peak once a month. I decided to get involved with this event because I work with teens and I thought it would be cool. It was! The kids were so polite and grateful. I found this refreshing since I teach the 9th and 10th grade and sometimes I worry about the future of the planet when I watch my students. I got to sit with some kids who were super friendly. I learned that most of the kids living at the shelter are already high school graduates. That also inspired me. I got to speak at length in Spanish to a young man from Puerto Rico. He said my Spanish was better than his English but I think I understood less of what he said than he thought I did. I did catch the jist of his story though. It seemed he had part time work but wanted full time so he could get his own place. Another young man told me proudly that he was high school graduate with a job and that he was just "staying there" temporarily. He told me that teachers were just about the most important people there are. I was flattered. There was another guy who told me he had dropped out after the 6th grade but he was going to get his G.E.D. I asked the lady in charge how I could help with G.E.D. prep and she told me where to call. When I left, the kids thanked me graciously. I apologized for bringing a teenager-innappropriate pasta salad. They said, "Naw Ms. we liked it." So cute...
When I drove away I had a huge smile on my face. I was singing, "Love is a temple, love is a higher law... We get to carry each other..." I kept thinking to myself, "Eryxon would smile if he saw me with the kids." Wow, that felt amazing!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Change

The night is velvety black now—
It probably was but I did not see.
The dawn is a wash of color—
It probably was but I did not see.

The universe has taken on new dimension.
I feel things I never imagined I would feel--
Words are inadequate
My heart—

I think my heart has changed.
It is as though I see
I see not with my eyes,
Not with my mind.

I see all now
I see it from some deep, basic place in my being.
Words are clumsy
They cannot seem to capture this feeling—

People told me,
“Don’t change too much
Don’t change too fast.”
But change happened.

Change happened.
It was inevitable.
I walked a short road
Hand-in-hand with death—

When we parted
I was not the same
I spoke with death and then, I lived and left fear behind
But I could not go back.

I followed my conflicting feelings into the darkness
I followed the new sensations in my heart and here I came out.
I came out and I was reborn
A phoenix, born from the ashes of what I was--

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


I was just reading some blogs and listening to my itunes and I was again struck by the power of the words to U2's "One". Below I have posted the lyrics to the parts that really stick out for me. I hope you enjoy. I copied these from

Selections from "One"
One love
One life
When it's one need
In the night
One love
We get to share it
Leaves you baby if you
Don't care for it

We're one, but we're not the same
We get to
Carry each other
Carry each other

Love is a temple
Love a higher law
Love is a temple
Love the higher law
You ask me to enter
But then you make me crawl
And I can't be holding on
To what you got
When all you got is hurt
One love
One blood
One life
You got to do what you should
One life
With each other
One life
But we're not the same
We get to
Carry each other
Carry each other

*I am especially struck by the notion, "We get to carry each other." I could not have said it better myself. We get to carry each other and together we can change the world!

I believe we are all "one." I also believe we do only have one life so I think we have to make the most of it.

Feldenkrais Resources

What is Feldenkrais? Find out yourself by following the links below. Darren Main sent my these links yesterday to check out. I was very interested to learn that the annual conference for Feldenkrais (A mind/body method of healing) is in Boulder. if I go to any of the events I'll be sure to write them up. In the meantime, check out these links.

Happy reading,

Monday, June 23, 2008

Darren Main and Pranayama

I went to Darren Main's Workshop with little expectation. I had read about sixty pages of his book, "Yoga and the path of the Urban Mystic" but I did not know what his workshop would be like. Below I attempt to detail some of my experiences.

Saturday, Pranayama. Darren spoke and responded to questions regarding pranayama at some length. "Prana" is "the life force that exists within all living things," according to Main (2006). "Pranayama" is "The practice of regulating the breath to effect a change in the body and mind (Main, 2006)." During the pranayama workshop we learned to breath in a new way that would allow the prana to move through our bodies to liberate our minds.

I think that like MS, one cannot really understand the experience unless one has shared it. I also think that like MS, each individual's experience with pranayama is different so I can only speak to how I felt.

I felt joyful. I felt the oxygen filling my body completely. At times I went into "Kundalini holds" where I locked my "bandas" and did not breath for some time. The holds included time in "fish pose" and "boat." Fish pose involves arching the back and lifting the chest while holding the pelvic floor and core tightly. Boat is done by lifting to a near seated position, body in a v-like shape, and holding all three bandas in a lock. The bandas are located at the tail, the core and the throat. I will not try to explain them or their role in yoga here because that will take me too far off topic...

There was a great deal of sound in the room during the experience. We all lay and breathed in and out through our mouths but breath was not the only sound in the room. At times I could hear people sobbing and I had to resist the urge to get up and hug them. I found myself whispering, "breath, just breath, you will be ok." I wonder if my words helped anyone. At times I found myself crying right along with whoever was sobbing. My tears were not tears of pain, they were tears of just plain, pure, emotion. At times I laughed as I heard others laughing. When we came out of the experience, it felt as though about ten minutes had passed. It was actually about an hour.

We talked for some time about our varied experiennces but I will not recount those experiences here since they belong to those who had them.

That night I was tired but I felt good until about 10 'O clock or so. Basically, what happened to me then was that I had a short but bad trip. Due to my anxiety about the brain lesions, I associated it with the MS. In retrospect, I think my experience was akin to that of many other people. I felt hot but my hands and feet were numb. My heart raced and my vision blurred. I thought I was having a relapse but after some water and some rescue remedy, I felt better. I am glad to have done the pranayama work. Overall, the weekend was very special for me.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Journal 6/20- Iyengar, Anahata, Ahimsa

Yesterday I went to my first Iyengar yoga class. I enjoyed it very much. It was a women's class. I felt nurtured and supported by the teacher and the other students. Despite early hesitations, I liked working on poses with other students and with the straps designed to help us get deeper into poses. I also liked working with the "horse" (a contraption like a ballet bar used to support a person during certain poses). Another great thing is that the classes loosened my sore right hamstring. It has been bothering me for weeks and has been extremely tight but during the partner portion of the class, it finally loosened up a bit. This was important because I went on to do about 3 more hours of yoga later in the day.

After the Iyengar class I came home and relaxed. I have now added "Yoga and the Path of the Urban Mystic" by Darren Main to my reading list. This is good because starting tonight, and through the weekend I am attending a workshop with him. I am excited because this is my first yoga workshop and I am really enjoying his book. I am a little anxious about how the MS and his style of yoga will react but I plan to just take it in stride and be positive. I am curious to experience Kundalini yoga with him on Sunday. After the weekend is over I'll be sure to write something about it.

At around 3:30, I headed out to begin my evening. I started by teaching my Yoga 4 Kids class. From there, I headed over to the "Anahata Project." In Sanskrit, Anahata is related to the heart and heart chakra. The Anahata Project is a Karma yoga organization. They put on events that involve Bhakti (chanting and devotional yoga) and a yoga flow class. Last night's event raised money for three organizations (Yoga for the People, Cambodian Children's Fund and an orphanage in India). To call the event transformative might be an understatement. Below, I attempt to create the feeling of the event.

We sat, 108 strong on the eve of the Summer Solstice. The room was lit only in candlelight. On the stage before us sat a lone musician, surrounded by guitars and a harpsichord.

A woman raised her voice in song and implored us with her heartfelt chant to follow her words and sounds. We, all 108, (maybe more or less but this matters at the time of the solstice)raised our voices to follow her in song. The room became warm. Electricity seemed to buzz in the air. When the singing stopped, there was complete silence.

Then, my yoga teacher brought us together in silence and mediation. When she brought us to our feet, we began our celebration of both the sun and the solstice. The teacher prophesied 9 sun salutations but when we reached that juncture, we were urged on by the chanting and guitar from the musician seated on the stage and we continued to flow together through the sun salutation. I lost track of time and space in that seemingly eternal flow. Eventually we changed flows but the transitions were seamless. In the end, we found ourselves seated and silent again.

We chanted again then, to the compelling rhythm of the harpsichord. The music filled the space with light. The air crackled again with electricity.

We came together in a large circle to intone the oldest song of man, the "OM." We were lead through a cascade of rolling "OMs" and the air seemed to thicken. It is possible that you had to be there to feel it but it seemed that love and joy permeated the air. The experience was unlike any other natural experience I have ever had. When I left, my heart was buoyant and "Ahimsa" was again at the forefront of my thoughts.

"The yogi believes that every creature has as much right to live as he has. He believes he was born to help others and he looks upon creation with eyes of love (B.K.S. Iyengar, "Light on Yoga")."

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Ahimsa- Love and Peace

"Ahimsa" is a powerful Sanskrit word that one of my teachers has asked me to meditate on for a while. It is one of the "Yamas," a code for ethical living in Yoga. Ahimsa has several connotations and definitions. It means non-harming, non-violence or in my mind, peace. It means "freedom from." This could be freedom from self-judgement, freedom from judging others, freedom from unwanted obligation... Above all, it means love. In celebration of my meditations upon this word, today I offer two things. The first is a quote from B.K.S. Iyengar's "Light on Yoga," and the second is a song I learned at Waldorf school.

Iyengar writes, "Happy is the man who knows how to distinguish the real from the unreal, the eternal from the transient and the good from the pleasant by his dsicrimination and wisdom. Twice blessed is he who knows true love and can love all God's creatures. He who works selflessly for the welfare of others with love in his heart is thrice blessed..."

Now I give you a song of peace:
"Vine and Fig Tree Song"

Every man eat the vine and fig tree
Shall live in peace and unafraid.
Every man eat the vine and fig tree
Shall live in peace and unafraid.

And into plow shares turn their swords
Nations shall make war no more.
And into plow shares turn their swords
Nations shall make war no more.

*The songs then starts over. It can also be sung as a round. I offer these songs because I like to sing them myself at the top of my lungs for several reasons. They give me joy, hope and peace. I also like to imagine that they can somehow help others, like a giant, warm hug in the darkness. I hope you enjoy this song too and that you practice Ahimsa every day :)

Monday, June 16, 2008

A Quick Q & A with Chris

On Mon, Jun 16, 2008 at 9:24 AM, Nadja Tizer wrote:
Hello there. I just got diagnosed with MS back in April and I have been blogging and researching ever since. I just learned about this treatment and Lisa Emrich referred me to your blog. How are you feeling now? Did you shave your head because the treatment makes a person lose their hair? Are you happy with the results of the treatment? I am going to put a link to your site on my blog for others to check out.
Thanks in advance,

Chris's reply:
If this is available for you to do, If you have insurance and can get to either Chicago or JH , If you have MS and cannot move or are starting to get bad, and if you are sick of having this disease you need to do it.

If I reactivated tomorrow I would do this again tomorrow. I can walk and live a little now. Go to my site and see the new video.

Get it done if you can. Hair is of no true concern. The fact I was wheeled in 3 months ago and walking now seems to speak volumes.

Get it and good luck to the rest of your life!


"A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort."

- Herm Albright

Our friendship is like sitting down to a breakfast of eggs and bacon. The chicken is dedicated to the cause but the pig is committed. I hope you are a pig.

*Thanks for sharing Chris. I hope this helps someone :)

More on new drug

Lisa Emrich of Brass and Ivory just sent me this info and link.

"Blogger Chris at (previously chrishasms) discussed his experience this spring at Johns Hopkins."

Please check out for more info regarding "HiCy".

Good luck,

Sunday, June 15, 2008

New MS drug research

I just got a very interesting article from a member of the therapeutic MS group that I attend. This may be old news for many of you but it is new info for me. I am not sure of the ethics of posting the article in full so I will summarize and quote it and if you send me an email, I'll send it to you. Apparently a group of researchers at Johns Hopkins are responsible for this research. Pasted below is the article source, abstract and selected information.

6/10/2008 8:20 PM
Source: Johns Hopkins Medicine Released: Tue 10-Jun-2008, 16:00 ET
“HiCy” Drug Regimen Reverses MS Symptoms in Selected Patients

"A short-term, very-high dose regimen of the immune-suppressing drug cyclophosphamide seems to slow progression of multiple sclerosis (MS) in most of a small group of patients studied and may even restore neurological function lost
to the disease, Johns Hopkins researchers report. The findings in nine people, most of whom had failed all othertreatments, suggest new ways to treat a disease that tends to progress relentlessly."

The drug in question was tested on nine people with severe, progressive MS. Here is what the researchers found. "Before treatment, Kerr says, the study participants were “the worst of the worst” among MS patients. Eight of the nine
patients had failed conventional MS treatments, and several of them were wheelchair-bound. Reporting in the June 9 Archives of Neurology, the Johns Hopkins team said the disease appeared to reverse course for seven of the nine patients over two years following treatments."

Patients "experienced a 40 percent reduction in scores on a standard test that measures disability. They also had an overall 87 percent improvement in scores on a composite test that measures physical and
mental function."

Before you go out and get too excited: "Two years after treatment, MRI images
showed that the disease had reactivated in about half the study participants, suggesting that their renewed ability may not be permanent."

"This research was supported by the General Clinical Research Center of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, a
National Multiple Sclerosis Society grant, philanthropic support from Mr. Alvin Myerbrg, and the Johns Hopkins Project
For more information, go to:© 2008 Newswise. All Rights Reserved."

Please check out this info for yourself and let me know what your find.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Red Sea

*Inspired by Brain Cheese and some horrific cramps. Disclaimer, not a palatable topic for some, especially the males reading this bog. Proceed at your own risk.

Too long I have walked this path of darkness and pain. I get trapped in this uncontrollable state of mind where I can almost hear the thoughts of others but I wish I could turn it all off. My joints ache for weeks on end. I feel at times as though I'm losing my mind. I wonder when the cramping will end. My head aches and I am nauseated.
The good news is that this only happens once a month and only for two weeks. No biggie. It's unpredictable how my body will react each month. At times it is not so bad. I am full of energy. I am motivated. I am a little less psycho.
Then there are mornings like this. I have ingested three ibuprofin and still the cramps haunt me.
For years I have wondered... Why does this thing with fangs and claws stalk me? I have gone to doctors and nurse practitioners with the same complaints and none has given me answers. I have tried hormones and no hormones. Both have their problems. I am off the hormones again but now I pay in blood and added pain (I know TMI). Is MS the reason? It is the only decent explanation that I have thought of yet.

Friday, June 13, 2008

This Caravan Knows No Despair

Yesterday I taught my Yoga 4 Kids class and we sang and contemplated the following Sufi chant. The words come from one of Rumi's poems and they remind me in dark times that I am not alone and I too am worthy of redemption. I hope you enjoy.

Caravan Song

Come, come whoever you are, this caravan knows no despair.
Come, come whoever you are, this caravan knows no despair.
Even though you have broken your vows
Perhaps 10,000 times
Come, come again.

The song then repeats as long as you need to sing to feel better.


Thursday, June 12, 2008

Journal 6/12

Well, it's been a crazy week so I haven't even taken the time out to write a journal entry. Here's what I have been up to...
On Sunday I went to yoga, picked my mom up at the airport, went to yoga teacher training, hung out with my mom and went to dinner.
On Monday I spent more time with my mom. We went to Boulder for a very special tea ceremony class with Christy Sensei (one of the female U.S. tea masters). It was a great experience. Then,we went out to lunch at one of my favorite places in Boulder. In the evening we went with my friend to my weekly MS information group and learned more about the "hidden symptoms of MS" (I found I was quite familiar with them, having experienced most).
Tuesday was also really busy. I was feeling ill but I went to a morning yoga class and it helped immensely. Then I went to lunch with my mom, grandma, sister and nephew. Later, I taught my first official yoga class! I was so pleased with how well it went and the people who attended all seemed to really enjoy themselves. After class, I came home and walked the dog and then sped off to Aerial Dance over Denver to talk about teaching contortion and acrobatics there. Finally, I took my mom to the airport, got some dinner and came home to melt into the couch. Wow, I'm tired just writing about all the running around.
Wednesday was the longest day of all. I went to an eight-hour training at work where I learned to create a pod cast. I also put up 5 different teacher sites, using my google account. I am really pleased with what I came up with. I also wrote a document on the history of yoga, using the things I had learned in teacher training. I am going to turn the doc. into a podcast very soon. After all that work, I was pretty tired but I still had things to do so I came home, wrote, sent emails, walked the dog and then sped out again to go to an anatomy class for yoga teacher training. The class was great but I was exhausted and sore throughout the time I was there. By the time I came home, I could hardly even talk.
Whew, what a week! I think today and tomorrow will be a little more mellow but still not as mellow as I would like. The good news is that I have handled it all pretty well. The better news is that I should be able to slow things down a lot after this week and spend more time at home or just at yoga.
On another note, I have been reading like crazy. I am currently reading "Anatomy of the Spirit," "Ancestors of Avalon" and "Light on Yoga." I rarely read so many books simultaneously but I am reading each for my own reasons. The Avalon book is for diversion and the other two are for learning.
I am sorry that this entry has been less than eloquent and more of a list of activities but I wanted to let my readers know that I was ok and had not forgotten the blog.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Yoga Teacher Training Journal 6/07/2008

I found the question below in my yoga teacher training book and decided to tackle it. Because my entry ended up focusing on MS I have chosen to copy it here.

1) Why are you attending this training?

Ever since my first power yoga class with Dave Porter three Mays ago I have loved yoga. My deep passion for the practice soon led me to a desire to become an instructor. I wanted to train last summer but I got married, went on my honeymoon and worked a lot. In retrospect, I don’t really think I was ready until now. I have always had a strong Hatha practice, but I struggled with Pranayama and meditation.
Then, in March 2008, I broke my sternum and could hardly practice. This was followed by a vacation and a prolonged illness. Through all of these obstacles, I kept thinking, “I am being tested.” I had this feeling that training would not be an easy thing for me but that it would force a great deal of personal growth out of me. I was ready for the challenge!

On April 23rd I learned that I had two lesions on my brain and I was diagnosed with MS. The first thing my husband asked the doctor was, “Can she still train to be a yoga teacher.” The doctor said I could and I calmed down almost immediately.

My troubles did not end there though. I spent almost another month feeling very ill with vertigo, numbness, insomnia, cognitive failings, difficulty moving my body etc… Then, one night things changed.

I was lying awake in the middle of the night. I was afraid to move or sleep because the nausea and vertigo I was experiencing was so intense. Finally, I turned onto my stomach. I thought I was going to hurl, the pain in my shoulders and neck was awful. I wanted to cry but instead I took a deep Ujjayi breath (in yoga this means breathing in and out through the nose in deep calming breathes). I felt something in my neck release. I tried another breath. Something else released. I kept breathing deeply and telling myself I was going to be ok. I moved into position after position on the bed, breathing into each spot until the vertigo passed. When it had faded I continued to breathe while I massaged my whole body top to toe and took tiny drops of “Bach’s Rescue Remedy.” At the end of two hours I believe I had “healed” myself and started the remission process for my flare up.

When the "healing" was over I was not even sure what had happened. Did I channel my “teachers” and they helped me? Did the prayers of others save me? Did my selfless prayers for others save me? Did I have the healing power inside of me all along? I am not sure that I will ever know or if it matters. When I got up on the morning of May 10th for my student’s high school graduation, I felt much better and I was steady enough to walk down onto the floor in a gown and watch my students graduate. I cried about ten times during the graduation because I was so overwhelmed with gratitude for the gift of life and health that I had just received. Everything was beautiful. Everyone was beautiful. I was so grateful to have another chance at life.

That night of healing was like a yoga master class. I felt as though I had completed those 200 hours of training before me in one night. Actually attending the training now seemed the natural next step...

The Nadjas

I have recently begun research for my memoir so I have been researching my name and the other Nadjas on google. BTW, they are quite a bunch of ladies. There are several musicians and groups with the name Nadja as well as several cool artists. During my search I discovered an amazing young Nadja who creates anime art. I was so impressed by her work. Below is a link to one of her sites but she also has a few more. Please check out her work. As an educator, I am inspired by young people with motivation and talent. This young artist inspires me and I am honored to share her name.

Friday, June 6, 2008

More great MS info sites and blogs

I know I am behind the curve and I can only read so many things on the computer on any given day but I think the sites below all have something to offer.

Happy reading,

This week my work is also featured on the "Carnival"

Hello everyone. I am pleased to announce that this week I am featured on one of Lisa Emrich's blogs (The Carnival of MS bloggers). I couldn't be more excited or honored since some of the most awesome bloggers I know have posted stuff there and Lisa is a blogging goddess so her opinion really matters to me...
Check out the link below.


Thursday, June 5, 2008

First Yoga Training

At first it was hard... I overslept yesterday. I was so fatigued... When I got up I felt sore and nauseated. I suspect I overdid the excercise on Tuesday (yoga and contortion in one day). When I finally got out of the house I went to Starbuck's for a Chai. I couldn't even stand up and wait for it because I felt so nauseated. Once I got a little food and caffeine into me I felt slightly better but I was still sore and exhausted.
I went to a training for work. It was mind over matter. I felt exhausted. Whenever I felt really bad I ate and drank something and took Ibuprofin. I was there for eight long hours. It might as well have been twenty. By the time I got out I was so tired I could barely drive home. I tried to nap but I couldn't stop thinking about my yoga teacher training at 6:30. I finally had a large snack and some caffeine to compensate.
When I got to training I was crestfallen to learn that we were practing. I felt tired and my stomach was full. Like so many times lately,I cried in "child's pose." Usually I cry because I am so grateful to be doing yoga. This time I cried because I couldn't stop thinking,"This is not how it was suppossed to be." I had waited so long for this and wanted to feel strong and powerful. Instead, I was full and weak. I worried that other people might notice. I'm not sure if they did.
I made it throught the practice and as usual, it made me feel better. We introduced ourselves. I debated whether to tell the class that I have MS but in the end I did. I told them for several reasons. First, I wanted to be looked out for just in case. I also wanted them to see that people with MS can do things "regular" people do. I want people to know that MS has really changed me and at times I want to talk about that transformation.
Some people might ask why I would want to be the poster child for MS, why I would put my life out on display so honestly and openly... I would respond, "If not me, then who?" Someone has to speak. We spend life seeking connections and understanding, how can we understand the range of human experience if no one ever speaks? How can we learn to love and respect our fellow man if we can't even be honest about the deepest, darkest recesses of our being? I remember that my mother told me that I don't have to change the world just because Ihave MS. I counter again, "If not me then who?" We can't sit on our butts and wait for someone to come along and save the world. We have to take responsibility and do it ourselves.
My mentor also cautioned me about putting my life out on display. To that I said, "I don't give a F--- what anyone thinks." She was very taken aback. I didn't mean it in a harsh way. I just meant that MS has taught me to scoff at fear. I used to worry so much about what other people thought. Now I think, "You can't please everyone, you've got to please yourself (I think that line comes from a Credence song)."
Anyway... back to the training. It was still hard for me to tell the group about my MS. Of course I blubbered a bit. Something like, "I am just so glad to be here." I was a little embarassed but if a room full of yogis can't accept me for who and what I am, who will?
In the end, I learned a lot and felt pretty comfortable and accepted. One of the other students came up to me after class and gave me a big hug. He thanked me for sharing. I think it was worth it just for that. Now I just pray for good health and energy to get through the demanding training regimen. I think I better clear my calendar for the next few months.

What is yoga?

Last night I attended my first official training as a yoga instructor. At the beginning the instructor asked us to freewrite about the question, "What is yoga?" Here is what I wrote.

A dip into the present moment when all other forms of mind erasure have failed. It's like a graceful dive into the mist, a cleansing and a clearing. Yoga is an act of awakening from the dream we call life. It is a journey outsdie of self-- with breath as an anchor, holding you to this plane as your spirit soars upward...

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Step down Ms. Clinton

Until this moment I have not committed my support to either democratic party nominee. I felt that they both had a bright future to offer our nation but I did not want to get attached. Now that Obama has won the delegates, I feel it is time for Clinton to give up her bid for the presidency and to determine how best she can serve her party. As a nation, I feel that our priorities involve protecting our natural resources, ending the war, strengthing the economy and providing equitable healthcare, education and retriement benefits to the masses (wow, I should run, lol).
I have written to Ms. Clinton to express my admiration for her but have asked that she end her run now so that Obama can focus on winning the national race. Please send your comments to her as well. You can do so at


Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Rockin' MS Blogs

I just read Lisa Emrich’s latest post at
and she noted that people are really starting to read and pay attention to MS blogs. The blogs listed below are all linked from her site and are each worthy of note. All of these bloggers are part of “Healthcare 100.coms” latest list of top blogs. Please read these blogs and support these bloggers. BTW, Lisa is at the top of this list.

Happy reading,

The holistic approach

Several weeks ago I posted five essential questions to my blog. This week I would like to write about my findings and experiences regarding #4 and #5. To refresh the memory of my readers I have posted these questions below.
4) Can MS relapses be averted or minimized by life-style modifications, holistic approaches, exercise and meditation?
5) What regimen of diet and exercise works best for the majority of MS patients, or is it really about each individual finding what works for them?

My answers for question #4 and #5 are actually the same. I now believe that diet and excercise modifications can help many individual MS sufferers. I am not claiming that the same modifications will work for all people or that holistic medicine is the only answer but what I am claiming is that for myself and many people it seems that a "healthy" diet and regular excercise can make us feel better. I have also found that the less medicated I am, the better I feel.

I have emailed and met with many people who claim that they have minimized their relapses or even been relapse free for upwards of fifteen years as a result of diet, lifestyle and excercise modifications.

There are several prescriptive diets out there for MS patients but I actually believe that controlling ones MS is more about listening to ones own body. For some people this means eating raw foods and living by Genesis 1. For others this means minimizing their alcohol, meat and caffeine intake. For me it means really paying attention to my body. I have tuned into my needs through yoga, meditation and experimentation. I try to pay attention to any twinges in my body and then to interpret them like one might a baby's cry. Some twinges mean sleep, some mean slow down, some mean eat something and others mean drink something. I try to interpret these as quickly and carefully as possible. If one solution seems to fail, I try another. It is all a mindful process of trial and error, made easier by my vacation since it allows me to not overbook myself and to give each activity the time it needs. I am steeped in ritual for all I do now. I love being spontaneous and present all at the same time. Eating well and doing yoga seems to rejuvenate me when I feel lousy.
I am beginning to research and experiment with dietary supplements like Vitamin D but I need more time to evaluate these things before I sound off. The last thing that I might add is that it seems that a positive frame of mind really helps me deal with my diagnoses and my questions about the future. I have contemplated death, life in a wheelchair etc... and find that I can face what comes but I must enjoy here and now for what it may bring me. I have embraced my joy and rejected my fear so, while I am truly present, I accept whatever the future may hold.