Yoga Has Healed My Heart...
Many many moons ago, I was diagnosed with Vasovagal Syncope.
What is this you ask?
Vasovagal syncope (vay-zoh-VAY-gul SING-kuh-pee) occurs when you faint because your body overreacts to certain triggers, such as the sight of blood or extreme emotional distress. It may also be called neurocardiogenic syncope.
The vasovagal syncope trigger causes your heart rate and blood pressure to drop suddenly. That leads to reduced blood flow to your brain, causing you to briefly lose consciousness.
Vasovagal syncope is usually harmless and requires no treatment. But it's possible you may injure yourself during a vasovagal syncope episode. Your doctor may recommend tests to rule out more serious causes of fainting, such as heart disorders.
At 22 I was sitting in a cardiologists office trying to rule out a heart disorder. I had MANY episodes of me fainting. From band concerts, sitting at the beach and getting up too fast, the passing of my dear cousin had me emotionally on edge leading me to faint, cutting onions at work and instead of cutting the onion- getting my finger, etc. They had no idea what was wrong with me and sent me to Emory to see an Electrocardiologist. He diagnosed me with Vasovagal Syncope and asked me to never give blood, to avoid blood, and to take my time getting up (I have low blood pressure too). I spent a few months being very careful and having fewer episodes. Then ----- I found yoga helped!
I have maybe had 3 episodes in the last 9 years and I owe that to yoga! Yoga has been shown in long-term yoga practitioners to improve autonomic variability and the stability of the autonomic nervous system response to stress. The practice of yoga not only stabilized my response to stress, decreased my stress, showed me the stressors in my life that were not serving me that I could "cut out" of my life. It also taught me to breathe through situations where I would normally pass out. Yoga has also conditioned my body making me healthier and more intune with what is actually going on. The last episode I had, I was aware it was coming and was able to stop it mid falling by simply breathing!
I'm no Doctor- but I can tell you that yoga can help fine tune your body and mind, no matter what you are suffering from, it will find a way to heal you!
The Cherokee Tribune featured us in their Lifestyle section!
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Discipline vs Motivation
I have been asked before where I find the motivation to get up and do what I do. If you don't know let me take you through an average day. I get up at 5:45am every morning so I can shower and help get my 3 year old daughter ready for her day. I work a regular a day job in technology support from 7:30am to 4:00pm. After that I go instruct classes and do the everyday battle that is owning a business. I find some time to play with the toddler and talk with my wife. I'm studying for a personal trainer certification. Some nights I don't see home till around 10:30 in the evening. Somewhere in there I find time to continue my own martial arts training and I go train different systems throughout the week. If there is anytime left before midnight I do dishes, laundry, and pickup the mayhem my daughter may have left. She gets most of it but there's always a few extra things to tidy. My head doesn't usually hit the pillow until midnight or so. Then it starts all over again in a brief 5 hours and 45 minutes.
It's not that wild every day but it can be. And to tell you the truth motivation doesn't get me through it. Motivation to me is a response to an emotional stimuli. I am motivated to do something because I feel inspired. I am inspired by a beautiful picture, music or more often than not seeing the hard work of some else. I am motivated to take action. Motivation is therefore emotional component of inspiration. And as we all know emotions can be fickle and unreliable. If there is nothing sparking that inspiration there is no motivation. It is an emotional high, and you end up chasing that more than you do actually getting something done. You want that chemical concoction of feeling inspired and motivated. And what needs to be done often falls to the wayside.
Instead, what I focus on developing in between bouts of sudden motivation is discipline. Discipline is there no matter how you are feeling. You do something because you tell yourself to do it. You don't have to wait for the feeling to catch you. For example this blog post. Writing is not my strong suit (as the grammatical errors will show) and I put it off as much as possible. But today is the day I have set aside to write for my business. And here I am. Writing though I don't much feel like doing it. It is one of many things I'll do today for my business and family. There will always be things you don't feel like doing, but that have to get done none-the-less.
Discipline develops the same as any other skill, with practice. Start on the small scale. Rinsing dishes before putting them in the dishwasher. Finding 10 minutes to practice your art. Finding 5 minutes to simply sit and focus your mind for the day. And the key is to do it again and again. And it will force you to prioritize your time and give weight to the things you spend that time on. Probably the most difficult part is determining what really matters to you and shedding all the other things that aren't.
One of the simplest methods to help develop your discipline is by creating a Streak List. No, not a list of places you want to grace with a full Monty view. It is a list of something you need to do either daily or weekly and every day you do it you mark it off with a red X. The idea is to mark a red X on every day. Don't break the streak. There are several apps that keep track of it for you. I use one called Productive. The longer you keep the streak going the less likely you are to break it. You count 115 days of accomplishments and you really don't want to stop.
Establish your routine. Start your week with a list of what needs to be done. It may be a repeat of last week and that's okay. Having them there will help you manage your time and let you tackle new obstacles. Humans are visual creatures and seeing what needs to happen and marking them off is extremely satisfying. And it will help you gain control over what may seem like an overwhelming chaos of tasks. It may even help you find time to focus on something you really want to do for yourself but never felt you had the time to.
Horizon Martial Arts
Horizon Training Center
Join us for Natural Hot Yoga! Hannah is frugal (just kidding- kind of) and the Summer Heat is upon us! ;)
Our studio isn't designed with the high tech heaters to make it a "true" hot yoga class, however, we are embracing Mother Nature and her hot days in the South! Saving the planet with each drop of sweat!
Why don't we offer Hot Yoga?
As we mentioned- our building is not designed for hot yoga! Our building was built in 1910! We have little insulation in our building and our exterior walls are a thick block! We could place heaters in our building, but then we would be losing lots of heat. When we you lose heat (or air conditioning) you are using more resources. This means you are using more power, more fuel, etc. So we are saving Mother Earth with using as little energy as we have to! Over the Summer months, we will embrace that sweet Southern heat and save the planet with each drop of sweat!
Why is Hot Yoga so popular?
Well there are lot's of reasons that people love it! One common misconception is that you are getting more of a workout in a hot class compared to a non-hot class. This is not necessarily true. Yes you may be sweating a lot more- but this is because you are detoxifying from the heat and possibly sweating out the water (stay hydrated!). A lot of hot yoga classes are sequenced for a more power class so you can get that cardiovascular workout you are looking for, but heat does not equate more of a workout! And you can make heat within your body with your breath! (Which you can learn about if you come to a class!)
The benefits I truly enjoy in a hot class is the openness of the muscles! This can be a good thing and a bad thing! If you are careful and listen to your body- you can go deeper into the poses because the heat has helped the body to relax, improving your breath and focusing your mind. However, some people may get a little too excited that they can go deeper and let the ego take over- this is where injuries can happen. Like always in a yoga class, be slow and listen to your body- that is what you are here for in a yoga class. Yoga means to yoke- the union- the union of the mind and body through the power of the breath!
So come check us out! The temperature will range from 80-85ish (the highest we will let it go is 90). Natural Hot Yoga will take place on Wednesday's 6-7pm starting June 6th until August 30th. This will be a Flow Yoga class filled with strength, balance, and deep stretching. Available for all levels!