Are you feeling out of balance? Abnormal? Tilted? (as Christine and The Queens might say) Does it feel like life is throwing you a whole bunch of lemons without you being able to make lemonade?!
If you answered yes to any of these, then it seems you might be feeling what a whole tonne of people has been feeling in the new year. It’s a pretty normal thing, not just because it’s the new year, which poses a kind of lull in the air due to the need to get stuff done without having the capacity to. But it is also because it’s winter and it’s cold and it makes a lot of people feel down and low on energy. Because of this, we get very out of balance. I think somewhere like the UK and especially London, which is my beloved hometown, might be even worse because we always seem to go from relative cold to sudden frost and freezing our butts off and no one is prepared for it, so that’s surely going to throw the body out of whack. What I am going to cover in this blog is how we can beat this feeling and find a sense of ‘normality’ again.
What is normal, though?
We all search for normal and I’m honestly not sure what people think this is. I was trying to think of something to write that explains what normal is but every time I did I thought ‘well no, I don’t think people do think that’s normal’ i.e. looking perfect. I think people understand that it’s not really ‘normal’ to be and feel perfect all the time but where the problem lies, is that people want to get rid of imperfections and they want to do it quickly!
Too often I have heard people opting for surgery, injections and medication over holistic practices like Yoga, Pilates and similar disciplines. Why do people do this? Because they want a quick fix. We’ve all come to be terribly impatient in this day and age. Myself included. I used to look for a quick fix and in fact, I didn’t ever think there were any other options and I’m telling you, I was not a balanced individual. I didn’t feel it and my body didn’t show it either.
My journey to normal
Before I started doing Yoga I used to complain about my body, I would get back ache and I had a little pot belly that never went away, no matter how much weight I lost and at one point I lost a lot of weight in very unhealthy ways! And yes I said ways, not a way because I went through diet after diet! My weight fluctuated like mad, I was 8st 11lbs then I was 11st 12lbs! Then I found Yoga and no it didn’t instantly change my body shape, that I have worked on for years and am still working on. But it changed my mindset. I stopped viewing myself as not looking right to other people and started viewing myself for me, who I am, who I am happy being and who I want to be, for me, not for anyone else!
When I look at my process now I realise that although I didn’t know what I was feeling and doing for about 7 years, I had subconsciously been changing and feeling better within myself. I guess that’s why I stuck with it. I loved it, I still do, I loved the way it made me feel and the inner balance it started to give me.
I’ve had a few blows in my time, my biggest being my mums passing when I was 21 and obviously I went through a big grieving process, but I didn’t think about how this emotional pain would affect my body. Now I know it affected it massively! Immediately after it happened a big physical change happened and I discovered I had something called acid reflux (sounds nasty and it is, it’s an overproduction of acid in the stomach that can physically burn your throat when you sleep and give you horrible stomach cramps) it ruined my singing voice and even speaking hurt sometimes. So, I did what the Doctor suggested and tried to fix the problem instead of the cause. It worked initially but when I realised I couldn’t take these pills forever and that coming off them just brought the reflux back I thought, damn, this is going to be horrible and I just want to be ‘normal’ again.
In 2011 I started training and that’s when I found out so much about my body and bodies in general. I now don’t suffer from acid reflux at all, my singing voice is back to what it used to be and I’ve never been so in balance in my entire life! The body is an amazing thing and when you understand it’s messages, you begin to understand what normal should be.
I discovered that I had a very tight chest and compressed upper back and I had a little bit of scoliosis. Although I was flexible I wasn’t strong and I was very disconnected to my body. I have underlined the word disconnected because this is what needs changing in society. All of us are so out of touch with ourselves. In my experience as a teacher, I’ve had some students who physically can’t feel things in their bodies and they wonder why they’re so stiff!