Skip to main content

March 19 Restore Series

Why does one story resonate with us more than another?  I am referring to this connection and tugging at my heart that I have with one Matthew Knoebel.  I first heard of his story (and there are so many) from Patch, the online local paper.  He is an 8th grader at Penndale Middle School in Lansdale and has/had acute myeloid leukemia, cancer of the blood and bone marrow.   I write 'had' as his cancer cells have been eradicated through intense chemotherapy.   But his bone marrow has been destroyed and now needs to be replaced.  His on and off again home has been CHOP.  Beginning either later tonight or tomorrow, they will begin the bone marrow transplant.  It has been a rough ride up and down hills for him and his mom and whole family.

The community has rallied behind Matthew and his mom with Blood Drives, bake sales, even Old Navy had a Day of Caring on his behalf.  Yes, costs are mounting for this family.  Even songs have been written (see link)

There are many stories of plight, struggle and courage out there.  Make a difference in one of those lives even if it is not Matthews.

For more information on Matthew, please go to

The Breath
Tension Tamer
Begin in a comfortable seated pose, noticing any places in your body where you feel tension, tightness. Scan from head to toes.  Then begin to breath into those places (perhaps starting with the the area with the most alarm bells going off).  Focus and direct breath into those spaces with long inhalations and even longer exhalations.  As you exhale mentally say "Relax" or any other mantra.  Continue with as many cycles of breath that you need to let go of that tension.

The Poses

Props: 4-5 blankets, including one for warmth, stuffed animals or eye bags for hands
Benefits: gently stretches the lumbar spine and para spinal muscles, and gives a release in the diaphragm, quiets the mind and comforting. Gives a sense of security.  

Make 2 bolster-fold blankets and place lengthwise on mat on top of each other. One blanket at end of mat for ankle support. Make roll for ankle support. Rest of that blanket fills in gap where shin does not meet the floor. Make sure no blanket is on knee. This supports the knee in the pose.  Top bolster folded blanket roll towards you in a wider roll to fit in chest and shoulder area. One more blanket folded so that its height is the same as the two bolster folded blankets. Come to all fours straddling the props, release to forearms and then fully recline on props.  Ankles rest on small roll at end of mat, shins supported by the rest of that blanket. Rest the rest of your body at hip crease on the bolster fold blankets and lay chest on wider roll of top blanket. Head rests on additional blanket at top, turned to the side. Arms come out to the sides, releasing shoulders down the back and away from the ears. Placing an eye pillow or stuffed animal in palms as they face floor is very grounding and comfortable. Additional blankets for pillows tucked in as needed with student to create boundaries or make more comfortable.

Reclined Twist
Props: bolster, 2-4 blocks, 4 blankets, neck roll, eye pillow
Extras: blanket for warmth
Benefits: Allows breath to come in to the rib cage and belly more freely. Detoxifying. Can reduce high blood pressure. Relieves fatigue and insomnia.  Safe for a Prenatal twist.

This can be a very prop intensive pose but once you are in it, it is worth it.  Begin with right side of body, place the bottom of your right foot against the wall with leg extended. Left leg is bent at a 90 deg. angle and propped up with two blocks and a bolster with maybe a blanket on top. at least two blankets, S-fold blankets, and/or pillows placed along spine for support, lengthwise.  Extend your left arm out to the left side and lay it on a smaller stack of blankets either s-fold or triple-fold out to your side.  Right arm extends out to the right.  This means the left arm is at a higher elevation than right. Head can remain neutral to ceiling or turn to one side.   Extra blankets can be placed in spaces that need more support.  Neck roll for cervical spine and eye pillow.
*we are digging placing the arms in Goddess pose (not pictured) so try that one out as well. Place blanket support under arms. 

The Inspiration
Wonders never cease but we don't always have wonder, do we??  Jeffrey Davis, is interviewed by Portland Helmich from Kripalu Perspectives, on What Wonder is and how to cultivate it.
It may just be the thing to stir up your creativity and appreciation for life. 

Listen here (April 2011 Podcast)
(please disregard the video box on the right and
go to link below for listening)

So whether it is the miracle of science to cure a young man, or the awe you feel as you take in the sprouting green from the ground, engage your wonder big or small. 


Popular posts from this blog

April 25 Restore

I am just not that into birthdays - others yes, my own, no.  It is not that I am in denial but I feel like everyday is another opportunity to be here celebrating my time on this green planet.  So while this is my Big "50", I chillaxed about it.  I did however, have a wonderful day.  My family, my extended family, and friends made it such a warm, cuddly, and delicious day.  Their birthday greetings and gifts gave me a quick little trip down memory lane of how I know that person and the light that they bring to my life.  Gratitude abundance!

Just as I put my head down to sleep on this special day, I sent each of those rays of light a little love in the form of a Metta Meditation.  Here are a few versions of practicing loving kindness and gratitude to others.  Don't forget yourself as you repeat these affirmations. 

Waking this morning, I smile A brand new day is before me. I aspire to live each moment mindfully. And to look upon all beings with the eyes of kindness and compassio…

Yoga Therapy News

I am honored to be part of the Center for Integrated Health in Harleysville. I will make my Yoga Therapy debut there and presenting on the Emerging Field of Yoga Therapy and How Does It Benefit Me or Someone I love?

Here are the details for this upcoming informational and practice seminar.

January 10 Restore

Velveteen Principles

Advice from a Rabbit (On the Way to Being Real)
I just finished unloading my books from an old relic of a bookshelf onto a new bookshelf, and came across a book that my mom gave me years ago but I never read - The Velveteen Principles, A Guide to Becoming Real by Toni Raiten-S'Antonio.   In it are nuggets of wisdom to our own self-realization. Practical advice abounds in this book.    When we stray from our "realness" all kinds of maybe not so good adventures await us and it takes much practice (i.e. time and discipline) to return. Yoga fits into a practice that is a tool to becoming Real again.  However, let's talk rabbits, specifically Principle #3 Real is Emotional.

How truly are we in touch with our feelings? Do we brush them off, bury them deep down, or even recognize what they are? Even our upbringing can dictate our future awareness of our feelings. My own familial experience was that my mom when asked how she was, would always give the answe…