Health, Spirituality, Yoga

Tantric yoga and chronic illness

IMG_20170827_140116_771
I got a question in my comment section if I could write a little bit about what effect tantric yoga has had on my health, and this made my head spin with ideas about what I should write because I think I have something to share and I am always happy to talk about my yogic and dharmic practice, it being a big part of my life. I wrote a post earlier this year about my health/illness, but I will just mention again what kind of health struggles I have to make a context.

So, in 2010 I came down with a serious viral infection (mononucleosis caused by Epstein-Barr virus) which left me very ill. I have had some health issues almost all my life (IBS, migraine, eczema), but this was a big blow to my immune system and gave me lots of symptoms: brain fog, muscles pain, headaches, worsening of IBS (more stomach problems), sleep problems, weight loss, hair loss, extreme fatigue, vision problems, terrible memory, numbness in certain areas of my body, dizziness, mood swings, adrenal exhaustion, thyroid imbalance, dry itchy skin, cold extremities….the list goes on, but lets just leave it at that 🙂 Losing my energy and health also made me lose most of my social life/relationships and this of course made me very isolated. So no doubt it affected my mental health/mood as well.

Hatha-Yoga

In 2011 I started doing physical yoga, more specifically hatha yoga. I signed up for a course in town and I remember feeling really good afterwards! It was like I found back to an old activity I had done many times before. I loved the asanas (poses/movements) and the pranayama (breathing exercises), and I came in touch with my body for the first time in….well, forever. What is also so great about physical yoga is that you work with the body and not pushing it too much like you would pumping iron in the gym. I adopted the exercises to my daily routine, even if I was bedbound I could do something simple like yoga nidra (systematically going through and relaxing the body in your mind) or just moving hands or feet to make the blood flow.

I did hatha yoga on and off for many years, until I stumbled upon awakening and tantric yoga in January  2016. It was quite different from the yoga I had been doing so far; mostly focusing on the body and not so much the mind. As I understand tantric yoga in my own experience, you work with mantras and vizualisations to transform the dualistic mind. You ‘invite’ energy  into your body, mind and aura through specific practices so that karmic imprints, patterns and subconscious mindstates can be processed and thus cleared. This sounds strange at first, at least I thought so. But still, there was no doubt that it worked, and still does, as I do the practice every day.

 

After I started doing tantric yoga, the illness has been easier to handle; it’s like I see it from a very different perspective because doing these kinds of energetic practices transforms a lot of my feelings around the illness, but also deeper stuff. And as the lid of fear and feelings about being ill slowly has been lifted, the illness itself is easier to address. It is also my belief that chronic illness is not necessarily forever. “Chronic” means “long term”, and I don’t think or hope I will have these health issues for the rest of my life. I also think that the practices has a direct impact on transforming how the illness acts in the body, as I have felt lighter and not as fatigued after starting tantric practice.

When it comes to long term illness and dharmic/yogic practice, I’m going to very cliché and say that balance is key. If you feel too sick some days to practice for 2 hours then maybe 15 minutes is enough. But I feel it is very important to do at least a little bit every day, not lose practice completely (which I have in some periods) and to always keep in mind why you are doing it. I often think about my own motives for doing anything, perhaps sometimes also overthinking it, but I feel when it comes to this, it is becoming easier to find the discipline to practice as the years pass because I see the benefits and my motivation is simple and clear: I wish to get well so that I may benefit others. And I don’t wish to be ill anymore.

milarepa-quotes-1
Mon 🙂

Art, Landscape

Snø

IMG_20171103_115809_939

“Svalbard” 10 x 15 cm, akryl på lerret

IMG_20171129_120308_288

“Polarstjerna” 20 x 20 cm, akryl på lerret

*   *   *

Prøvd meg litt på å male vintermotiv i det siste. Syns snø er litt vanskelig å få til å se ekte ut, men det er vel bare å øve videre 🙂

 

Everyday life, Yoga

Routines

Lately, I have not had much routines in my life; sleep has been either poor or way too much. Like 14 hours at a time. Always waking up with a headache and needing a nap after a few hours awake. Procrastinating things and not eating often enough/not had much appetite. Hasn’t been a full-blown ‘dark night’ – at all – but still not functioning as well as I know I can.

I started doing hatha yoga in 2011, but the last few years I’ve been doing much more sitting meditation than asanas (poses), but been wanting to start again because I know how beneficial it is. So today I started 🙂 Did a few sun salutations (surya samaskara) and some simple stretching. Not too much at once. When I saw my own video I see how stiff I am and not much flow in my movements. This will improve, I know, if I keep it up. Which is my plan!

Four years ago, when I was bedridden, simple yoga movements was something that really helped. Just sitting up in bed moving my joints or doing yoga nidra on my headphones, getting the blood flowing and getting the body into deep relaxation has been a life saver when it comes to chronic fatigue and chronic pain.

Very happy to have finally started again! I know posting this will make me more motivated to write/film an update later on 🙂
bitmoji-20180331030355

Landscape, Outfit, Tattoo

Blackwork friday

Har lenge tenkt på å gjøre en cover-up av den tatoveringen jeg har på høyre overarm som jeg dessverre ikke er så fornøyd med, og har bestemt meg for å bare gjøre halve armen helt svart. Har alltid elsket blackwork, syns det ser utrolig kult ut. I går satt jeg tre timer og fikk gjort ferdig et svart bånd nederst, resten blir nok å ta noen timer til 🙂 Regner med å bli helt ferdig i løpet av neste år en gang!

20171124_100933

Nydelig novemberlys ute, forresten. Sola har takket for seg for i år her i nord, men av en eller annen grunn så liker jeg mørketida. Nordlys og stearinlys. Hvitt på bakken og nakne trær.

Håper alle har en fin mørketid og jul! ♡

Everyday life, Photography, Poems

Mørketid

 

 

IMG_20171112_122238_367IMG_20171112_122439_026IMG_20171111_161223_434

Bildene er tatt i Spåkenes.

*   *   *

Av og til
må noe vare lenge,
ellers mister vi vel vettet snart,
så fort som allting snurrer rundt med oss.
Store trær er fint
og riktig gamle hus er fint,
men enda bedre –
fjell.

Som ikke flytter seg en tomme
om hele verden enn forandres
(og det må den snart),
så står de der
og står og står
så du har noe å legge pannen inntil,
og kjøle deg
og holde i noe fast.

Jeg trives med fjell.
De lager horisonter
med store hugg i,
som de var smidd av smeder.

 

Utdrag av Rolf Jacobsens dikt ‘Mere fjell’

 

Art

Sail away

IMG_20171003_174018
Ofte når jeg er ute, finner jeg steiner som bare må bli med meg hjem fordi jeg tenker de er perfekte til å male på. De trenger ikke være firkantet, eller være helt glatt, jeg liker at de er litt ru og skjev eller at de har en helt unik form. Og ofte er det lettere å finne ut hva man skal male om steinen har en spesiell form, slik som denne – syns en seilbåt var helt perfekt! Å male på steiner kan også være en fin måte å øve seg på; å bruke hundrevis av kroner på lerret kan jo bli dyrt i lengden 🙂 et lite tips på fredagskvelden 😉

Outfit

Novemberantrekk

20171114_163409

(click to enlarge photos)

20171114_16380720171114_16391220171114_163622

Er ikke så ofte jeg laster opp antrekksbilder, men idag var jeg nokså fornøyd med det jeg har greid å mikse og matche sammen 🙂 Skjørtet er fra Stoorstålka, hodeplaggene er fra Lappland og Borgund (pannebånd + sjal), toppen fant jeg på en bruktbutikk en gang i tiden og veska er fra Nepal. Jeg er veldig glad i alt som har med primærfarger å gjøre – blått, gult, rødt – og er naturlig nok litt inspirert av samisk kultur. Eneste jeg mangler er en varm strømpebukse slik at jeg faktisk kan bevege meg ut i vinterværet i skjørt 😀