YEM: Follow the Wave in Your Spine, by Parvati Devi
It would have been easy to feel sorry for myself when I became paralyzed from the waist down due to a spontaneous spinal cord injury. Yet, as I share in my Positive Possibilities article Consequence: The Great Teacher, I know that there is nothing in life that is “against me”. All that happens supports my spiritual growth in some way.
Instead of undergoing the medically recommended spinal surgery that would give me a 50% chance of walking again, I chose instead to dive into my inner healing cave and trust what I knew about yoga, energy medicine and nature co-creation (working in partnership with nature devas and the Cosmic Intelligence).
I saw my body as a non-fixed conglomerate of energy, floating molecules held together by my perceptions and karmas. The injured area was a mass of solid energy that seemed fixed due to my beliefs. I did not try to change it or fix it. I became a present witness, with no agenda.
As I stayed in the notion of possibility, I got out of the way of nature’s innate healing power. If I were meant to live in a wheelchair, then so be it. If I were meant to walk again, eventually, I would.
I started to notice small currents of life extending from the conglomerate of energy in the injured area, like shoots of grass arising from the soil. Little ripples of life started to wave down my legs. Eventually, I could feel my toes and start to wiggle them.
That wave began to pulse up my spine. I could then roll from side to side, and eventually onto my stomach. At no point was I able to do anything that was not in flow with that wave. If I pushed, the consequence was searing pain.
The wave moved me into pressing up from my stomach, and then to crawling. I grew as though from an ocean molecule, to a sea creature, to a land animal, to an upright human. Finally I came to walk and dance again in joy. My recovery was deemed medically miraculous. I share more about this healing journey in my Wellness column in this month’s issue.
This wave exists within us all, at any given moment. It is the pulse of life itself. Yet because of our habits and the way we often choose to perceive life stressfully, we hold tension in our tissue, electrical and nervous systems. Over time, the juiciness of the wave, and the flow of energy in our body/being, become rigid, causing illness and distress.
In the previous issue, I guided you through a full body relaxation. Today, I share a simple and safe exercise to help free up the energy in your spine, as though your spine were a tube of breath. This exercise will lead to the next, as we build towards reviving the natural wave in your spine over the course of a few exercises.
Find a quiet and relaxed environment to lie on the floor. Use a towel or yoga mat if you like.
Gently cup the base of your skull with your hands, lift your head off the floor about an inch or so, and tilt your chin in slightly, so that your neck lengthens slightly.
With arms alongside your body and feet hip-width apart, begin a full body relaxation, bringing your breath awareness from the crown of your head through your body and down into your toes. Feel your whole body breathing. (See last month’s article, Savasana, for full description.)
Once you feel connected to the ground and aware of your breath, lift your arms above your head as you inhale, and exhale as you rest them on the floor. Let your whole body feel long.
Then point your toes as you inhale. Breathe in through a whale spout in the crown of your head, through your spine and into your toes.
Exhale out that whale spout and out your feet as you press out your heels and stretch your arms away from your feet.
Repeat the process: Inhale through your whale spout and spine, pointing your toes.
Exhale through the whale spout and soles of the feet as you press out your heels and stretch out your arms. Feel your spine lengthen.
When you have had enough, bring your breathing back to what feels more normal for you. Take a few more long breaths and enjoy.
Parvati Devi is the editor-in-chief of Parvati Magazine and an internationally recognized Canadian musician, yogi and new thought leader. As a chart-topping touring musician, Parvati spearheads the Post New-Age musical genre with her independent success hit single “Yoga in the Nightclub”. She founded YEM: Yoga as Energy Medicine, a powerful yoga method that combines energy work and yoga poses. Her critically acclaimed self-help debut book “Confessions of a Former Yoga Junkie – A Revolutionary Life Makeover for the Sincere Spiritual Seeker” is currently in its third edition.