by Lauren Cap
Imagine standing on a boat as it’s sailing through a vicious storm with nothing to grasp on to. That rush of adrenaline coursing through your body as fear takes over and uncertainty settles in. Unlike the typical spinning signs of vertigo, my symptoms mirror the sensation of a boat out on the seas, rocking from side to side.
As a yoga instructor and movement educator, when my vestibular system (controlling balance and spatial awareness) is off kilter, it makes it difficult to function in front of a class or maintain an exercise routine on my own. Visual stimulation such as lighting, quick movements, sensory overload involving, heat, smell, and sound are all a trigger for my symptoms.
For a long time, I was living in fear of any movement because I didn’t want to trigger my most intense moments of dizziness. After over a year of undiagnosed symptoms, one neurologist recently concluded that I have MAV (Migraine Associated Vertigo). He prescribed me a particular migraine medication and combined it with a magnesium supplement and after two months of using, I feel significantly better. I’m not symptom free, but I am able to find the confidence to live my life again.
One of the things that I’m finally excited to get back to is exercise. Because of the limitations I put on myself from not feeling well, months of inactivity reignited hip pain that had subsided a year prior. During that period, I spent a lot of time sitting on the couch in a cross-legged position researching my condition online. This habit of sitting with an externally rotated femur weakened my hip adductors and vastus medialus of the quadriceps.
My slumped posture also irritated the quadratus lumborum, overworked the piriformis and overstretched my already weak gluteal muscles. (I’m sure there’s more going on too!) I began by using yoga sequences to build strength and safely regain movement to every joint in my body. Along with yoga, I started rolling and didn’t stop until I got myself into movement once again. Thankfully, I pulled myself out of my physical slump with safe, effective techniques I could do at home to regain mobility and calm me down from the stress I was experiencing.
For instance, I do Prasarita Lunges to warm up my hips, tone the adductors, quadriceps, and gluteal muscles.
To tone internal and external rotators of the hip for a symmetrical lower half, I practice this asymmetrical hip hike, which is helpful in keeping my body balanced.
I’ve learned that it’s true, some things are out of our hands. But what we do have control over is self-care. It may not happen over night, but with time, patience and compassion, we can ease out of dis-ease.
After years of being told to stand up straight and relax, Lauren Cap decided to take her first yoga class. She fell in love with the practice and knew it would always be a part of her life. Through yoga teacher training, Lauren found teaching others to be just as rewarding as her own personal practice. She gravitated towards Yoga Tune Up as a way to expand her anatomy knowledge and learn personal techniques to live a longer, healthier life.
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