Last Updated on September 20, 2021 by melissanreynolds
I wrote The Case for Meditation for Fibromyalgia before I found Yoga Nidra guided meditation and went down the rabbit hole that led me to become an avid meditator and reducing my fight or flight response significantly. This post shares my thoughts as I resisted but knew it was an important thing to try.
I feel like it always comes back to stress, to my body’s extreme “fight or flight” reactions.
When I’m observing myself, I notice it. The increase in heart rate, that feeling in your stomach, the general all-over heat. Sometimes it happens for very mild reasons. Other times, stressful things occur and I’m excellent in the moment and freak out after. I’m freakishly calm in some situations that I would expect anxiety.
When I’m reading/researching about fibromyalgia/chronic fatigue/ME etc. Stress comes up frequently.
Meditation is supposed to help. Breathing. Resting. Things which I am not good at unless you include reading in your definition of rest (some fibro/CFS experts do, some don’t).
Meditation, in the small form that I did it, after a practice, disappeared with said practice. It’s bliss to do full-body relaxation after a good yoga workout. But the post-exertion malaise is at its worst after yoga, since I had my baby, so I can only do portions of the routine.
The Art of Stillness book
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“Testing many others who had meditated for ten thousand hours or more and many who had not, [they] felt obliged to conclude that those who had sat still for years had achieved a level of happiness that was, quite literally, off the charts, unseen before in neurological literature.” (P.25) The Art of Stillness: Adventures in Going Nowhere, Pico Iyer.
Iyer goes on to mention that some employees at a giant healthcare company experienced a reduction in stress, by a third, after an hour of yoga a week! (P.45)
“In an age of speed, I began to think, nothing could be more invigorating than going slow.
In an age of distraction, nothing can feel more luxurious than paying attention.
And in an age of constant movement, nothing is more urgent than sitting still.” (P.66)
And this resonates with me, deeply. To go slow, to sit still, to pay attention. So, I can’t keep ignoring it. When something keeps smacking you in the face, you should probably listen. Some articles for encouragement/guidance: Beginner meditations for helping with sleep How to Meditate and Get the Most Out of It Why Meditation is a Powerful Medicine
I began small with a Tiny Mission to do Total Relaxation Pose every day, and fell in love, although I have not been very diligent lately. I plan to bring myself back towards it with another Tiny Mission – to do a child’s pose every evening.
It is so interesting looking back at my resistance to giving up my reading breaks and turn them into restorative breaks. I love reading and for most of my twenties I couldn’t – it took all of my physical and mental capacity to work, there was nothing left for things I wanted to do.
It seems crazy that I resisted for so long, given my life passion is yoga and meditation for fibromyalgia.
Here are some articles to help you if you are in this journey too
Pacing for Fibromyalgia (how meditation is an important part)