04 June 2018

7 Tips on the Road to Healing (Physical) Pain


I never thought that one day I’d be writing this. Not only had I taken my body’s health and stability for granted, I never expected I’d have such an interesting journey towards healing.

I’m sharing these tips because I was recently asked how I am managing the knee pain I’ve been experiencing for a while. I definitely don’t have all the answers, I still have mild knee pain, but I am happy that it’s very minimal at the moment and not as excruciating and as crippling as it once used to be.

Here are seven tips on the road to healing physical pain:

1. Follow your gut feeling

Listen to your body wisely and see what it tells you. Move from a place of love and compassion towards yourself. This may require creating a space of quiet to listen better.

2. Modify your practice

If you wish to continue your yoga (or any physical) practice then simply modify! And keep modifying and changing as you need to. Use props, they can give you so much support! There might also be some poses to avoid completely at certain times.
In the case of my knees, in general, grounding, steady poses worked for me more than vinyasas/sun salutation and rapid movements. I also avoid deep knee bends and extensions and I’m careful with hip openers. When sitting on the floor is painful, I sit on a chair! For me the key change was to slow down and listen. On the mat as well as off the mat.

3. Ask your body what it’s trying to tell you

Be inquisitive and ask questions. The answers will arrive when the time is right. And the answers might change and have updates with time. All is good. With me, my knees were telling me to slow down. To have faith in where I was heading (marriage!). They also helped me heal some key relationships.

4. Explore different healing programs

Create your personal team of healers. From my end, besides checking by bone and joint health with an orthopedic, I took private yoga therapy classes, saw personal trainers, did ayurvedic treatment, physiotherapy and even energy healing and therapy to deal with my thoughts and feelings. Speaking to my friends and fellow yoga teachers to reflect on findings helped so much as well, made me feel heard and even provided key insights. Everything helped.

5. Make lifestyle amendments

How do you sit? How do you drive? How do you walk? How do you sleep? When do you sleep? How’s your posture when you’re out shopping, dining or even when chilling on the couch? If any of those movements or positions hurt, modify! It’s still asana.

6. Look into your diet

Eat intuitively and observe the effect of food on you. Does the pain flare up after eating certain foods? Maybe you need to drink more water? Or eat warmer foods? What’s your digestion like and what’s your elimination like?

7. Take it easy

Healing is all about attitude. Believe that you are well and that you can even get better. If you’re judging yourself, see if you can instead handle the discomfort with love, compassion and kindness. Keep enjoying life, live, explore, laugh, play.

Hope these tips aid you on your healing journey. If you have more tips, please leave a comment below.

May all beings be well, happy and healthy.

Blessings,
Amal - Jun 2018

01 April 2018

أنا الكون الذي أحلم به

Image source

أنا الكون الذي أحلم به

أنا الكون الذي أحلم به
كل شيء موجودً هنا
كل الأشياء التي أحبها
الهند
الرقص
الموسيقى
نشوة السعادة
سماءٌ تدعوني لأحلق بأرجائها
كل شيء هنا
أنا الكون الذي أحلم به

أمل
يناير 2018

04 March 2018

Mountain

Dharamashala, India. June 2016
Mountain
Lush
Green
Expansive towards the heavens
Tall
Big
Steady
Gentle
A crimson heart infinitely generous with kindness
Rests at centre
Shining from the core
Divine
Divine
You are a temple of love
I bring my palms together and kiss your soul
I bow to your sweet feet
Bliss
Love
Gratitude
Till I melt in you

amal - Feb 2018

02 February 2018

Journey

I had to learn to be single
To learn how to be a compassionate partner

I had to learn to be independent
To learn how to be supported

I had to learn to be silent
To learn how to speak with love

I had to learn to be still
To learn how to move gracefully

I had to learn to be alone
To learn how to be part of a community

I had to learn to love myself
To learn how to love other beings

I had to learn to surrender
To learn how to realise my dreams

I had to sit with chaoes
To know peace

I had to recognise pain
To know sweet joy

I had to break
To heal

I had to take all the steps of the journey
To get here
To be filled with gratitude
To know
To let go
To be


amal - Feb 2018

31 January 2018

Truth Within


Hush
World
I need to listen 
To my light 
Friends, gurus, healers, teachers,
Quotables, books, talks, speakers,
Enough
My cup is full
My capacity to consider your opinions is currently saturated
Thank you, but for now, enough
I need 
To touch the truth 
Within
I know it is all here;
Unparalleled wisdom
Sweet, nectar-dripping love
Freedom from the bondage of illusion
Liberty
Serenity
Growth
Prosperity
Strength
Tapas
Agni
It is all here
All here
Here
Within
My precious
Heart

amal - Jan 2018

14 December 2017

وطني بمحبة


وطني حبيبي
أريد أن أحبك بمحبة
دون غضب
دون قهر
دون حزن
دون تعلق

أريد أن أحبك بحرية
من قيود أنا ونحن وأنتم وهم

أريد أن أحبك بثقة، بلا خوف

..

أُطلق سراح الجميع من أحكامي
أُسامح جميع من آذوا
أمسح على جروح جميع من تأذوا
وأُصلي للسلام والوئام

أتحرر
أتحرر
من كل ‏التهيآت
أتحرر
أحلق
أحلق
طيراً حراً في أرجاء سماك
 أحلق
أنطلق
أرقص
"في رُباك
في رُباك"


أمل - ديسمبر 2017

01 December 2017

In Faith

Here we are
A moment, new
A fresh space
To articulate
The beauty of Love

I’ve no idea
What may come;
Battles
Losses
Celebrations
Laughter
Chaos
Madness
Play
Magic..
All
All
All is a blessing

Here we are
Afront a new page
Untrodden territory
Beautiful for what it is;
Untrodden,
Untainted by knowledge,
Trusted in faith

My soft steps advance..
Praying expectations shall rest behind
Faithful intentions shall wisely guide
And that I am
We are
We all are
In the care of the Beloved.

In faith
All paths are one
All routes
Are of Love
With Love
To Love


Om Namo Narayani

Amal - Dec 2017

08 November 2017

هكذا يحط الحزن


وهكذا يحط الحزن
يفرش جناحَيه القاتـِمَين
يفترش محيطك
ويسيل الدمع الأسود
من عينيك
من مساماتك
من ابطيك
وكأنه يغسلك من حزنك
بحزنك

لا تعرف من أين أتى
ما ناداه
من أرسله

يحط بثقله
يأخذك فجأة وأنت وحدك
وقته الآن
لا مفر

وأنت وحدك
تفهم كل شئ ولا تفهم

يصلك بماضٍ تُفضل أن تؤمن أنك انفصلت عنه
يأخذك إلى غدٍ لا تعرف كيف ستخطو إليه

هو هكذا الحزن
حاضرٌ منشغلٌ بوقتٍ آخر

هذا الحزن
طفلٌ يبحث عن حضن
لا يبغي غير مساحةٍ آمنة
يحط فيها برهة..
لتنظر إليه
ويطير بعيداً


أمل - نوفمبر 2017

27 October 2017

On Yoga Teachers, Pain & Sharing


A while back, a yoga teacher friend of mine shared something personal with me. She said she wasn’t telling people the real reason how her neck was in pain when they would ask why she was wearing a neck brace. She told me she fell down in a funny way in her headstand, but she preferred not to share that because she didn’t want to give people the impression that yoga was dangerous. I sympathized, I understood, but recently I started thinking that we might have a problem.

As yoga teachers, whether we take the therapy approach or not, I suppose I can safely assume that we do aim to support our students’ wellbeing, be it physical, emotional, mental or energetic. Many of us do express the benefits of yoga and encourage people to expand, engage, be present, etc. Yet I find that there is so much emphasis on the “benefits of yoga” that when we ourselves are in pain, we don’t know how to express that, we don’t share it very comfortably.

I’ve been suffering with knee and hip pain for months now, and I’m exploring various approaches to help stabilize and heal. I accept that it may be a lengthy learning process, it is what it is. But at the same time I sometimes find myself thinking twice before confiding in a fellow teacher how agonizing it has been of a journey, a part of me feels insecure because in my head it sounds like I am the only yoga teacher I know who has some kind of chronic pain she doesn’t know yet how to fully resolve. I know that’s in no way true, I know my ego is desperately dramatising, but it could also be that I don’t hear my fellow yoga teachers expressing or sharing such experiences, thus my ego feels alone (and weird) in this.

Is shame there somewhere? Do we feel like we’ve failed at delivering what we preach? Are we too proud to admit that we, just like everyone else, can get injured or mismanage our bodies? Too proud to express our need for help? Are we too caught up in an idealistic image of ourselves that we desperately want to identify with that image, even if it wasn’t the truth?

It doesn’t sound right to me, and it doesn’t sit well. I feel we need to talk.

Earlier today the universe pushed me to attend a group class (a friend’s special celebration). Honestly, I wanted to avoid attending, but I showed up to step on my ego (and be with my friend) and ended up modifying 95% of the poses to be kind to my knees. And you know what, I did most of that with my eyes closed, and it was blissful. Today, I didn’t care much about what others would think of my not-in-line-with-the-teacher-poses.

I think we need to talk. I think we need to normalize the talk about our struggles - be them emotional, mental or physical. Yes yoga teachers get their heart broken, we have desires, we stray off our “disciplined” paths, we eat junk sometimes, get hangovers, get annoyed, be annoying, wake up with neck pain, have constipation, forget to breathe deeply and can be a mess at times. Being certified as a yoga teacher does not take away your bad karma forever and does not shield you from suffering. It just shows you a way to have more compassionate awareness, and that is what we teach, and that is what we ought to primarily practice in our lives. Compassionate awareness.

I pray we share with love and compassion. I pray we hold space for ourselves and for each other. I pray all beings are well, healthy and happy.
Om Shanti.

Amal - Oct 2017

19 October 2017

A Brave Woman


I am a brave, brave woman.
I have my fears. Sometimes they prevent me from doing certain things. Often they don't.
I am one of the bravest women I know.
I have the faith and strength to walk out of situations that no longer work, relationships that to longer inspire and let go of habits that no longer serve my health.
I am a brave woman.
I inspire myself.
I have the courage to speak up when I want to, and remain silent when it's the wiser choice to make.
I am brave.
Dozens have seen it in me before, I had never believed it to be true, but today, things changed.
I am no longer willing to hide behind deceptive thoughts. I'm fed up of giving in to the undermining voices within and outside my head.
Today, I embrace my truth.
I am brave.
I am courageous.
I am alive with life.
All is life.
And I embrace all. All of me.

Amal - Oct 2017

02 October 2017

Period

Image source: click here
They try to call you different names
They try to pretend
You don't happen
They call you dirty
They complain
You're a nuisance
...
But I
Look at your bright colours
Gushing down through this body, alive
I place my hands
Hugging my womb
Full of wonder
At tender awe
At this magical space implanted within me
My heart flutters with gratitude
My eyes water in honour
That every month
Hormones flow
The cycle of creation revolves
And my body
A vessel
A vehicle
Holy terrain
Not only witnesses it
But experiences it completely
In all its glory.
..
Period.
I say it.
I love my period.
I am honoured. My blood humbles me.
My graceful, dripping blood is evidence
Of how alive I am
My dripping blood is Nature's way
Of reminding me
I am Her and She is me
This blood
Is sacred
It is life
Being.

Amal - Oct 2017

11 September 2017

Love the Men

I love the men who write
Who take the space and time
To catch the words
That sing the songs of their souls

I love the men who dance
Who celebrate the beat of life
Through the holiness of their divine bodies
I love the men who dance with others

I love the men who cook
Who handpick their ingredients, savour them
Orchestrate a fine meal
To satisfy, to feed, to impress, to nurture, to indulge 

I love the men who play
Who embrace the children they are

I love the men who laugh
Whose chuckling bellies soften with heat

I love the men who joke
I love the men who prank

I love the men who make promises
I love the men who show up

I love the men who listen
Who hear us with tender compassion

I love the men generous
Whose gifts are genuine and limitless

I love the men who cry
Who open their hearts and share
Who are strong, who are open enough
To stand vulnerable and bare

I love the men alive
I love the men colorful

I love the men being
Human, in all the glory, beautiful.


Amal - Sep 2017

Celebrating Freedom


As I was catching up with an old friend, counting my blessings and expressing gratitude for my life in its current setup, I realized that a huge part of my joy at the moment is owed to a drastic decision I took three years ago. I had been working at a well-paying prestigious company in a fairly decent role and I was really good at my job. One evening after work, I realized I no longer felt heart in my job and just like that, decided to quit, give myself a break from Corporate and travel around, do what I want.

I had no plan, the universe seems to have had a plan for me and all it asked was for me to trust it and jump in, or rather jump out into the outer world of infinite possibilities.

Three years later, today, with backpacks full of stories of the magic, the tragic, unconditional love and much wisdom, I find myself a grounded roamer - if there is such a thing. I still don’t have a plan and I’ve found that I had dropped the desire to seek one. I take it one day at a time, one phase at a time, one wave at a time and whatever life brings, I embrace and accept as I learn to open my arms wider.

Practically speaking, what I love as a full-time yoga teacher is that I am my own boss; I dictate my own timings and set my own schedule. I give myself days off when I need to. I draft my own contracts and agreements. Set my own terms. I work with people I’m generally comfortable with and if we don’t click I know life takes care. Instead of reporting to anyone, I express gratitude to the Divine. Instead of feeling like I’m slaving for a company, I feel I am at service to myself and people. Instead of reporting to the mind, I flow with feeling. And it works. Not only do I enjoy my “job”, it also puts food on the table.

What I love even more - I trust in infinite abundance. Whether a student attends my class or someone else’s is of little concern to me, I know that life has enough for all of us. If this is meant to be my path, it will be, and it will be so successfully, and I have a strong feeling it is.

Sometimes I bump into old colleagues and they ask if I miss Corporate or my old job, and without hesitation, my bright face saying it all even before my words, my answer is, “no”. Quitting that job from a place of calm, wisdom, trust and surrender, was the BEST decision I made in my adult life. It emancipated me from the bondage of duality; “right” and “wrong”, “good” and “bad”, “partners” and “competition”, “us” and “them”, and it liberated me from thinking I needed someone above me who is paid more and “wiser” to dictate how successful I am as a being. It freed me from tying my success in life to a yearly appraisal. Now, life gives me appraisals, yet reviewing my performance without judgement, without punishment, with utter compassion and nurture. The inner voice within is my mentor.

I take a moment today to celebrate my freedom. It hasn’t been an easy nor smooth ride, yet very much worth it. I am grateful for all those who supported me, all those who opened doors, and those who shut them. I am grateful for faith, for infinite abundance, for joy, for wisdom, for play, for love.

May all beings be blessed.

Om Namo Narayani.

Love,
Amal - Sep 2017

27 August 2017

Listening

I search
For the temple
Of silence
So I can listen
To the parts of my heart
That need to heal

I search
Humble
Head surrendering to Heart
Bit surrendering to All
Child surrendering to Amma

I search
I might be there
There might be in me
I don't know
Hush
Hush
I just need to
Listen

Amal - Aug 2017