Today was probably one of the most productive days that I’ve had in a while. This morning, I was reviewing Hilary Rubin’s website: www.iamnotamess.com and decided to try out one of her workouts on her podcast. The workout that I tried is called “Dancing Fearlessly.” In this podcast, Rubin works through the traditional yogic poses, however, what makes this podcast unique are the messages that are laced throughout.
Rubin’s focus on this podcast was on recognizing our fears, analyzing why they are there and rewriting some of our negative scripts. The workout was extremely empowering and energizing, and it helped me to begin to question the reason for some of my fears.
My favourite phrase in her podcast was “if you fell, you didn’t fail…it’s a different word.” How many times do we fall and automatically assume that we failed? It seems to be a natural reaction to avoid falling, by not trying again.
However as I’ve learned through the pose Vrksasana (tree pose) when I was out of practice, I would fall. The falling was not due to failure: this was a new movement for my body and at times, I expected to fall. This expectation to fall became a self-fulfilling prophecy and only when I rewrote that negative script was I able to maintain balance and hold the pose. Rubin proposes to take this theory and apply it to not only balance poses but to all situations that we may be fearful of.
Creating Her Own Path to Wellness
Hilary Rubin faced her own fears with her diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis in 1996. Like most people diagnosed with a chronic illness, Rubin went through the phases of denial, depression and anger.
However, when she reached the stage of acceptance, Hilary took a unique turn. Instead of waiting to see where MS would begin to hinder her central nervous system, she focused on her own wellness. Rubin transformed her diagnosis into an opportunity to achieve optimal happiness and health. For the most part, Hilary is now managing her MS through a healthy diet, yoga and meditation.
Today Hilary Rubin has created her own website, is an Anusara yoga instructor and spreads her philosophy about how to handle chronic illness. Her philosophy is simple, embrace, empower and evolve. This philosophy works well with her yogic practice Anusara yoga.
Multiple Sclerosis and the Yoga Practice
It makes sense that Rubin trained in Anusara yoga as this philosophy works extremely well with chronic illnesses such as multiple sclerosis. Anusara yoga is a form of Hatha yoga whose philosophy is to celebrate yourself and your heart. The focus of this practice is not on perfection but on enhancing both your mental and physical state to their optimal levels.
Yoga has been promoted to assist individuals diagnosed with MS due to its ability to improve muscle strength, increase balance and reduce muscle spasms. In addition, unlike other workouts, yoga focuses on the whole body: encouraging you to listen to what your body and mind needs.
This is one of the great virtues of yoga: that everyone, no matter the level of wellness that you are at, can practice it.
Rubin found that her yoga practice and positive outlook for her life helped carve a new path for wellness. By facing her fears, she was able to approach her diagnosis in a positive manner. I encourage everyone to try dancing with some of their own fears, or at least, as Rubin proposed, begin to question them.