Jewish Journal

If you think it, it will come

by Michelle Azar

February 12, 2014 | 11:19 am

Here’s the thing, life is weird.  My husband likes to say, PEOPLE are weird, but I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that it is LIFE that’s the weird thing.

The other night, I was doing the dishes, again, and I realized, again, that I was on Day 5 of my latest headache. As a headache afficianado, I knew this one was serious. And I got bummed. Really bummed.

I started to think about how many things I’ve tried, and how many people I have seen in the hopes to cure these headaches. My mind flashed to the famous Chinese healer I had met through our temple. He had hesitantly offered to help last year. I never phoned him back.
While I was wondering about him, he called. 8:30 pm on a random Tuesday night, this mysterious man whom I had not seen nor spoken to in some 6 months popped up on my phone. ” Hi,” he mouthed, as though we were regular phone pals. “I’m thinking about you, how are you?” It seemed plain old silly to play the “FINE, thanks, how’re you?” game, when clearly this was an auspicious kinda moment. ”Well, actually,” I volunteered, “I’ve got a pretty bad headache still.” He asked if I was home, told me he would be over in 25 minutes, and instructed me not to fall asleep.

Our dog didn’t bark when he came to the door. I sat on the couch, he lay a blanket on me, and while half-sitting on the rocking chair I got when I was 5 years old, he began to manipulate my feet. In and of itself, this was no extraordinary move, save from the fact that it was being done by a 70-year-old or so ancient Chinese healer in the rocking chair of my youth.  My left temple went into hyper active mode, pulsating with great insistence. Then, suddenly, a deep sense of peace. A heavy calm washed over me, and I felt as though my legs lay under some healing quicksand. I remembered a moment long ago during a biofeedback session where I had a similar experience, the deepest sort of relaxation that brought about the deepest removal of pain. I was happy.

I know the pain may come and go, but in that moment, I remembered. I remembered the freedom my muscles can have from restriction. I look forward to sharing these insights with my students, as a reminder to myself as well.

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Michelle fell in love with the practice of Ashtanga Yoga, the system of Hatha Yoga taught by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, some 13 years ago while doing a play in San Francisco. Having...

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