Mamahhh’s Self-Care Month – Visualize Your Yoga

This morning, I endured a couple hours’ dental work. Fun Times with Dr. Rice started last year when he announced that it was past time to replace all my childhood fillings. The ones I’d received when the enamel didn’t form all the way over my teeth. The ones that were a consolation prize for being born before preventative faux-enamel technology came along.

Back then, I didn’t make it easy on my good Dr. Hanks. The first time we had a big dental experience, he and 6-year-old-me and those amalgam fillings, I bit him and peed in the chair. (TMI, I know!) Every visit after that, I had to take what must’ve been some kind of anti-anxiety prescription to calm me before the visit.

Now, thankfully, there are no prescriptions required for my visits with Dr. Rice. Of course I still take whatever jaw-numbing drugs they offer, but along with that, I calm my body and my thoughts by practicing yoga in my mind. These are some sweet, soothing vinyasas, y’all, a mental-visual mantra to drown out the drill.

Inhale, reach up.
Exhale, fold forward.
Inhale, half lift, long spine.
Exhale, fold forward.
Inhale, reach up, root down, slight backbend.
Exhale, hands to heart.

And so I go, round after round of Sun Salutation A, sometimes throwing in a few standing poses or attempting a fancy move I can’t yet do on the mat. Inhale. Exhale. The whirr of the drill. The slight haze of the local anesthesia. A tender, loving practice that simultaneously takes me out of an in-the-dentist-chair experience and brings me deeper into my feel-my-feet-I’m-OK-body.

For self-care, I appreciate a tuned-in tuning-out when I’m stuck in a situation that is basically OK, but not where I’d really like to be at that moment. Dental visits. Tetanus boosters. Rubber-chicken-dinners that should have ended an hour ago. Rush-hour traffic. Really big crowds of people. In moments like that, I turn to the yoga mat in my mind, and breathe a sigh of relief. The remembrance of my body working as it should, strong and supple, my movements emboldened by breath–that is deep reassurance that all is well.

How do you take care of yourself in the dental chair or the like? Share your experiences in the comments!

Mamahhh’s Month of Self-CareMamahhh Self-Care Month November 2011


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