Abhaya in Sanskrit means fearless, or no fear rich in the Hindu and Buddhist philosophy and culture. The Abhaya Mudra (hand gesture) symbolizes protection, peace and the dispelling of fear. The gesture is made with the right hand raised to shoulder height, arm bent and palm facing outward.
The gesture is an ancient one, demonstrating that the hand is empty of weapons and thus indicating friendship and peace. To western eyes, it looks like the gesture meaning “stop.” In both cases, the gesture implies fearlessness before a potential enemy.
In Buddhism, the gesture is a symbol of the fearlessness-and thus the spiritual power-of the Buddha. According to Buddhist tradition, the historical Buddha made this gesture immediately after gaining enlightenment.
Fear is the greatest resistance in one’s life showing no discrimination from one moment t the next. No matter how much you desire an outcome, if you have fear towards the journey, the outcome, or anything in between you are almost sure not to achieve it.
A state of fear even has great potential to lead you down a path you never imagined.
“Where there is no fear there is not love, and where there is love, there is no fear. “
Be fearless in every moment!
nancy lanasa/abhaya yoga center/ wikepedia
How to Prevent Low Back Pain When Snow Shoveling and Snowblowing
Did you know in some parts of the United States the average snowfall approaches 10 feet? That is a lot of snow to shovel. I’m thankful that I live in New Jersey and the average snowfall is less than a foot.
Regardless of how much or how little snow we see, we still have to shovel and snow blow it.
Every winter, I see more clients with lower back pain due to improper body mechanics when it comes to snow shoveling and snow blowing. For the most part the lower back pain and discomfort is due to intense muscle tightness, fatigue and strain than anything else, but you can rupture or herniate a disc in your low back, especially if you have a history of low back pain and disc herniation. Some of these injuries result from excessive stress to spinal structures by slip and fall accidents.
The basic concept is this: As you sleep, your discs take in water and actually expand. Early morning, you wake up and see a snow covered driveway, walkway and sidewalk and you are in a rush to shovel or snow blow. It’s cold outside; you are rushing and pushing yourself in a way that your body is not use to. Your discs are filled with water and you bend and twist the wrong way causing a rupture or a disc herniation and you are now in tremendous pain. For those of you that have suffered low back pain on and off in the past, this feeling is all too familiar to you and then the anger and frustration kicks in and you continue to push yourself until the job is done and now you can’t move at all.
A study published by Brad Coffiner at Cornell University’s ergonomic department indicated “…when handling heavy snow with a shovel, the L5-S1 disc has been identified as the weakest link in the body segment chain. The most severe injuries and pain are likely to occur in the back region.”
So now what? What can you do to prevent this pain, discomfort and inconvenience? Aside from booking a massage immediately after a snow storm to melt away the snow shoveling aches, you can follow proper snow shoveling and snow blowing techniques.
- Stretch your body before heading outside into the cold.
- Shovel frequently if possible. This will help eliminate some muscle soreness and also prevent injury.
- Select a Proper shovel. Snow is heavy enough. Do not add more weight by using a heavy shovel. The lighter the shovel, the better.
- Proper Technique!!!
- Push the snow if you can. Pushing the snow is easier than lifting it.
- Stand with your feet about shoulder width apart to maintain balance. Try to keep the shovel close to your body. Bend at the knees- bend at the hips. Tighten your stomach muscles as you lift the snow. Lift with your legs, not your back. Shovel small amounts of snow and dump the snow in front of you. If you need to move the snow to the side, move your feet, do not twist.
- The picture below shows how most of us shovel snow. This is what we “SHOULD NOT DO”
5. Pace yourself! Snow shoveling is strenuous work. Take frequent breaks to stretch your back and extremities.
6. Anytime you feel slight pain or discomfort…STOP! Take a moment before continuing. This most definitely is your body speaking to you and letting you know you are pushing yourself too much and you need to slow down. It is also reminding you that you are most definitely using the wrong body mechanics. So take a moment to regroup.
7. Stay Hydrated!
8. Snowblowers: If a snowblower is not used correctly, you can strain or injure your back. Snowblowers are designed to remove the snow at a particular rate of speed. Pushing or forcing the equipment to go faster is defeating its purpose to do the work for you.
Even when following the proper techniques, you may experience some fatigue and muscle soreness. This is a great time to book a Feel Well Bodyworks Snow Storm Special with Sonia. Limited appointments are available, so hurry up and book your massage!
Incorporating massage as part of your regular wellness routine can help maintain physical, mental and emotional well being. The physical changes massage brings to your body can have a positive effect in many areas of your life.
Besides increasing relaxation and decreasing anxiety, massage lowers your blood pressure, increases circulation, and improves recovery from injury. It reduces fatigue and can increase your concentration.
Massage therapy can be a powerful ally in your healthcare regimen. It has proven to help with the following conditions:
- chronic and acute pain & discomfort
- migraine, tension, & sinus headaches
- back pain, tightness & discomfort
- helps prepare for and recover from strenuous workouts
- reduces muscle spasms, cramping, scar issue
- increase joint flexibility
- arthritis, osteoporosis
Abhaya Wellness customizes your therapy sessions to meet your massage & bodywork needs. We are dedicated in healing and balancing your body, mind & spirit.
We dedicate the full treatment time to you. Let us make a difference in your life.
Invest in yourself!