December 2011 Spotlight

Filed under: Spotlight Archives — jaiyoga @ 11:10 pm

CHRISTINE COTE:  A STORY OF HOW YOGA WORKS

When she first began the Basics Series at Jai Yoga in January of 2006, Christine was struggling with chronic migraines and an accompanying depression. “At the end of her rope” and on the advice of her neurologist, she decided to give yoga and meditation a try.

Nearly six years later, she practices yoga and meditation everyday. She has recently left her position as Registrar and Director of Institutional Research at Bowdoin College, a position she held for almost 19 years, to publish two art-focused journals and curate an online art gallery. She and her husband David enjoy walking together in the woods with their dogs. Christine describes herself as “very, very happy.”

Though managing migraines is still part of her life, Christine now has a greater understanding of the disease and how to help herself through it with the support of physicians and non-pharmaceutical methods, as well as a willingness to surrender to the situation. “Migraine is…not just a matter of having a headache now and then,” she says. “Management seems to be a delicate and ever-changing balance.”

Practicing yoga and meditation have been a large part of her non-pharmaceutical methods of migraine management and have changed her life in more ways than one. “Yoga and meditation have made me more aware of everything about myself,” says Christine. “This awareness had a lot to do with my decision to change my livelihood…I became very aware of the fact that I wanted to do something else [and] that I had the strength and courage to…An introduction to meditation is the greatest gift I was given at Jai.”

Through her practices, she also realized her experiences with migraine had led her to think of her head as separate from the rest of her body. “This kind of separation would prevent healing. But, yoga helped me to get back in touch with all parts of my body and mind and breath.”

Now, Christine has found a greater sense of ease and connection, one that she returns to regularly with meditation and yoga. “I listen to my body and soul and they tell me what I need,” she says. “Sometimes I do nothing but sitting poses, sometimes mostly standing poses; sometimes I move quickly, sometimes I stay a long time in just a few poses.”

“And that’s How Yoga Works.”

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