Learnings: Yoga at the Dentist

I thought I might throw up. The drill-like noises, the pokey, metal mechanical prongs, the spotlight in my face, the ache in my jaw. It was all too much.

I was at the dentist.

I know I’m not the only one who despises having a masked man dig around with sharp tools in one of the most sensitive areas of her body. I have a close friend who has vomited more than once during treatments.

I prayed for an out-of-body experience.

Then I did a mental forehead smack, along with a Homer Simpson-like “Doh!” I had a more powerful tool than any in the dentist’s arsenal. The tool we all have: our breath.

I took my attention and intention there. I took it deeper, right into my belly. Long, deep, yogic breath. And every time the masked man took his hands off my now hyper-sensitive gums, I let go with an enormous exhale. (The hygienist took the breathing as a sign I was losing it. She began patting my hand and reassuring me that “It’s almost over. Not too long now.”)

In fact, I was much closer to not losing it than I’d been before I began breathing. Because, though I hadn’t left my poor body, I continued to drop out of my crazy-making, thought-factory mind.

So did I walk out of the office floating on waves of oxygen-enhanced bliss? No. But I did walk out a lot closer a peaceful state than I would have otherwise.

Take-Away Tip: Do try this at home. Try it anywhere you feel uncomfortable, but stuck. I’d love to know how you make out.

Sep 22, 2008 · Comment

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