What A Different Perspective Can Teach You About Hearing Loss

I approached the wall with trepidation. It was inversion week at my yoga teacher training. Inversions are postures that take your head below your heart. They include classic poses like downward facing dog and restorative poses like legs-up-the-wall pose (yes, you just lay there with your legs up the wall), but they also include rigorous poses like headstand and handstand. We were about to try handstand.

The teachers described the many benefits of these perspective shifting poses. There were health benefits like improved circulations, a boost in energy, and stronger core muscles, but also psychological benefits like increased confidence, and literally a change in perspective. Plus, they are fun. I was nervous, but eager to give it try, especially in this controlled environment with a lot of supervision.

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I Won’t Let My Hearing Loss Hold Me Back

Sometimes in life, you need to take a risk — go outside your normal day-to-day routine for a chance to enrich your life, learn something new, or push yourself to develop new skills. For me, that time is now. I am embarking on a 4-week yoga teacher training in Fiji. It is something I have always wanted to do and the timing is perfect with my children at summer camp. Maybe one day I will teach yoga classes for people with hearing loss.

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Yoga For People With Hearing Loss

Yoga combines physical poses with the philosophy of patience and self-acceptance. Its health benefits include developing stronger muscles, better balance, and increased flexibility. A robust yoga practice can also help people cope with the day-to-day frustrations of living with hearing loss. When combined with meditation, it can also help minimize tinnitus symptoms.

People with hearing loss may be skeptical about trying yoga. They wonder if they will be able to hear the instructor well enough to follow along in a class or if their devices will fall off when performing different yoga poses. These are real concerns, but the following tips should help you enjoy your yoga practice even when you have hearing loss.

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How Meditation Can Help With Tinnitus

I am proud to share my hearing loss story and tips on Healthy Hearing

“What is that noise?” I asked my family one quiet Sunday afternoon. They all looked around squinting as if that would help them hear it, but there was no sound. “It must be my tinnitus again,” I sighed. It was starting to be a real nuisance.

Tinnitus, that pesky ringing in your ears, harasses more than 45 million Americans, according to the American Tinnitus Association, with nearly 20 million of them bothered on a regular basis.

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The unique experience of tinnitus

Tinnitus can impact anyone, but a 2010 article in The Journal of Medicine indicates it is most common in males, older adults, and former smokers. None of these categories apply to me, but I have struggled with tinnitus for over 20 years. There is currently no cure.

The word tinnitus is derived from the Latin word tinnire, which means “to ring,” but it can take on other sounds as well. Some describe it as a buzzing or a humming. Others as a sizzling or a hissing. For me, it is most often an electrical hum — like the sound of a fluorescent light coming on — followed by a steady high-pitched tone. This can last for several minutes.

Meditation in coping with tinnitus

The only way I have found sustained relief from tinnitus is through daily meditation, which I discovered almost by accident. I regularly practice yoga, but had never tried meditation in any meaningful way, until I attended a yoga retreat a couple years ago. Intermixed with the yoga classes were afternoon tutorials on meditation.

There were only three rules.

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Can You Do Yoga With A Hearing Loss?

I love yoga! Not only is it fun, but I find the health benefits to be extraordinary. My yoga practice saved me from real injury during a fall last year, and I think that it, combined with meditation, has helped calm the severity of my tinnitus. I recommend yoga to everyone I meet — whether they have hearing loss or not!

But sometimes people with hearing loss are skeptical. They wonder, “How will I be able to follow along in class if I can’t hear the instructor? or “Will my hearing aids stay on during the postures?” Or “Will the classes be too loud?” These are all real concerns, but ones that can be offset by choosing the right class with an understanding instructor.

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