Most of us need or want to be touched by another person. The warmth and love that come from touch are as fundamental as food, clothing, shelter. Ultimately, some of us can’t survive without it.
We need each other. You certainly understand this if you’re a crisis worker. Nearly every caller to Lines for Life talks about isolation and loneliness in some way.
One possible solution: kaleidoscope yoga. It’s a form of yoga that emphasizes touch, and working in pairs and small groups to support each other’s poses, and feel a sense of physical connection to people around you. And that’s accomplished pretty easily with light touch. The ‘kaleidoscope’ part of the name comes from ‘group shapes’ formed by interlinking arms, holding hands, moving together to form geometric patterns.
There’s not a LOT of research about the therapeutic value of touch, but some studies have shown reduced metastasis for breast cancer (in mouse models) cells, a reduction of anxiety in surgery patients, and other positive impacts in specific populations of research subjects. It also FEELS really nice. This specific kind of yoga is the kind where you might find a complete stranger digging his or her toes into your shoulder blades while scissoring your arms behind your back. And that’s just wonderful.
We could use more of that. We could use more connection, less stress, less pain.
Portlanders can get into kaleidoscope yoga for FREE. The group meets every Wednesday from 10-11 a.m. at People’s Co-op, 3029 SE 21st Ave. But it’s wise to register first at Meetup, for Free Yoga for Adults:http://www.meetup.com/freecommunityyoga/
Portland’s Kaleidoscope community is also here: