Hyperhidrosis & Yoga – Round 2

Rippling WaterSince I had such a relaxing time at my first yoga experience, I decided to return the next weekend and do it again. Things were going along swimmingly during the warm-up section, until the instructor asked us to extend our arms out to our sides and join hands with the people next to us. Eff. Thankfully, I was on the end of a row, so I only had to touch the person to my left. We didn’t actually join hands, which was better for me, but I still hated that my drippy hand was in the vicinity of her hand. I made sure my hand was on the bottom, my palm facing the grass that I wished I could disappear underneath. Her palm was face down as well, on top of my hand. The touching lasted about 20 seconds, maybe? I wasn’t counting, but it felt like an absolute eternity.

 

As soon as I heard the instructions to bow and say namaste (which means the Divine in me recognizes the Divine in you), I thought that would be it and then we’d move into some poses on our yoga mats. But no, we had to join hands. Remember when I talked about the anger I felt the last time I was instructed to join hands in a public place? Yeah, that beast completely returned full force for a few minutes until I tried to pocket it and take it home for later. It wasn’t the instructor’s fault. It was part of her yoga lesson plan. I get it. I am responsible for the anger, yes, and I don’t necessarily think that anger is a bad thing. Anger is an emotion just like sadness and happiness are. It deserves to be dealt with, too. I was angry that I couldn’t comfortably participate in a “normal” person’s activity without my stupid body acting up. I mean, seriously! Here I was, living on the edge and tipping my comfort zone on its side, trying to see just how far I could go and not allow my hyperhidrosis to hold me back. And then a trigger situation is thrown at me full force and messes it up.

 

I understand and truly believe that we are all connected and that we are more alike than unalike. The intention of joining hands with other yogis was to embrace and encompass the energy of all of us in the same location. But what happens when someone’s energy changes because they are not able to be in balance with their body? When they can’t control or even help that their body sweats? I’ll tell you what happens. The fact that you are doing yoga ceases to exist. What takes its place is the vicious inner monologue. The one that says, Oh, my God. Why did they have to tell us to join hands? I can’t do this. It’s making me uncomfortable! I hate my body. What is she thinking as she’s touching my hand? Great. Now I’ll never be able to cool back down and focus on the yoga. How dare they make us do this? Is my yoga experience really going to be any better because of this? I mean, REALLY! Can’t we just stay in our own space and move together without touching?

 

I ended up emailing the yoga studio that puts on this free event. I explained my hyperhidrosis and then said (even though I knew it might be too much to ask) if they might be able to avoid future touching poses in their classes. The owner of the yoga studio actually emailed me back! Here is what she said:

The process of yoga is coming back to our innate wholeness, understanding that we are not separate and that as a community we are one. The fact that you mention this to me is a wonderful sign that you are practicing the first principal of yoga and wellness, awareness.

It is only through awareness that we can begin to heal ourselves.  When we have an imbalance of any nature in our physical body, it usually stems first from the mind body.  Making such a request as you have, indicates that you are allowing the mind body to lead your physical body into a repetitive cycle of non-healing.
 
I would recommend that you see me at the park Wednesday (this week) if you come.  Arrive a few minutes early and I will show you a cooling pranayama that will help put your mind to ease and mitigate the sweat.  
 
Our practice is a community practice and it will at times include touching, greeting, partners (as is the case in the July 4 class). You might want to consider coming in to a private therapy practice with me, to work through some of these issues and while at the park, respect what is right for you as you continue on your journey. 

 

I agree with everything she says. I am on a quest to become more of myself, to live a better life. This is why I’ve been experimenting with all of these sweat-friendly products and techniques, acupuncture, yoga, and hopefully soon, meditation. If I could learn to get out of my head whenever I want to and focus on something else, perhaps I can escape my hyperhidrosis. This is very hard for one who ruminates on absolutely everything in her life. I have not been back to the yoga class as of right now. It’s just too overwhelming having to worry about my sweating in advance. The thought of going to a class and then having to either put my yoga mat far away from others so they can’t reach me to touch me, or having to stop and say, Sorry, I’m not comfortable touching you, or Sorry, I have a medical condition called hyperhidrosis, blah blah blah…sounds even worse. I don’t want to call attention to myself and look like a freak. Gag me.

 

I will be looking into some private lessons with her, though. I need to learn this cooling pranayama she is talking about. If I can do it in private with her, bring along my trusty fan, and not worry about others around me or having to touch them, then I can keep moving forward in my yoga practice. This anger that I’m feeling? I’d like to harness it for my inner badass. I’m tired of being held back because of my hyperhidrosis. This past year and having this blog has taught me that it’s not just about me anymore. It’s about every single one of you who have hyperhidrosis. It’s about every single one of us stepping out of our puddles in whatever way we can and learning to live, not just exist, in spite of our condition. Who’s with me?

Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless — like water.
Now you put water in a cup, it becomes the cup;
You put water into a bottle it becomes the bottle;
You put it in a teapot it becomes the teapot.
Now water can flow or it can crash.
Be water, my friend. ― Bruce Lee

Water is the source of life. I’m on a quest to learn how I can use what I’ve been given in a way that doesn’t hinder me.


Copyright © 2012 My Life as a Puddle

9 thoughts on “Hyperhidrosis & Yoga – Round 2

  1. Wow. That was heavy. If I tried yoga, it wouldn’t matter if they wanted us to touch, I’d be dripping, soaking wet. Face, head, neck, arms, and of course my clothes would look like I just walked in from a rain storm.

  2. When you’re ready to join the public yoga class again, let me know. I will get my butt out of bed (which is really hard for an arthritic person!) and join you. I will be the one holding your hand, embracing all that you have, all emotion you want to share, and all the sweat you can desire to give. You can also be on the end so I get all the privilege of being the one to embrace you.

    Love,
    Peachy

  3. Hello all,

    I wanted to leave a quick post about HH. I remember sweating profusely from my hands, feet, and underarms since I was about 5 years old. Of course, daily activities were nothing short of a nightmare. Everyday seemed painful. I honestly don’t know how I made it through two decades of my life. Getting a job after college was nerve wrecking….but I think it was my inner Leo that made me take charge of my life and make me face the daily obstacles. In any case, since I was about 16 I must have met about 15 doctors, tried dry sol, ionothophoresis, and yoga to cool my head…absolutely NOTHING worked. I was so fed up with life that at 22 years of age I asked my boyfriend (yes, There was one guy in the world that was totally OK with me and HH) who helped me research HH. I came across Dr Gorenstein, a doctor from Columbia University in NY (where I live) and after my first visit with him it was very clear to me that he was the doctor I’d put my life with. After MUCH reluctance from my parents and boyfriend, I decided to go through with the surgery anyway. I knew that my feet would almost definitely not improve, but my hands were supposed to stop completely. Lo and behold, three months post op I could not be happier. I have not sweated a day since from my hands and I owe everything to this phenomenal doc. He truly has changed my life….I am always available to explain my story a little more. Please do feel free to email me at julyangel726@yahoo.com. All I want to do is help others and explain that there is a way to get rid of sweaty hands forever!!

    • How are you dealing with compensation sweating? I had the surgery when I was 19 and at 26 I’m sometimes regretting my decision to have the surgery. It seems there are other methods to deal with HH now. I can shake hands confidently which is fantastic but I have to wear layers of clothes because of extra body sweat. Forget spicy foods.

      -Sara

  4. Hello! I just wanted to say how great it is that you’re sharing the stories of your everyday struggle with hyperhidrosis. Today was a bad day for me. Well, everyday seems like a bad day. I’ve been trying to figure out why I’m so unhappy and it hasn’t been easy. However, hyperhidrosis has, undoubtedly, been a major reason among many. I need to find a solution, but knowing how unlikely that is, I realize that I need to accept my condition and learn to live with it. I’ve been using drysol and dryclor but they haven’t been much help during the summer time. I just can’t continue this way – I feel like my condition is my ticket out of everything; I can’t go to that party, I can’t help at that charity event… It just seems to be this huge impediment in my life. I’m afraid that if I don’t take away the power I have given to it right now, sooner than I know it, half of my life will have gone by. You inspire me to be brave and live life inspite of hyperhidrosis. I hope I can return and tell you that I did something as brave as this (I’ve never done anything like this!).Thank you for sharing with us.

    • Hi Rwanda!

      Thank you for reading my blog and taking the time to comment. You deserve to have a happy life. I encourage you to do one small thing each day that you normally wouldn’t do because of your hyperhidrosis. You’ll be surprised at what you can do with a few modifications to make yourself more comfortable. Let me know how it goes, and take back your power!

  5. Yay! more water making creatures :)
    I had to make sure i married during winter. yeah, im sure you can guess why.
    Now i am faced with tough decisions about where i want to live, what i am going to do etc.. its difficult coping with this. But if anyone in Tanzania sees this.. holla. Im looking for a good physician here so i can try out some botox for my palm sweating and soles. Underarms are manageable, even in this tropical country! Thank God.
    Oh, and my wife delivered 3 months ago.. my son, damn.. he is the king of sweat! lol “His life as a BEACH”

  6. I am in love with your blog. I just started blogging myself and just posted about Hot Yoga. The place you’re ENCOURAGED to sweat.

    I can’t wait to devour your posts over the weekend. It’s killing me being at work discovering this. I just want to read more. But deadlines are calling.

    Thanks for sharing!

    -Sara

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