A Can of Beer to the Rescue: Discovering Unexpected Remedies in Everyday Yoga

By Adrian Molina

When I first became a yoga teacher and had the opportunity to share with my parents back in Argentina, I remember showcasing the flow of a sun salutation A and B, with impeccable jump backs and seamless transitions. At that time, my focus was on highlighting the potential of the human body through dedicated training, rather than delving into the less glamorous aspects of a practice that nurtures and cares for you. Back then, terms like “accessible” and “adaptive” held no meaning in my vocabulary. Looking back, I realize I may have inadvertently made the practice seem overly complicated, unintentionally keeping those who needed it the most at a distance.

Recently, Dad has been experiencing a lot of back problems, likely similar to the issues I might face at his age. We share the same body frame, the same postural tendencies, and an equal amount of stubbornness.

The other day, Dad mentioned how going to the doctor and taking medication wasn’t providing much relief.

So, I asked Dad to grab a cold can of beer from the fridge, a blanket, and a chair. To my surprise, he followed my guidance. 

With us on FaceTime Video, he handed the phone to his girlfriend.

 I instructed him to lie on his back slowly, carefully place his legs on a chair, and use the blanket as cushioning between the floor and his bony back. Lastly, I asked him to position the cold can of beer under his cervicals and rest his head on it. I left him there and requested him to text me later.

To my astonishment, he couldn’t believe the relief he experienced. Frankly, I almost assumed he wouldn’t give it a try.

Dad continued with the exercise on the following days, and gradually, we incorporated a breath exercise and cactus arms.

Something so basic, simple, and ordinary to me brought more relief to my dad than all the medical appointments. It reminded me of how the practice has always been there for me and for others, from the days of incessant pushups and handstands to the days of simply trying to alleviate physical pain.

Yoga is a constant reminder that we have at the palms of our hands a way of taking care of ourselves and others that not only can help us in distress and or pain but also can bring us closer to one another. 

The best things in life are free, or they don’t cost that much, like a can of beer.


Author

  • Adrian Molina

    Adrian Molina, a prominent figure in community organization and mental health advocacy, dedicates his life to fostering connections and effecting positive change, particularly among marginalized groups. With a background in social service, including work in homeless shelters and maximum security prisons, Adrian emphasizes the importance of mind-body practices in healthcare and law enforcement. As the founder of Warrior Flow, Adrian offers trauma-informed yoga education worldwide, targeting those in community outreach and the medical field. He's a passionate mental health advocate, volunteering with crisis hotlines, serving as an ambassador for NAMI, and training for various programs focused on suicide prevention and child abuse. Adrian is also working on a memoir exploring themes of mental health, resilience, and growth. Adrian's influence spans globally, inspiring hope and change in countless lives. Click link below to learn more about Adrian’s work.