As an adult who freely and easily worked with math and numbers every day for years, to suddenly start losing this ability felt quite strange.
None of the symptoms listed for dyscalculia applied except one: I was becoming “numerically dyslexic”.
An example: early one evening I stopped at a gas station to gas up the car. Glanced at the pump number – a bold 6 inch high number. Looked away. Looked back. Clearly saw the same number. Entered the convenience store and paid for the gas. Came out and tried to pump gas. No gas. Checked the pump number for the third time. It was not the same number than I had twice clearly seen.
The paid for gas was in a different pump. I moved the car to the correct pump which fortunately was empty. In retrospect, I might have noticed that the number I saw was out of sequence, and could not have possibly been “real”.
What is the cause of dyscalculia ? Ideas mostly apply to brain differences in children and come with a host of cross difficulties handling or remembering math-related words and concepts. Some elderly people may have dyscalculia as a symptom of dementia. In rare cases it may be caused by a brain tumor. None of any of this applied in my case, but I had to call the condition something if I was going to look for a treatment.
After mentioning my dilemma to a friend of mine who teaches Kundalini Yoga, he pointed me in the direction of Dr. David Shannahoff-Khalsa, a pioneer in the application of Kundalini Yoga techniques in a clinical setting for treatment of specific mental disorders. In Shannahoff-Khalsa’s book Sacred Therapies, he describes a practice to help dyslexia. Close enough.
In Kundalini Yogic philosophy, dyslexia (and perhaps dyscalculia) are viewed as a disorder of internal communication. One part of the brain does not convey information correctly to another part. The remedy: practice a specific Kundalini yoga kriya every day.
A kriya in Kundalini yoga is a combination of posture, head position, hand placement, eye placement, breathing and / or mantra recitation.
Every morning. for 6 minutes a day, I practiced the kriya from Shannahoff-Khalsa’s book to ameliorate the symptoms of dyslexia.
For 103 days straight.
Numbers looked like what they really were again.
I cannot thank my yoga teacher friend, and also Dr. Shannahoff-Khalsa enough.
Gas station from here.
Man practicing pranayama from here.
Sacred Therapies book cover from here.