What initially inspired you to do yoga?
I have been involved in sports all my life and been very active. About one year ago I started suffering from joint issues and pain. I was getting back adjustments almost weekly and was eventually put on arthritis medications at age 28. The joint pain and inflammation got to the point I was told to avoid physically activities. I decided to give yoga a chance as a last ditch effort before avoiding physical activities all together. I'm kinda “hard headed” (I call it determined, others would say stubborn) so being told I couldn’t do something anymore was not the answer for me.
What do you remember about your 1st yoga class?
I have only been practicing yoga for a little over one year so my first class is still fresh in my mind. The three C’s: calm, clarity and crow. I remember during my 1st class having this sense of calmness and clarity in my mind. It was the first time my mind was not stuck thinking about the events of the day; my mind was quiet and still. The instructor whipped out crow as if it was nothing and I remember thinking “yeah that will never happen”. I made it my mission to nail crow and worked almost every night until I got it. The first time I held crow for more than a few seconds I felt so accomplished! Still to this day every time I hold crow, I return to that “I can do this” feeling.
What keeps you coming back to your matt everyday?
I love going to class and learning new poses that look so crazy I initially say “no way” but then try them anyways. It’s a way for me to overcome my self doubt and it shows me at times I don’t give myself enough credit for what I can do. Eight angle, who knew?
How has yoga affected your life? What does it mean to you?
Yoga keeps me pain free, sure I still have what I refer to as bad joint days but those are few and far between. I have not had to take my arthritis meds (except on bad days) and I have only had about two-three back adjustments since I started yoga one year ago. Not only has yoga helped my physically but it has also provided me with a sense of balance in my life. Whenever my days get crazy and I’m full of stress, worry, doubt; I know my practice is always there for me.
How does yoga make you feel? Has it contributed to some healing in your life?
After I get done with class, I don’t have the energy to stress or worry. My mind is clutter free and my body/joints feel amazing. I leave class with this sense of stillness in my body and my mind and a feeling that I can take on anything!
What makes you avoid yoga? What makes you commit to yoga?
Even on bad days, I go to class as I know I will leave feeling better than when I walked in. There have been days that I’m not as focused and fall over in tree pose but I’m still able to say “At least you went. Today was just not your day. You really rocked corpse pose though”.
Do you have a favorite quote you live by?
“When you get into a tight place and everything/everyone is against you, till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up, for that is just the place and time the tide will turn.” Harriet Beecher Stowe.