My Yoga Story

"The fact that you have walked the path of extreme pain along with your compassion & understanding makes this a great thing for you to be sharing with others."

Colleen Malone

In May of 2013, I developed severe spasms behind my right shoulder blade as well as terrible pain radiating down my right arm. Initially, I was convinced I could “muscle” though the pain and continued to exercise. Every workout left me a little more fatigued and sore. Not the energized feeling, exercise had always provided for me in the past. Things finally came to a head, after a group fitness class. I hobbled out in tears, my body riddled with debilitating pain. I had “lived for my workouts” for 30 years, so it was a very bitter pill to swallow. The pain escalated further and I suddenly found myself unable to drive, sit or walk more than a few steps. My life went from being highly physical to flat on my back within a matter of days! It was alarming and devastating. The pain increased and even the slightest movement was excruciating, forcing me to be as motionless as possible. Ironically, the ultimate goal of yoga poses is the ability to sit physically still in meditation!

  My world suddenly became reduced to staring out the window. As I watched the birds flit from tree to tree, I became immersed in a world to which I was usually oblivious. Details and beauty I had never noticed before entered my awareness. Oddly, in the midst of all that pain, I experienced a certain level of peace. My mind simply could no longer dwell on my usual to do list and things to worry about! For once, my busy, worried mind, with a million whirling thoughts, was no longer taking center stage! All I could do was concentrate on enduring the pain. The birds helped me get through those long days and I like to think we became good friends during that time!

  Physical therapy, ultra sound, myofascial release, tapping, breathing, meditation, electrical stimulation all helped but for three weeks I continued to be in severe pain, unable to drive or sit up for more than a few seconds.  Luckily I found my way to a yoga that would help address my pain. Within a month I was free of pain! 

 I have had significant levels of neck and back pain off and on since I was a teenager as well as two severe knee dislocations. Years of exercise and strength training helped immensely, however, there was a down side to the toll exercise took on my body. I also was living with high levels of emotional stress for many years.  All of this resulted in a gradual wearing down of my body and mind to the point of severe adrenal exhaustion and depression. On some level, I knew, long before my body shut down, I needed to change. However, I ignored that message until I had no choice.

 

This unique, compassionate yoga practice gave me back my life and brought it to an entirely different level that is difficult to articulate. As I am in these gentle supported poses allowing the angles and support of the floor to release years of deep tension, I feel my body unwinding and releasing from the inside out. I am taller and longer! I am also stronger and more at ease in my body than ever before.

   

What I wasn’t expecting, was the profound effect the practice had on my mind, emotions and something more I couldn’t find words to describe. My thoughts were not constantly spinning. I found a level of peace and calm I had never known! After years of insomnia, I was sleeping! I continue to be amazed at the positive changes unfolding on every level of my life!

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