I am not your typical yoga student. I can't really say that I like "working out." I have tried various forms of exercise through the years, not because I ever really loved it, but as a means of helping to control my weight. I usually felt better after exercise, be it jogging, aerobics, step, or weight training, but I can’t honestly say I ever loved the process. It was only a means to an end.
Back in 1998, I was leading a stressful life--I was newly divorced, working as a healthcare consultant traveling several weeks each month and suffering from excruciating back pain and sciatica. I was suffering and miserable and wanted relief. An MRI revealed herniated discs in my low back and a doctor recommended physical therapy.
After six weeks I wasn't much better and so the doctor wanted to inject cortisone into my low back. I didn't want anyone shooting anything into or near my spine!
Something inside my head told me to try yoga.
I have this inner voice that can be really insistent at times so I found a yoga studio, explained my situation and the receptionist recommended the classes and teachers that would be best suited for me.
I hobbled into the first class and planted myself in the back of the room doing what I could and resting in child's pose when it became more than I could handle.
After the first class I felt a little better so I kept going back.
Slowly and steadily the pain started to recede and I became hooked.
Over the years yoga has been a constant in my life. The one form of exercise I have been able to commit to.
As a result I have received its benefits. It has been there for me in good times and bad and seen me through love and loss, success and failure, and the everyday ups and downs of life.
I haven't "progressed" with the challenging postures as quickly as others who are more physically fit or who had the advantage of relatively healthy bodies or youth when they started. I was in my mid 30s and pretty beat up when I first got on the yoga mat.
I will never look like a yoga journal cover model or fold myself up like a pretzel and you know what? It doesn't matter.
The practice has guided me because I have stuck with it slowly and steadily. I have kept going back for more; at times it has been intermittent; life has a way of getting in the way of our best intentions and yet I have always ultimately gotten back to it.
*PointsPlus® and SmartPoints® calculated by Simple Nourished Living; Not endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc. All recipe ingredients except optional items included in determining nutritional estimates. SmartPoints® values calculated WITHOUT Weight Watchers Zero Points fruits and vegetables using the WW Recipe Builder.
I think that is what makes me so excited about sharing everything I can about this practice with others like me--others who don't fit the expected profile of yoga student. I want to help everyone I can learn that yoga can help heal your body and enrich your life, regardless of your age, health, or experience.
Yoga is for anybody and everybody. You just need to find the style and teacher who work for you. There is such a smorgasbord of yoga options that there really is something for everyone.
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