Yoga, for me, wasn’t really a choice. It kinda happened to me. But for that I am very grateful.
You see I have navigated nearly three years with post concussion syndrome and myo-facial injury but it still manages to throw me for loops. In March 2017 I said goodbye to my weightlifting life and bought a two month groupon for unlimited hot yoga at De La Sol yoga studios in Hamilton. Yoga was the only method of movement that seemed to do any sort of good for me at the time.
My body was broken, my muscles were weak, and to be honest my soul was quiet discouraged and low with this progression of negative symptoms. Disheartened, I began attending classes regularly. My immediate response was that it made my body feel GOOD. I was blown away by the dedication of the teachers at the studio and the variety of classes that I could attend based on my skill level and body’s ability that day.
But something bigger has shifted in the past 7 months. First? I noticed that this might be the first time in my life that I actually have started to listed to my body. Truly and deeply. WHAT do you need right now body? How do YOU want to move. How incredible. That we don’t truly MOVE the way we want to- effortlessly with grace and ease. We are taught how to move- we don’t just do it. Why are we so rigid? This movement, with breath, has become so therapeutic to me.
Second? I stopped pushing myself past my limits. I have always been an incredibly big headed person when it comes to lifting, or working out in general. My ego has been kicked in the gut these days. It’s damn refreshing (mostly). I lay there while everyone else is balancing on one finger (haha) and it.feels.good.
Lastly? The inevitable happened. Yoga made its way into how I live my life. I am more connected, I look forward to taking a break and recentering, and I frequently take lessons from practice and apply them in my day to day journey. I know everyone says this will happen but I really didn’t understand it until I experienced it.
Bottom line is that I appreciate my whole self in its entirety so much more. The connection between body and mind that yoga has given me is something I’m having a hard time putting into words.
If you’re experiencing muscular discomfort- talk to your physiotherapist or health care professional about yoga (I find hot is the best). It’s not full proof, but I would say about 80-90% of the time I feel so. much. better. after a class. It sets the platform for me to take on my day. My mind is in a better place, I have given my body some love, and I have worked and stretched my muscles in a therapeutic way that is not damaging but rather nourishing. I am better able to do my physiotherapy and strengthen in areas that allow me to progress. Not only that, but it helps the pain. My muscles are stiff and ridged. The heat combined with the movement truly provides the right atmosphere for them to let go and relax.
De la Sol has a 30 day yoga challenge coming up next week and I’m excited to dedicate some serious time to my practice. 30 yoga classes in 30 days might be too much for me! We’ll have to see how it goes. But I think this could be a good push in the right direction. I still would like to get back to weightlifting and running eventually, but I would never leave yoga behind.
Too long didn’t read: MOVE WITH BREATH. It’s in the title. My yoga teacher begins every class with that saying. It’s so true. You will thank yourself if you do.
I hope you’ve found some time for yourself over the hubbub of the long weekend. There’s often lots of drinking, eating, long hours and stress involved. As for myself, I’ve been terribly sick. Rest, slow calming movements and bubble baths are on the agenda.
With thanksgiving, breath and a whole lot of love,