It was 1999 and I was studying sports medicine in the US. One fine morning my alarm went off and I found that I could not get out of bed. I had absolutely no strength in my abdominal muscles to raise myself into sitting position. I looked into the mirror and I had purple rashes all over my face.Somehow I managed to call the college doctor, who referred me to a rheumatologist and the diagnosis was made – an auto immune disorder which had attacked my muscles and skin. There I was in my early twenties, pumped up with steroids and other immunosuppressants; and for over a decade the illness kept showing its ugly face, often resulting in many hospital trips and admissions.
Fast forward to today, I have two beautiful daughters (my doctors never thought I could have babies as my muscles were too weak, but I delivered naturally!). I teach yoga and I am as physically fit as I can be, managing children, school trips, a household, a husband and a business!
So what happened? What changed in me in the last few years that gave me the strength?
I discovered the immense strength to heal though Yoga Therapy.
Yoga therapy is not just a physical system but a much wider system that looks at body at the physical, breath, mental, and emotional levels within, and which includes patterns, impressions and past experiences. A physical disease can have a physical cause but in many cases the cause might be at a different level of our psyche. Yoga helps us to locate that cause through self-reflective practices.
So how does it happen?
When care begins, healing begins. We humans respond to care. When we feel cared for, the body starts to relax and space is created. This is called care response and occurs the moment we start to take care of our-selves. Healing begins when we are 100% active in our own healing. You need to attend yoga classes not just for anyone else but for yourselves. And to actually experience any difference, you need to be actually ‘doing it’. Yoga therapy provides us with the tools to become self-empowered.
When I discovered yoga, I discovered myself. I discovered the starting point of my illness. I started to unravel myself layer by layer and believe-you me, it was a scary process because not everything I discovered about myself was something I thought I wanted to know. I started to realise that the cause of my illness was the stress my system was under because I was being pulled from many different areas which took me away from my core and created conflict within causing the immune system to attack my body especially my muscles and skin. But, my yoga practice created a strength within me to accept my true nature and the conflict that was going on and bring me back to my centre.I started to know my heart and I started to change. There is a long way and more self-discovery to be made but I am happy that the process has begun.
And when that ugly head of the illness shows up, I just tell it to “SHUT UP”!
If you or someone you know is suffering with a chronic illness and would like to explore treatment options, please get in touch with me. I’d be more than happy to discuss how I may be able to help life feel more comfortable. You can email me on firstname.lastname@example.org.
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