It took me until my forties to accept that exercise should be part of every day. I had always been thin without working too hard. I even returned to a size zero in my mid-thirties after having two kids. Then at age thirty-seven, I had two strokes – VADs (vertebral artery dissections). I wrote about my experience here “You Aren’t Too Young to Have a Stroke”. During my recovery I stopped exercising and gained over 60% of my body weight. I had become medically obese and was too heavy to even practice yoga. In May of 2015 I saw a very unflattering photo of myself and decided it was time to get back on track.
I tried to make exercise and healthy eating a habit and lost 20 pounds slowly over two years, but that was still less than half what I had gained. The final hurdle on my track toward success was chronic pain. I have sacroiliitis (arthritis and inflammation in my sacroiliac joints), several issues with my spine, including scoliosis and cervical spinal stenosis, and finally the ignominious fibromyalgia. I see a pain specialist every month, take opioids daily, and let these conditions be an excuse for not reaching my goals.
The year 2017 brought some major motivation for me. After reconnecting with my high school sweetheart in 2011 and blending our families together, I finally married the love of my life on June 17th, 2017. To get in shape for our wedding I started doing yoga and walking 8 miles a day. I lost 20 more pounds. Unfortunately, all that walking was a major aggravation to my sacroiliitis and I had to stop. Those 20 pounds came right back. So this Fall I made a commitment to continue practicing yoga daily and follow the Harvard Food Plate for healthy eating. I own a few DVDs and subscribe to Gaia On Demand for variety in my practice.
Once I stopped walking those 8 miles a day I was able to notice that my yoga practice reduced the sacroiliac pain. I also noticed it helped me on a deeper level as if my inner yogi had finally awakened. I joined a gym that offered daily classes and what happened next altered my entire perspective and path in life. During my first class, the instructor shared that she had just finished her yoga teacher training certification. The gears in my brain began to spin. At 42 years old I finally realized what I wanted to be when I grew up!
I spent September and October searching the internet for information on teacher training. Tomorrow I will attend a 200hr YogaSpirit Teacher Training Info Session at Om Yoga Northwest, 10 minutes from my home. The YogaSpirit focus on Ayurveda and beginning coursework to become a yoga therapist is exactly the direction I want to take. My goal is to complete the 1000hr Yoga Therapy Teacher training so I can help others with chronic pain find relief as well as improve their quality of life on all levels through yoga.
I will continue this story on my blog as it unfolds. Do you know any great teachers in Seattle and North Puget Sound? Please share below!
Teacher Resume | Bio