You Said: Reader Comments on Yoga as Healing
I have no idea if I'm doing all the asanas correctly or not but what I feel moving through my body gives me the confidence to know that yoga is giving me the balance and harmony that my body so badly needs .. it is the expression of life that I have been looking for.
My name is Robert Ford and I live in Ridgway Colorado. Yoga has made a big difference in my life. I began climbing rocks and ice about 3 years ago when my son, who was 13 at the time, began climbing with the first climbing team sponsored by a youth program in the area. I started going to his practices and all of the competitions and just naturally began climbing at the end of the sessions. Someone suggested yoga as a means to increase flexibility and strength. I went to the library and checked out several books before finding the one that made the most amount of sense to me--Ashtanga Yoga, by David Swenson. I brought to my practice a certain amount of injury. I had a shoulder problem from playing baseball in high school (rotator cuff injury) that was very painful in the wrong position and manifested itself in a number of the asanas that I was working with. I also lived with a painful right knee due to years of running 5K and 10K foot races with my sons. I gently, and sometimes painfully, worked in to these asana anyway. 2 years later I am happy to say that most of the pain is gone and the range of motion has been restored to about 98% of normal for me. Yoga has also played a huge role in getting me to meditate and slow down in my life. I began meditating about 5 months ago on the advice of an article that I read in the Yoga Journal e-mails that I signed up for. Last weekend I attended a meditation retreat for 3 days with a Tibetan Lama that has really had a huge impact on my life. I have noticed that I remain much more calm in any situation now, I have much more patience and tolerance of others and myself, and I have found genuine compassion, love and kindness within myself. I simply make the time every morning for meditation and yoga before I eat breakfast, and have generated the discipline to it almost every day, and my life has changed so much--for the better. I can truly say that yoga has healed my body, has unified my mind with my body, and has opened the door to a meditation practice that has had a profound impact on my mind. Thanks to Yoga Journal for keeping us all informed and motivated.
My first experience with yoga was in a beginners class that I went to with a friend of mine. It was very scary because I didn't a thing about yoga, but as it turned out many people there were in the same boat as I was. I had a great time and from there I attended weekly classes at my yoga instructors organic farm in Nova Scotia. I went into the classes with high blood pressure, lower back pain, and trouble sleeping. After a year of attending classes my pain is gone, the high blood pressure is back to normal.
The thing I love most about yoga is how unique it can daily be, in intensity and vigorousness. I have used the gentle cat/dog, child's pose and forward bend to ease back pain and stiffness. I even use a modified cat/dog on long trips to stave off back stiffness. I love the more restorative poses and gentle stretching, together with some incense and candle light, to sooth my soul when I'm just, plain tired with life. I also love working up a sweat with some continuous sun salutes when I'm feeling energetic. The possibilities are endless--ain't it great!