You Said: Reader Comments on Yoga as Healing--Nicola Pauwels, RMT,
London, Ontario, Canada
I was initially exposed to yoga as a child. My aunt was and at 82 is still a dance teacher and got into doing and teaching yoga back in the l960s. So as her devotee I followed along. As I got older I got more into dance. Then I had kids and worked and got into working out. For years, I was reading your magazine, knowing that eventually I would return to yoga. Finally about 2 and half years ago, I attended a class with a friend. I loved the teacher and her gentle yet challenging style. Around the same time, my mother's lymphoma, which she had beaten twice, returned with a vengeance and we were told she had 4 weeks to live. I was very distraught. Throughout this period, I continued to attend the class. My mother did pass away within the month and it was and still is hard for me to deal with (that was in July 2001). Grieving for my mother has been very difficult and I am convinced that practicing yoga has allowed me to go through this with more calm and peacefulness. It does not make it easier but somehow has allowed me to ride the waves of emotion with more inner stability.
--Vicki Rosner Stein,
I suffered from migraines for fifteen years and had tried absolutely everything from chiropractic work, cranial sacral, hormone therapy, herbs, to massive doses of whatever my Neurologist prescribed for me including pills, nasal sprays and shots. I even tried botox without any affect. One year ago I started taking yoga twice a week to help with lower back problems. Not only did the yoga help with my back condition, my migraines became noticeably less severe after a few months, and the last three months I have had no trace of a migraine. I believe the different types of breathing along with the asanas did the trick. I am forever grateful to this discipline. Because of it. my life is so much better on so many levels.
I started my yoga practice three years ago. I am now 51 years old. When I was 16 I was in a near fatal accident and broke my neck. I was very lucky and had no paralysis but I was always very careful to protect my neck and avoided strenuous activity. After I turned 48 I began to experience numbness in my upper body and weakness in my arms. My doctor advised physical therapy and possible surgery. I was introduced to Vivian Curry a yoga teacher. She was a very patient and intelligent instructor. After three years of Vivian's classes I no longer feel the numbness or weakness. In fact I have never felt stronger. My yoga practice has given me back my strength, balance and confidence in my body.
I discovered yoga about 1 1/2 years ago. I have had MS since 1990. I am 44 years old.
Without yoga, I don't know where I'd be right now --not in a good place, I'm sure. I am living a prescription-free life. Becoming aware of my body through yoga has also helped in my food choices. I am eating "cleaner" than I've ever eaten before and so are my hubby and son.
Yoga has indeed changed my life.
I am currently recovering from an eating disorder. Low self-esteem, low confidence and a crippling contempt for the body are among the issues I have dealt with.