You Said: Reader Comments on Yoga as Healing
I have been doing yoga for five months, and during that time, not only have I found a form of exercise I absolutely adore, I have unlocked long-buried emotions that allowed my self-esteem to bloom, my confidence to strengthen, and best of all, the crippling contempt toward my body has diminished to the point where I can look in a mirror and find what's right with my body.
I still have work to do, but yoga is definitely helping me get the job done with compassion and the pure joy of movement.
Recently I went through a bad breakup. It turned out that my ex-boyfriend was married. I was so frustrated and angry with myself for not being aware of it, for not seeing it. I dove into my yoga practice even more and day by day. I've released more of the anger inside me and have increased my awareness of all things. Yoga has helped me regain my sense of self and awakened peace and happiness in my heart. I'm thankful I found yoga because it has truly changed who I am.
My husband signed us up for our first yoga class because I have suffered for years with neck and shoulder pain from stress-related muscle contraction. I had tried analgesics, massage, traction, heat, cold, ultrasound, inversion table, and tears to deal with my pain. I knew at my very first yoga class that it was for me. I have been practicing daily now for 9 years and am almost always pain-free. I practice approximately 30 minutes per day. I plan to practice every day for the rest of my life.
When I was twenty-one years old I bent over to pick up a heavy box, on my way back upright I felt a twinge in my lower back that left me in serious pain. I was in bed for days I couldn't even go to the bathroom without crawling or getting some assistance. After a week or so I was back to normal with all thoughts of lower back pain behind me. Six months later I aggravated it again doing push ups! It seemed like every six months or so it would flare up. Then at the age of thirty five I couldn't take it anymore and went to the doctor. They took an x-ray of my back and found that my spine was fine! I was diagnosed with a very weak lower back or pinched nerve. The only thing the doctor gave me was some muscle relaxors. About that time my wife started taking yoga and was very excited about it. She asked if I would be interested in trying it. I was very skeptical but was willing to see if it was for me. The first class was very painful for my back but I fought through it! I was really sore the next day. I noticed that my back felt much better then it had in years a few days later so I went back again! Now I go three times a week and practice at home and I can proudly say that my back has been 90% better then it was before, I have been doing yoga for almost a year now! I had quit Karate when I was twenty one because of my lower back, not I'm back in karate with a vengeance at thirty five, and I'm going for my black belt in American Karate! I know yoga is awesome, nothing worked for me, I was doomed with a lower back that hampered me from doing anything remotely physical! Now I'm jumping around like an eighteen year old! Yoga for me has been a miracle.