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You Said: Reader Comments on Yoga as Healing

We asked you to share your experience of using yoga for healing or practicing with a specific health condition. Your responses were moving and overwhelming. Here are some of them.

--Cara in MS

I am now a Kripalu Yoga Teacher. But four years ago, I was nearly non-functioning, with Rhumatoid Arthritis and Fibromyalgia. Yoga has truly changed my life! I stumbled into a yoga class on Sundays at my local gym and I was hooked. Slowly, I regained the body awareness that I hadn't realized was diminished. Combining yoga asana and herbal supplements my energy returned. The yogic path has led me to trust myself, I wasn't happy with the medicine the medical professionals wanted me to take. This year I underwent Apitherapy for the Rhumatoid Arthritis, and today my RA blood levels are back in the normal range. Thanks to the yogic path. Today I am symptom free!
--Melisa Lindsay,
Cincinnati

I decided to get back my figure and flexibility back through yoga after me daughter was born in September 2001. I have been practicing for about a year now and I am truly grateful to have found it. I am forever learning new poses and ways it enhances my body and mind. Even my daughter at the age of 16 months can do about 3 poses and tries new ones when she watches me practice. Thank you for the opportunity to share.
--Amanda Dean,
Miami, FL

I am a cancer survivor; I've practiced yoga for 7 years. If it were not for yoga and meditation I do not think I would be where I am today.

Trust in yourself and the Divine, have faith in yourself and others, love yourself and your kula, be grateful to be alive and you will find inner peace thru the practice of yoga.
--Amina Ann Rosen

Initially, I took a yoga class in college. At that time, yoga was not really popular. After the class ended, I started practicing yoga at the Ananda Yoga Center in Sacramento. I attended a workshop and found the information very interesting. I slowly started to use the yoga principles in my life. I had became a vegetarian. Next, I moved to San Francisco and I thought I had found heaven. San Francisco had many centers to practice yoga and many people practice the vegetarian lifestyle. I felt I was in the direction to become a "good" yogi.

Then I took a wrong turn. My boyfriend moved in and he ate meat and eventually I started to eat meat again. I continued to practice yoga weekly at the gym. My yoga instructor at the gym was very good. Her name was Juliet Lee. Her technique was gentle. However, I started going to another instructor because my work schedule changed. This instructor was more concerned about the physical aspect of yoga instead of the mental or spiritual aspect. Also, this was around the time yoga started to become mainstream. I ended up practicing yoga to lose weight, to gain strength, or to reduce back pain. I became more concerned about the destination than the journey. As a result, my yoga as well as my personal life took a negative direction. My boyfriend left me and I had a mental breakdown. All this was happening in spite of all what our society views as material and social gains I was happening in my life.

About seven months ago, I went to a retreat at the Expanding Light Center. When I first arrived at the retreat, I was really irritated because we weren't practicing what I felt was "challenging" poses. I thought I would learn a better way to do a headstand or any pose I was having difficulty with. At the retreat, we meditated and did primarily restorative poses. I realized later this was exactly what I needed. Yoga is not for exercise or some miracle cure; although these are great benefits. Yoga is about finding the very best that is in you personally. I feel yoga is a chance to connect with God and myself. I still use my DVDs that offer all the benefits I described in the other paragraph. However, I use these videos to prepare me for meditation and I don't view these videos as some sort of "exercise". If I want to exercise I'll pop in an aerobics video, cycle, or take a walk. I want to give yoga my undivided attention and love. After all, the journey is truly the destination.

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Reader Comments

Janet

It's the style and philosophy I was looking for.

Joe

The atmosphere at <a href="http://www.newlife.mu">yoga</a> classes is very warm and comfortable and leaves you rejuvenated yet peaceful at the finish. The teaching is expert-very gentle and knowledgeable, and there is always laughter and camaraderie."

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