If it weren’t for yoga, I would never have re-learned to enjoy my body.
As a child and teen, I was heavily involved in physical activity, but in my post-secondary years I succumbed to a sedentary lifestyle. The workload of university was overwhelming, but my total lack of movement or exercise occured, in large part, because of a string of traumas. These events left me feeling disconnected from my body, and more often than not, fearful and self-loathing.
Even though I knew it would help me, I resisted all physical activity. Sports were no longer any fun, and going the gym to “work out” seemed not only boring, but overly aspirational. Moving my body felt difficult, pointless, and unpleasant. Any movement or exertion which made me aware of my body, brought with it reminders of my trauma, and the pain that still lived within me.
In my final year of university, a friend convinced me to try a yoga class in the campus athletic centre. I was seduced by the mystery around yoga, and since it was the adventurous thing to do, I decided to join her. I still remember how the instructor led us through a soft and slow-paced class with careful instruction and plenty of room to be a beginner. I’ll admit it: I was hooked.
Glen Campbell wrote this letter to us about how yoga has changed his life. He feels that yoga has played a large part in lowering his blood pressure and allowing his body to do a “natural bypass” to assist a blocked coronary artery. It has also helped him relate more effectively with his teenage son, and enjoy running his company. We are so happy that Glen stepped out of his comfort zone to join us at the studio, and we are so happy to see him so regularly in class!
It was January of 2014 when I got hit with some bad news regarding my health. I had the same health issue five years earlier and it had returned. It was my heart again! I had been doing all the right things (diet, weight loss, don’t smoke, reducing stress and exercising) but my body rejected the stents that were put in my right coronary artery. It was 100% blocked again! My doctor told me nothing can be done surgically as it’s a difficult repair. Drugs were my only option and to just hope for the best. Every day I woke up and wondered if this would be the day I would have a heart attack. I could get through my day but if I did a little more than moderate cardio I could feel the pain in my chest. It was hard to plan for the future when I didn’t know if I was going to make it through the day. Not a great way to live. It was the darkest time of my life.