Being diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis at the age of 36 felt like a life sentence. My life was turned upside down. My body no longer felt like it was my own. Movement and activity were a struggle and fatigue was the ruler of my domain.
It was in this moment that I knew something had to give or change or my future was bleak. I found a doctor I could trust and began looking for answers for me. I took the medication and I also dove deeper into understanding my own illness. It was present for a reason and ultimately I came to understand it was a message for how I was living my life.
I had practiced yoga for years before my diagnosis. My practice was one of a physical nature. How hard could I push myself, how many chaturunga’s could I accomplish. There was no connection to mind and body it was body all the way. After my diagnosis there was no way I could do yoga the way I knew yoga. I now needed yoga for arthritis and healing. That seemed impossible. Then one day I was outside the studio and the instructor was talking to me and she reminded me if all I did was breath in the class I was practicing yoga. I entered the class and have never turned back. I found yoga for recovery. Shavasana and pranayama became by best friends.
I began to practice yoga for my arthritis. My practice changed and began to include meditation, mindful movements and being aware of my body during these movements.
On the road to recovery I found a restorative yoga. The practice of restorative yoga with props brought me deeper in to the connection to my body, my emotions and my spirit. I began to release old patterns, old emotions, and I began to transform my life.
My yoga for arthritis was the quieter practices. This provided me with the ability to calm my nervous system. I was able to spend more time in my parasympathetic nervous system (rest & digest) in order to allow my body, mind and emotions to heal. Living in my sympathetic nervous system(freeze, fight or flight) for so many years brought about dis-ease in all parts of my body, mind and spirt.
As my knowledge grew and my health began to return my curiosity was piqued. I needed to learn more about yoga and landed in my 200hr Yoga Teacher Training. The moment I was in this training I knew this was a gift I was meant to share. I have not stopped. I am a lifelong learner of yoga. There are so many facets of yoga that are greater than the poses and my desire to share has only grown.
I know the diagnosis of arthritis can feel like the end of the world. I know the fatigue is a monster that takes away your ability to do the simplest of tasks. Yoga for my arthritis has provided me with a gift of knowing all of this, accepting it and connecting to my body and allowing it to restore and heal.
Finding comfort in the quiet and beginning to allow the body to heal is vital to recovery. Restorative yoga for arthritis is a great place to start. At times we get frustrated with our bodies, blame our bodies and become impatient and may even push our bodies too hard or not enough. Our bodies love us and want us to live in optimal health it is about finding what that looks like for you. I want to guide people into the exploration of what their own yoga practice for arthritis may look like. It will be different than mine or any other students.
Each of us are unique individuals and even though we may have the same diagnosis it does not mean all things work equally for everyone. My intention is share ideas and new ways to try things and if they do not work try some more.
If you are interested in starting this journey I have a created this workbook that will help you start in small ways to begin finding ways to connect and restore.
Click here to sign up for my newsletter and receive the free workbook with 3 ideas to connect & restore https://mailchi.mp/c51c5db3c428/free-e-book
For me starting with small steps began to create bigger chance.
I would love to hear from you.
Much love and peace,