Flexibility, strength, quieting of the mind…I expected to eventually discover these with a regular yoga practice, if my mentors and yoga-adoring friends were to be believed. It didn’t take long, though, for me to notice some pretty immediate changes in my day-to-day life. Unexpected things I could attribute directly to yoga.
- I realized how much pain I had been in. During a recent clean-and-purge session at home, I found wrist braces, battery-powered palpating neck pads, and plug-in massagers. A giant yoga ball sat in the corner of my bedroom. My medicine drawer held muscle relaxers and Tylenol. All of which have rarely or not been used since I began practicing about four years ago.
- I kind of miss my chiropractor. He’s actually the one who recommended yoga for my back, neck, shoulder, and wrist issues. I listened, and now I haven’t seen him in almost three years. Sorry, but thank you Dr. Tom. I might need to go have an adjustment “just because” for once instead of due to a flare up.
- I sleep like a normal person. Menopause had me up every 1 1/2-2 hours and unable to fall back to sleep quickly, which meant not much rest and a cranky, frustrated me. Savasana actually trained me to relax, and with less body pain, I can get comfortable more easily. Bye bye, sleeping pills.
- I can wash my own back in the shower. I still enjoy my loofah with its wooden handle, but it’s pretty cool to be able to apply soap between my shoulder blades if I wish. Or scratch that itchy spot.
- My kids like me more. Yoga has made me look at things differently, and I’m less inclined to be stubborn just for the sake of it. My teenage girls have said I’m more open-minded, calmer, and easier to talk to. My 17 year old has even started meditating on her own and our relationship is smoother than it’s been in years.
- My favorite activities are even more fun. I went snowboarding for the first time in a few years and had a much easier time keeping up with my husband than before yoga, thanks to better balance, flexibility, and coordination. I’m more in tune with nature during hikes. My dance classes are enhanced from being in better shape, too.
- I started a new career and found a whole new community. Having been a dance instructor for 10 years, becoming a yoga instructor was a natural progression along my career path in body movement. A newfound confidence led to my founding Downward Dog Yoga & Wellness Studio and being a part of creating a wellness community that extends past our four walls. Probably the best and most unexpected gift of all.
By Heidi Drake; All Rights Reserved @2020