There's a reason Greg calls me, Mule. Oh, sure. I can lift, tote, and work all day without a break. But I'm also as stubborn as that proverbial beast of burden.
Two months ago, I would've bet cash money that yoga would be another failed attempt to relieve the pain in my knee and back. I was so wrong.
Yoga is not a miracle cure. It didn't give me instant mobility or relief, but I noticed improvement within two sessions. By the end of the week, I was sleeping all night--something I've not been able to do in FIVE years. My knee is also stronger and doesn't fatigue as quickly. It's still grinding bone on bone, but the muscles have grown so strong, they support the joint almost effortlessly.
I go 5-6 days a week. Only once did I miss a week when we had several catastrophes on the home front that required my attention.
I am a terrible student. That's no exaggeration. I really am bad. This is not for lack of trying, but because my brain is wired backward when it comes to body mechanics and I have no balance whatsoever.
I persevere because I've seen such dramatic improvement that drugs, surgeries, or therapy have not given me. Even when I don't want to go, I know it'll make me feel better if I do.
Despite how it looks, yoga is very difficult to do well. And as soon as you master one posture, there's always an advanced posture that will put that ego on the curb.
Probably the thing I like best about yoga is that for at least one hour, it's all about me. It's about my body and how far I want to push it. For sixty whole minutes I am the only person that matters. It wasn't until I started training that I realized how far down on the list I had put myself.
That's sad. We're always doing for others. How often do we think of ourselves first?
Try yoga if:
• You have injuries. There are no jarring moves. Every posture is done slowly and with control. You go as far as you feel you are able. No one judges you.
• You need alone time. Even though it's a group class, you really are alone with your thoughts and focus. In the beginning I used to notice how everyone else was doing. Now they all disappear when I concentrate on myself.
• You're not afraid to work hard. Yoga is a journey. Master one posture and there'll always be something new to challenge you. Me, I'd be happy if I can balance on one foot without falling over.
• You're under stress. Believe this from a dyed-in-the-wool, Type A personality. No matter how much stress I'm under, it literally dissolves when I spend an hour in practice.
Yoga has improved my posture, breathing, pain, and stress level. Oh, and I'm losing weight too.
So that's my testimony. Many of you have been with me through countless surgeries and physical therapies, but this is the only thing that truly helped. I cannot recommend it highly enough. It's not for everyone, but give it a full week of practice before you make a decision.
It changed my life.
What form of exercise do you like to do? How long have you been doing it?