For the last 10+ years, I have been dealing with wide-spread pain throughout my body – a.k.a fibromyalgia. I tried everything to find some peace within the constant onslaught my confused nerves were bombarding me with. Massage therapy, physical therapy and chiropractic care were constants on my to-do list. Acupuncture, essential oils, and homeopathy – you name it – I had a long list of tried, but sadly not true, alternative methods of healing. I was frustrated and fed up, tired of doctor’s appointments and pills and no relief. What else could I try?
I’ve had a on and off again relationship with yoga for about as many years. I don’t think I ever really stuck with it consistently enough to really notice it’s full effects. I’d practice once or twice a week here and there, more as a hobby than anything else. Even after I had completed my yoga teacher training, I still wasn’t practicing as much as my soul (and body) really craved.
In January, as part of my New Year’s resolution, I decided that I was going to give it my all to start a steady home practice. Little did I know what the choice of making this commitment would bring. Towards the end of that month, I received news that shattered my whole entire world. My beloved Grammy had passed away unexpectedly. I could barely function. I had no idea how I was going to make it through my days or focus on anything else but the eruptions of heartbreak and tears that poured from my body, unannounced and uninhibited. Somehow, through a daze of emotions, my feet found their way to my sticky green mat and I began to move.
Every morning, slowly but surely I would find my way back. Some days it was just for 5 minutes, some days it was for an hour, but no matter what the time, I never missed a day – and I finally started to notice a change. I noticed that even though there was still pain, it was more manageable, there was more fluidity. My soul had found a certain peace and I was able to ride the waves of flare-ups better instead of getting caught in the rip-tide. I didn’t feel like a prisoner in my own body anymore.
I’ll be honest, there are some days I’m lazy and skip my practice. I really feel a difference – things feel creakier, sharper and more agonizing, a lot less manageable. I’ve learned what types of yoga feel best to me, like gentle flows and yin yoga. I’ve learned what postures help me to feel strong and flexible, like downward facing dog and pigeon. Above all, I’ve learned that it’s not worth missing a single day, even if I only get on the mat for five minute. Let your feet touch that sticky mat. Let your inhale linger just a beat or two more. Let your shoulders melt as you exhale. Let each moment of breath go.
Close your eyes. Sink into your body. Now. Move.