Sports or anything athletic was never my thing. Growing up in East Texas means that you have to get use to the hot and humid summers and trust me, 100 degree days are more common than you think! It is definitely not the most workout friendly environment and I could never motivate myself to follow any fitness routine. But as they say, never say never 🙂
Soon I’ll be a certified yoga instructor and already have over 5000 followers on Instagram for which I am thankful! My yoga journey had started years ago, when my body and mind were struggling with constant pain and mental fog.
“Pain doesn’t just show up in our lives for no reason. It’s a sign that something in our lives needs to be changed.”
Fighting the mental fog
At around twenty years of age, I started having neck pains. I was diagnosed for mono or mononucleosis, a medical condition that can last for few weeks or even few months; however, in my case which was below normal fitness level, it lasted for over eight months. The virus caused severe tiredness, unease, muscle pain and aches and stole every bit of my muscle mass. By the end of it my neck was in such a bad state that I couldn’t even lift my head off the pillow. Waking up with neck pain in the mornings after a troubled night sleep is a sure way to ruin your entire day. It is not how I wanted my morning to be and finally decided to see a doctor.
“Having a rough morning? Place your hand over your heart. Feel that? That’s called purpose. You’re alive for a reason. Don’t give up.”
After several weeks of appointments and scans it was determined that I have a multitude of issue with my cervical spine. For starters, I was born with a neck column that gets smaller as it reaches the base of my neck. This poor design flaw in my bone structure led to arthritis, improper curving of spine (lordosis) and degenerative disk disease which caused neck and lower back pain. I was prescribed painkillers and was told to see a chiropractor at least twice a week for the rest of my life! There were no ifs and buts. I was given no other option! The thought of visiting a chiropractor two days a week for the rest of my life added to my mental agony. And the pills wreaked havoc on my mood. But since I was given no other alternative … I continued with doctor’s advice for about two months and noticed that nothing was getting better. My pain was still there and the mental fog induced by medications was becoming unbearable.
“These mountains that you are carrying, you were only suppose to climb.” Najwa Zebian
Just going with the flow
I was not physically or mentally prepared to take up yoga as a therapeutic remedy. I stumbled upon yoga by accident … on Instagram! I had just started my new account on Instagram, mainly to keep myself distracted with my passion of photography. There were not as many yogis on Instagram then but the few like Laura Sykora were enough to spark my interest in yoga. The photography was beautiful … it was picture-perfect and the messages the yogis shared were refreshing and I thought to myself ‘I’d love to be able to do that and stay calm and smile at the same time! But I never will. Not with the complicated neck and back condition.’
“When the solution is simple, God is answering.” Albert Einstein
All I had to do was try. So I went ahead and downloaded a yoga app and gave it a go. It kicked my butt. I was embarrassed at how out of shape I had become. But instead of feeling depressed and awkward, I felt good on the inside. Something about the flow made me want to come back, try again and figure a way out to do better.
“Falling out of a posture means you are human. Getting back into the posture means you are a yogi.” Bikram Choudhury
It may sound crazy but it really did take me just one class to see the difference. Something had changed overnight. The next morning I could lift my head off the pillow with little effort and this was such a relief! This was enough for me to realise that I had found myself an alternate solution. The same week I cancelled my chiropractor appointments. Within the next week, I was done with my painkillers. With regular practice, I could feel my neck muscles get stronger and the discomfort was diminishing by the day. And just like that … four years went by and today I am more active than I have ever been. I have also branched out to aerial hoop and skills and even poll classes. Yoga gave me back my life and made me appreciate and accept my body and showed me what it is capable of. It showed me that no diagnosis can stop me from living the life I desire. All I have to do is show up.
Hard work and daily commitment to practice has certainly helped me master the poses that I once thought were impossible. But that’s not my goal for TTC. I want to complete my teacher training mainly because I want to spread the goodness to all those seeking a better option than drugs and a sedentary lifestyle.
“There is nothing to win in Yoga. You just do what you can do, one day to the next.” – Adam Levine.
Instagram Yogi: @themooserocket