3 Ways Yoga Changed My Life
We constantly hear about the health benefits of yoga, but generalities quickly become tangible when a personal story is told. I’d like to share one such story with you today: the story of how yoga changed my life.
I began practicing over four years ago. It started as a New Year’s resolution, and ended as one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself. I could write a report on all the things that yoga has brought to my life, but in the interest of time and space I’ll focus on just three things:
1. Yoga eased the near constant pain in my neck.
When I was in 7th grade I was involved in a serious school bus accident. The accident left me with permanent bone damage and a pinched nerve in my neck. Since the injury occurred, I tried chiropractic care, physical therapy, medicine, and anything else I could think of to ease the pain. But nothing worked – until I began practicing yoga.
Gradually over time, the pain in my neck eased. Today, I’ve found that if I skip a few yoga practice sessions, the pain slowly begins to return. But as soon as I get back on the mat, I can feel the difference.
2. Yoga helped me deal with stress.
I’ve always been wound a little tight. But I never realized how much it affected my body and mind until the stress receded and I could feel a difference. As the saying goes: “sometimes we don’t know what we have until it’s gone.”
After I began practicing yoga, I found a sense of inner calmness and peace that I had never experienced before.
Physically, my headaches lessened, I slept better and I felt much less anxiety in my daily life.
Mentally, my mind didn’t race quite as fast, decisions were easier to make, and I was more apt to stop, notice and enjoy the beauty all around me. In this way yoga has helped me to replace stress with a new kind of calm awareness.
3. Yoga taught me to be patient.
I’ve never been very “sporty.” I joined track in high school but dropped out because I could barely even finish a race. I participated in soccer during middle school, but I spent most of the time on the bench.
At first I was discouraged, but I kept at it and stayed patient with my body. I accepted my own physical limitations and allowed myself to simply enjoy each pose exactly as I could perform it at the present time. Gradually, over years, my body became stronger and more flexible. My sense of balance improved and I was able to hold poses I once thought impossible.
It took me nearly four years of consistent practice to be able to perform full Downward Dog. This little victory was the result of a lot of time and patience.
But in the end I learned a little something extra: having patience is the ability to let go of a desire to get to the end result. Rather than feeling this desire, having patience allows you to enjoy the present moment and not concern yourself with the future.
Yoga is incredible for keeping your body & mind healthy. Ready to learn about how the power of food can also create a sound body & mind? Register now for our FREE Functional Nutrition Webinar with Kelly LeVeque.