In Part One I shared about my depression. I was so proud of myself that I had mastered it. I totally thought I had it all together. I figured out how to heal naturally, without drugs anymore. Of course we all know what happens when we think we have it all figured out….. the Universe has other plans. Obviously there were some more lessons I needed to learn.
Once I began to feel so much better, I decided to take up tennis. Now, one thing you need to know about me, was that I was a competitive swimmer my whole life. Impact sports were never my thing. I couldn’t run to save my life. I never played any ball sports and I really didn’t walk or hike at this time in my life. But I was competitive! I was so hooked on tennis that I played 7 days a week. If I couldn’t find someone to hit with, I would rent the ball machine. As I look back now I can see that I was so frustrated and unhappy and tennis was my outlet. I used the sport to take out my frustrations and avoid really looking at my life. Denial was strong. And the impact did me in.
One day I was cleaning around the house. My daughters were about 9 and 5 at the time. I bent down to pick something up and the next thing I knew I was on the ground in agonizing pain. My low back was screaming at me. It took me several minutes to get up and lots of deep breathing. In my usual way at the time, I figured what ever it was would just go away on its own. I was wrong.
For several months I suffered, thinking it would eventually just stop hurting. I couldn’t sit for long periods of time. I had to give up tennis. I couldn’t sleep well for more than an hour at a time without waking up in pain. My husband at the time decided that maybe a new bed would solve it. So we went and bought some $5000 fancy bed of some sort. It didn’t help. It wasn’t until my sister mentioned I try Yoga that I found some relief.
I will be honest and say that I absolutely hated Yoga when I began. I would go to gentle classes several days a week and would only go back because I noticed my pain diminished significantly for the next few days. Savasana was the worst though. I hated being still! Why on earth were we lying there for 10 minutes doing nothing? The stillness was making me take an honest look at my life and I didn’t want to do that at all.
I think I had been going to classes for about 3-4 months when I decided to finally go and have an MRI. I was definitely better but the pain wasn’t totally gone. When the physician looked at my pictures he first recommended a steroid shot. He said he could only do so many and they don’t always work. If they do, it’s temporary. If things don’t improve I may be looking at surgery down the road.
Here I was again, deciding whether to go with the medical system or see if I could manage this on my own.
He asked what I was doing to help with the pain because he couldn’t believe that I could bend down and touch my toes by the images he was looking at. When I told him yoga, he said keep it up as it was obviously helping. That wasn’t exactly what I wanted to hear but I stayed with it.
About 6 months into classes there was one of those lightbulb moments. Something within me began to realize that I was there for a far greater reason than just my back. Now I began to take an interest in this yoga thing beyond the poses. I began to take classes with other teachers, even traveled a few places to study. It was in these workshops that I was introduced to the bigger picture of Yoga and all that it has to offer and I was hooked.
I knew the next step was to dive into a teacher training. It was never my intention to teach. It was for my personal growth only, which I recommend to anyone. My training was through YogaMotion, a fabulously well rounded teacher training that has only improved since I went through the program over 16 years ago. Not only did I learn a lot about the other layers of Yoga but I learned a lot about myself. I was managing my back pain as naturally as I was my depression. I gained so much confidence in who I was. And of course I began teaching. Yoga became such a passion I had to share it. It truly changed my life.
Once again, I thought I was good to go but I was wrong. The reason for my deep unhappiness began to surface as I began to get really honest with myself. I was to meet another challenge but I will share that
in Part Three next week.