“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger…….The harder you fight for something the more it will mean to you….Fake it till you make it…” These are phrases that are said to you when you’re going through a rough time. It could be from the loss of your dream job, a long term relationship ending, getting into an argument with a loved one, being sick, or any other reason you can think of. Personally I hear this a lot (and even more in the past few months). And when people say this to you all you can think about is, “Why the hell is this happening in the first place? I don’t deserve any of this! I don’t understand…..” People go through a grieving process during these specific hard, rough and bad times. It’s how human beings cope with their own lives and the people in their live….and those certain situations. Even though I am only 22 I personally feel like I am 32 half of the time. For those who do not know….I have a few medical issues I deal with on a daily basis. I have Hashimoto’s Disease, Narcolepsy, and a very severe Vitamin D Deficiency. Don’t worry I will briefly explain all of them. Hashimoto’s Disease is an auto immune disease that breaks down and kills the thyroid gland. There is no cure for it and it could attack other parts of the body as well. To help manage the disease I decided to have my thyroid removed in December of 2013. Narcolepsy, well the form of it I have, is essentially the connections in my brain are slowed down due to extra fluid around my brain. So, this also causes me to become extremely tired during the day..and there is no cure for this either. Last, but not least, my body uses so much energy throughout the day…resulting in my very severe vitamin d deficiency. Which is also incurable. So dealing with all of these medical wonderful issues….life can be difficult some days. Having my thyroid removed has helped a lot. Before surgery I couldn’t breath well, due to my thyroid pressing against my vocal chords because it was so big. And not being able to breath properly meant my muscles were not getting enough oxygen to them, causing me to not walk as well. The vitamin d deficiency also caused a lot of muscle weakness and having a bum thyroid caused my tiredness from the narcolepsy to turn into exhaustion. Having these medical issues caused me to put on almost 70 pounds. So yes, to answer your question I am plus size…due to a few medical conditions. Being a woman in her early 20’s with 3 incurable medication issues/diseases, not being able to control her weight, walking like someone in their 70’s-80’s, having her hair fall out (due to the Hashimoto’s Disease), and looking stoned all the time (due to being tired…I have never taken any drugs) was very difficult. I felt like no one understood. I had a friend at the time say I just need to get over it. And really, a lot of people only paid attention to how I looked….and when I told them I had a thyroid disease their immediate reaction was, “Oh, ok now I understand….” Yes, it was hurtful….Yes, it’s frustrating….No, you can’t change how people act, but you can change their perspective for the future…..which I have been trying to do. So, how does this relate to yoga? Why, did I bring this up? Easily…this relates to yoga easily. I hear all the time from my students, “My doctor told me to try yoga…they said it would be a low impact exercise that I could do.” Doctor’s know more than I do about medical issues, but I know more about yoga than they do. Not all yoga styles are accessible for everyone. This is why I make it goal in my classes that all of my students succeed in class….The last thing I want to hear is someone saying, “I can’t do this!” Because once I hear this I know that they have completely shut their mind off from trying something new, trying a new posture, and just having an open mind. So to help with the keeping an open mind, I sometimes talk about my medical issues. No, I’m not ever trying to draw attention to myself…but, to show my students that yes you can do this. My famous line is, “If I can do this you can do this.” The final pose in a Vinyasa Flow class or a Restorative class is savasana. Savasana is final relaxation pose in yoga. Here is where you let everything go…..If you didn’t have as good of a class as you wanted, let it go in savasana….because lets face it, we all can’t have a good days all the time or have a productive yoga class all the time. But, who cares? Only you are judging yourself for it. So, how about the next week we do a challenge. Even if you don’t attend a yoga class…lay in savasana for 5 minutes at the end of each day. Lay down on your bed, arms comfortable to your sides, legs long out in front of you, eyes closed, and slowly take deep inhales and exhales. Let your mind become quieter on each exhale and create stillness on each inhale. Slowly let your mind drift away, your body become relaxed, and your judgement disappear. Become one with yourself, create love in heart, and I’ll meet you in savasana. Namaste Yogis and Yoginis.
See you on your mat!