One in ten adults experiences chronic, persistent back pain. At only 27 years old, I suffered a herniated disc in my lumbar spine resulting in sciatica and scoliosis. For months, I was unable to stand up straight, my torso collapsing to the left at a 45 degree angle when I tried to stand upright. I had constant, radiating pain from my lower back down my left hip. Getting up from laying down, getting in and out of the car, and sitting down were excruciating daily activities.
A year of pain medication, physical therapy, and visits to a spine specialist helped, but I still felt broken, both physically and mentally. I knew that I needed to find a fitness routine to give me back control over my body. But, I also know myself and recognized that I needed something that wouldn’t leave me feeling defeated if I couldn’t perform like other students in the class. Yoga was, and continues to be, my remedy. I can happily say that I rarely experience symptoms of my spine injury after 3 years of yoga classes!
The spirit of my yoga practice is learning to accept where my body is able to perform any given day. It’s not about how I look in the pose, but how it feels. It’s also about being present in the flow of movement and intentionally letting go of everything else I’ll need to accomplish once class is over. Yoga is a gift that not only strengthened my body, but gave me peace of mind that as long as I was breathing there was more right with me than there was wrong.
With Love and Light,
Joya Yoga Instructor.