My yoga journey began in 2011. I had been experiencing chronic back pain, serious digestive issues, anxiety, and many other symptoms that I did not like. My digestion issues included severe reflux, abdominal pain, and nausea. It seemed as if everything I ate made me feel sick in one way or another. I tried many diet changes as I thought it was the food that was making me sick. I ended up losing a few pounds that I could not spare, being that I am only about 100lbs. The weight loss and daily battle with food began to take its toll on my whole being. I became more irritable, anxious, sad for no reason, just very withdrawn. I noticed I was very inpatient with my children and husband. My digestion issues were worst at work, I spent most of the day at work feeling nauseated, bloated, and experiencing abdominal pain. My reflux got so bad that I it would make me vomit, maybe once or twice a week. The vomitting made me really worry even more, so I finally had an EGD( scope to look inside the stomach). I was convinced I had some type of tumor or issue causing all of these problems. The EGD was negative (thank God) there was nothing wrong that had manifested in my physical body (yet). This made me realize that my diet and lifestyle were making me sick. I had never been a "bad" eater, but I decided to avoid foods that caused heartburn and upset stomach. The toughest change to make and the most important one, was addressing my mental and emotional body. My children were very young (both under 5), my husband and I both worked full-time. During this time my husband was also working 2-3 jobs as he was determined to save enough money so that we would be able to buy our dream house in the next couple of years. With all that said, I had hardly anytime to myself. A typical day for me included either working 12hrs or spending the day with my children while my husband worked until 7 or 11 pm. I knew I needed to find a way to have "me time" and do something to heal myself. I initially tried running, while I enjoyed it as soon as the weather got cooler I couldn't tolerate it. It was also difficult to schedule morning or evening runs as my husband and I worked opposite days so that we didnt need childcare. Basically, it was almost impossible too establish a running routine.
At some point, I decided to explore yoga. I remember wanting to first practice yoga when I was pregnant but never got around to it. Since I had been experiencing back pain which was secondary to a small hernia from pregnancy (http://embracingmycurly.blogspot.com/2012/03/diastasis-recti.html), I figured I would start with postures that focused on building core strength. I also was very embarrassed of my "mummy tummy" I still looked pregnant most days and if I had bloating I really looked about 5 months pregnant. This was a big blow to my self esteem. Anyways, I began watching yoga videos on youtube. Tara Stiles, Faith Hunter, Kino Macgregor, and Ekhart Yoga were some of my favorites. I loved doing quick little 5-15 minute sessions while my kids were asleep. I started feeling the mental/spiritual benefits right away, I was happier, calmer, and very eager to continue to heal myself. Eventually, I wanted more than just videos as I was getting frustrated with trying to watch, listen, and learn all at the same time. I then decided to invest in a few books.
The first book I bought was "light on yoga" by the late BKS Iyengar. I was drawn to this style of yoga as it had a therapeutic approach with a focus on anatomy and alignment. As a nurse, I was drawn to learning how yoga can help chronic conditions especially because I was experiencing health problems myself.
Fast forward, to the now. I am feeling much better. I rarely have digestion issues, my back pain is pretty much nonexistent. Most importantly, I have learned to love and care for myself. I have learned to be thankful for all that I have, I have learned to be present. I didn't even realize I had anxiety until I began my yoga practice. I thought I was just a "worry wort" Yoga helps one become very aware of oneself and the world around them. Today, I still have moments where I feel anxious. But, I am now aware of this anxiety and I am able to nip it in the bud! I stop whatever I am doing, take a few deep breaths, look around and become present! Anxiety can't exist in the present moment because anxiety is focused on the future. If you are present, you can't be anxious :) Yoga has helped me be a better wife, mother, daughter, friend, nurse, and just better overall. I am so much more patient and loving. I have much more patience with my kids. Ive learned to accept that they are kids, they are gonna be loud, not listen sometimes, make a mess, fight each other, and all the lovely things kids do. Instead of getting frustrated when they won't settle down, I simply allow them to be , I accept the present moment.
After experiencing the profound affects yoga has had on my life, I decided to enroll in a Yoga Teacher Training program. I knew I wanted to become a yoga teacher about one year into my yoga journey. I even at one point, became so frustrated with my nursing role that I wanted to quit nursing! (thats a whole different story) The short version of it is, I discovered and joined the American Holistic Nurses Association and soon learned that holistic nursing was my calling and it would allow me to introduce yoga into nursing. I had no idea how I would make that happen, but the desire was there. I figured I would start with a yoga teacher training program. There were quite a few programs to choose from, however most required weekday classes and weekend intensives (friday-sunday). There was no way I would be able to accommodate that kind of schedule, so I decided I would wait to enroll. Even though I couldn't take a yoga teacher training program, I was determined to learn more about yoga!. I remember asking for advice via the Holistic Nurses group on Linkendin. I was trying to decided if I should just take the yoga teacher training or continue my graduate classes (another story). One lovely nurse responded to my post and suggested "Yoga Nursing" (more about that here http://holisticlifern.blogspot.com/2014/08/yoga-and-nursing.html Long story short, I took the online yoga nurse essentials yoganurse.com and realized I could implement yoga into my current role right away! I was filled with so much determination and inspiration after taking the yoga nurse essentials that I decided again to search for yoga teacher training programs (again). I sat down in in late august and began searching. I came across a yoga teacher training program held at a hospital! The training was starting in less than a month and I had to rush my application in, get recommendations, and complete a phone interview in just a couple of days. The most amazing thing about this program was the schedule, classes were held 3-4 days during the month on the either a saturday or sunday! I could easily fit that into my schedule. Of course, I was accepted and began the program September 13, 2014.
Since taking the yoga nurse essentials and beginning my yoga teaching training, I decided to begin to offer therapeutic focused yoga to clients! I am learning so much and determined to educate everyone on how easy it is to implement yoga into their everyday life. It only takes 5-10 minutes a few days a week to feel the amazing, life changing affects of yoga! I also focus on educating clients on the history and philosophy of yoga. Yoga is so much more than poses~!