"Doctors didn't think I would survive, let alone walk"

"I was thrown into traffic & run over by a truck, riding my bike in Chicago, when a woman opened her car door into the bike lane in 2013. I broke 23 (of 24) ribs, both sides of my pelvis, both collarbones, my left hip, left shoulder, fractured a vertebra, punctured a lung, & cracked my skull"

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Meet Dustin @rdvalenta sharing his #yogasavedmylife story with us 💚

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. "Doctors didn't think I would survive, let alone walk



I know for a fact that if I had not been practicing asana regularly before the accident (I was on my way home from class when it happened), I would not be alive today. Doctors have credited my survival, in large part, to the flexibility & resilience in my spine

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I know also, that had I not returned to regular practice as soon as possible afterwards, I would not have recovered anywhere close to the place I am

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I've always been very active, and moving by body was a big part of my life. So when I had to start from zero, literally learn how to walk again, I gained a huge sense of gratitude for all of the amazing things my body does I'd taken for granted

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About 10 days after the accident my nurse made me walk about 15 feet. I was held by her on one arm, my dad on the other. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I returned to bed, exhausted & cried for a long time. Something that had been so mindlessly effortless now took every ounce of strength, concentration, & determination

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I am blessed with an amazing network of friends & family who wrapped me in support. Those 15 feet became laps around the hospital halls, & after about a month I went to my first post-accident yoga class

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I was overwhelmed by the seeming impossibility of doing this practice which had come so naturally 2 months earlier; but also incredibly grateful for the simple fact of being there, being alive, & the opportunity to face the challenge, surrounded by people sharing the same experience .

I now make a living teaching—connecting with yoga communities all over the world! I'm blessed in so many ways, but I’m most grateful for the opportunity to be a student, first & always—I am only as effective a teacher as I am curious to learn, grow & change as a human 🙏" .