"In January 2017, I suffered a stroke that left me paralyzed on the left side of my body and affected my speech
Before the stroke I had been a fitness instructor & marathon runner for 30+ years, a yoga instructor for 10 years, & had recently taken up long-distance cycling to balance high impact cardio with a desire to be gentler to my joints
Following the stroke, I worried that people would see what happened to me as proof that a healthy diet & exercise wouldn't prevent a stroke, & disregard all the things I had been passionate about teaching and sharing throughout my professional career. Over the next 12 months I focused on recovery, choosing to demonstrate that the strength of my healthy choices, discipline, and active lifestyle PRIOR to the stroke were the key to reclaiming my health & the ability to walk again
In that journey I was blessed to work with a physical therapist who is also a yoga therapist, @paigealayne. Paige used yoga to remind my brain, my nerves, & my muscles how to communicate. On the first day of therapy she had me do an assisted plank. On the second day of therapy, I did a very wobbly vinyasa. Many months & many wobbly poses later, I can walk, ride a bicycle and speak clearly. Most people never notice that my left side lags a little bit behind my right
While the stroke forced me to adapt to a “new normal”, yoga empowered me to work within my limits & to accept that my limits change daily. Today I live in gratitude. I was alone at the time of my stroke & without intervention my life might have ended. Instead, I got the chance to heal, recover, & re-commit my life to sharing my passion for nutrition, healthy living, and an active-lifestyle, plus the opportunity to share my story and love of life with others
I may never know what caused my stroke, but I am 100% certain that my survival is rooted in the habits I developed & practiced before it happened. Every day my life is a lesson, and I am a survivor 🙏 Donna"