"About 7 years ago, age 17, I was caring for my chronically ill father & a grandfather with late stage Alzheimer's. At this same time I began to fall ill myself, I was daily in the most excruciating & indescribable pain" .
"I spent 3 years struggling to get through the daily monotony of life: school, go to work, pay bills, barely sleep, repeat... I was a zombie .
I saw 5 doctors in 3 years, most brushing me off that my pain wasn't real, I was just hormonal or anxious. But sorry, I wasn't internally bleeding because I was 'anxious' or 'hormonal' . At the 3 yr mark, a doctor finally diagnosed me after years of suffering, with interstitial cystitis . But my journey wasn't done yet, IC is rarely diagnosed & had few and far between treatments. So I tried every 'proven' treatment from multiple surgeries to medications: 2 years into that we finally found a sweet spot with experimental botox injections. These made my flares go down to a handful of times a month instead of daily, it was great! . But then suddenly my insurance yanked away my provider & I went doctor less for close to a year. When I found a new one to take my case he tried the botox & it FAILED, it made me worse! . I was so distraught & scared. I was too ill for hiking and kickboxing anymore but I still needed to be active to help my body heal. So I turned to yoga classes at my college. I didn't think I'd connect with the practice but merely use it for exercise. But I was wrong, it took me by storm & now I practice almost daily! .
Yoga not only soothed my physical pain but returned my mental clarity during a time of my highest stress. I am still very ill with autoimmune x3 now but the ujjayi breath helps me center & refocus so that I can tackle my disease day by day and keep doing the things I love. It has shown my that my body is strong even when it feels so fragile & weak, almost like paper . Yoga has given me peace & hope in a time that I felt everything I loved was being ripped out from under me. It just goes to show you cannot judge a book by its cover, you must read it yourself 🙏