Meet @sleepysantosha sharing her #yogasavedmylife story with us 💚

"Lifelong medical conditions often leave me bed-bound"

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"In 2010 I Googled "yoga" for the first time. I grew up in a strict Christian church where I'd been warned of the spiritual "dangers" of yoga, so I Googled in secret

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I'd heard yoga involved deep breathing, & that was what I wanted more than anything else: to be able to take full, deep breaths. At the time I was living with a chest malformation called Pectus Excavatum, which I had been born with. This deformity caused my sternum to cave in, & as my body had grown and changed with puberty, it became so severe that my heart and lungs were squished. I couldn't breath properly. I was always tired, & eventually I had to have surgery

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After my surgery in 2011, I used my yoga practice to help me regain strength. For a year, I felt pretty amazing. I could breathe! I was able to exercise, practice yoga & do all the things I loved. Unfortunately this period of good health was short-lived

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Over the past several years, my health has fluctuated repeatedly. I’ve experienced chronic symptoms that have affected almost every organ system in my body. After seeing over ten different doctors & specialists, I was diagnosed with multiple medical conditions, which are expected to be lifelong. There have been times when I’ve been pretty functional. But there have also been times when I’ve been bed-bound

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My yoga practice has taught me the importance of presence. I’ve learned to accept myself exactly as I am in the moment. Some days, this means that my yoga practice looks like savasana in bed while I breathe into the spaces of my body that hurt. And this is okay. This is enough

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I don’t need to be perfectly healthy in order to be worthy of my practice. I don’t need to be able to force my body into a particular shape in order for my practice to have meaning. My practice is a safe space where I am free to be who I am & feel whatever I feel in the moment

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I came to yoga hoping it would fix all of my problems. Hoping it would help me fix myself. But yoga has taught me that I don’t need to be fixed. I’m worthy exactly as I am in this moment🙏

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Rachel"