"Practicing & teaching yoga gives me respite from a life with chronic pain & illness"

Meet @hollygiselleyoga sharing her #yogasavedmylife story with us. These are her words 💚

. "Yoga appeared for me at a time when I was running on adrenaline & hopping from work to parties & back around again. I had a busy fashion career in London, traveling across Europe frequently

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I started dabbling in yoga when a friend qualified as a teacher & when I saw how the more I practiced, the more it helped me in all areas, eventually, in a bid to learn even more I signed up to YTT on a whim

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At that same time I started getting really unwell, & gradually my body started changing. It was a strange time but yoga was there. After over a year of pain & misdiagnosis, begging medical professionals, I was finally diagnosed with a super rare autoimmune disease called Achalasia the day before YTT started. My incurable, progressive disease restricts my ability to swallow food & drink; I suffer with chronic fatigue, anxiety & chronic pain most days as my oesophagus spasms involuntarily at any given time of day or night. So not fun!

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As I became weaker before surgery & my weight dropped, I found my usual vinyasa practice difficult to keep up, so swapped it for restorative & yin yoga. I’ve had to adapt my practice & accept that some postures don’t feel right for my body & always encourage that same dialogue for my students. I think that working out what feels right for you is a huge part of your yoga journey, letting go of control, & your “want" to achieve something; really listening to what feels right

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After surgery I started over & was in my local studio with my stitches & bandages doing what I could. Yoga as a constant throughout my worst stages of illness, during recovery & beyond has helped me keep going

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Yoga helped me make friends with my body again. When you are living with disease you can really feel like your body, your home, has turned against you: it throws up all sorts of anxieties & emotions. Yoga really helped me to align again physically & mentally. My body has changed & so has my relationship with it. I could not have done it without yoga 🙏