Article by Angie Webster
When I began my yoga practice a decade or so ago, I could barely move or get out of bed. I had to use a cane to get to my mailbox or to get to the end of the block. I was in great pain and had little strength.
On my worst days, getting from my bedroom to the bathroom across the hall was a monumental task. I have heard many reasons for starting a yoga practice, from wanting better abs, to wanting inner peace. I wanted to be able to move at least a little better. I had the hope that I might be able to walk a few blocks in the fresh air again, but I wasn’t sure if that was possible.
I don’t wish to make it sound as though yoga was the magic bullet that changed my life. I don’t actually believe there is one single magic pill that can change anyone’s life.
There were many factors that began to change in my life around that time. Those changes included having weekly distant energy healing, changing my diet, getting counseling, strengthening my meditation practice and having a general desire to improve my well-being and spiritual health. But starting yoga was a significant change and I feel it helped to get my body moving again.
I started very gently. I did chair yoga or very easy beginner classes from videos at home, since leaving home was difficult for me. I couldn’t do most of the postures, so I mostly just stretched my body in the general direction of the poses. The movement itself felt good, as long as I was very gentle. It felt good to learn to connect my breathing to my body movements, too. I stopped when I was tired, even if it was only a few minutes into the class.
Yoga was teaching me already. It was teaching me to be easy and loving with my body. That not everything needed to be done all at once. I also saw that I often held my breath and this created mindfulness, even outside of yoga practice.
Within several weeks of regular practice, I began to notice that the yoga sessions were becoming much easier. I could do some of the postures I had been practicing and I was becoming more flexible. I could often do an entire class session.
I also noticed that I moved more freely and with less pain between yoga practice sessions. I held my breath less often. I felt calmer and more at peace, even when I was in pain.
Difficult mental and emotional situations began to seem more manageable most of the time and I had more confidence in myself.
Within a few months of beginning my practice, I could walk without a cane for a few blocks most days. I could go out and enjoy the fresh air again. I could do simple tasks in my home and I had more freedom. Along with that freedom, I could see my life begin to expand and change. It was exhilarating and sometimes scary.
I can see now that yoga not only opened up the physical space in my body, but released the emotional and energetic binds that I had stored in my muscles and tissues.
Today I have a happy life and I am independent. I do some yoga every day, whether for a few minutes or an entire class. Pranayama breath work and meditation are also an important part of my life.
I still have health issues and I often still have pain. I am not cured of all of the health issues I used to have, but my practice makes it easier to move and helps me be more pain-free.
I have freedom thanks to yoga. I don’t spend my days in bed. I haven’t used a cane in years. And I am so grateful that I get outside to enjoy Nature almost every day.
Yoga helped to give me back a life I enjoy. It also helped to feel connected to my body and happy to be living in my own skin.
I will always be grateful to the lessons that yoga has taught me and continues to teach me. It has taught me to trust in my body, even when it hurts. It has taught me to look to the energy within me, rather than seek my answers outside myself. It has taught me patience and confidence. Over time, it has taught me to let go of fear and to trust something larger than myself.
My practice flourishes and never gets old. The life lessons continue.
Angie Webster is a Reiki Master Teacher and author. Angie’s primary focus is animal Reiki, which she adores. She also teaches classes and workshops about Reiki and spiritual growth. She works often with nature healing and Earth healing, hoping to better understand our connection with Mother Earth. Angie is the author of Infinite Reiki, Infinite Healing: How Energy Medicine Healed my Life and What It Can do for Yours. Reiki and a healthy lifestyle contributed to her healing after a 20-year struggle with neurological and chronic pain issues. She comes out the other side with a new perspective on life and now seeks to empower others, guiding them back to their own innate healing abilities. You can follow her at: angie-webster-healing.thinkific.com, https://www.facebook.com/HolisticSpirituality, http://www.serenityenergyhealing.com/