For those of you who missed my first blog I will do a quick recap of what happened prior to me finding Yoga.
I suffered from horrible insomnia from a vitamin D Deficiency that went on for months. I would only sleep 3 hours at a time and was a complete mess. It took all of me to get through a twenty four hour period. You can go back and read that blog if you would like.
I have been an avid exerciser since the eighties! Some of you may remember the 20-Minute Workout with Bess Motta? That is when I started working out. I then continued on with Tae Bo, running, rollerblading and everything else that I could do.
So lets get to the present. My life was rolling along fine when this Vitamin D Deficiency hit me like a ton of bricks. All of a sudden I wasn't sleeping and my life was in turmoil. What was I going to do? Physically I could not handle anything more than walking...which I did. I also cried a lot when I was doing it (on the treadmill), because it would be 2am or 1am or something awful like that. All I wanted to do was sleep and workout like I always did!! I was so mad and depressed and yes...feeling sorry for myself....ughghghgh
As I was going through this time in my life I had to make a decision that I was not going to lose it, that I was going to listen to my body and LIVE the best I could. This consisted of breathing and taking it one minute at a time sometimes. I would get up at 12-2am and walk on the treadmill and take a nap by noon which was around 3 hours. I would then go to sleep at 10pm at night exhausted.
Like I said above I was not physically able to do much more than walk. This went on for about 2 months. Insomnia and live...that is what I did. I am grateful for my wonderful husband who helped me get through this also.
For years my friends, uncle and sister tried to get me to try Yoga. I always felt that it would be to slow for me. Me being the aerobic very hyper person that I am thought it was easy and to boring for me. Who wants to stretch for an hour right?
I needed something and my body was saying it was time to slow down....and time to listen to what my body needed.
I decided to give Yoga a try. I started out slow. This is what my body needed and all it could handle. So I started with beginner type yoga which was mostly stretching. I continued this for a few weeks. But after only a few weeks things started changing. I was still not sleeping, but I was coping with it better. I didn't feel like I was going crazy all the time and just focusing enough to get by. I started feeling stronger and healthier, not just physically, but mentally and spiritually.
After a few weeks of that I continued on with more intermediate type classes. Started working on more strength type poses. Now at this point my schedule was like this...wake up between 12am and 2am...go to yoga at 9-10am and go to sleep at 11-12pm for three hours. I would then do the rest of my day and go to sleep at 10pm.
Okay, so back to the story. It would take all of me to get through those classes, but I did, because changes that I liked were happening. At about the 3rd month of insomnia, walking and yoga I was sleeping periodically (my Vitamin D numbers were coming up), but it was still rough. BUT I could see the light!
This whole time that I am taking it one day at a time and listening to my body even though I am still NOT GOOD, I was feeling better and I was getting stronger. So about the 3rd month I was really dong some strength poses. I was taking hot yoga classes and truly working it. It was hard, but the results were/are amazing. (Side Planks, Crow, Head Stands)
At about 4 months I was feeling like I was actually myself again. I was sleeping again!! Yahooo....never have I appreciated sleeping like I do now! I treasure it!! I started incorporating more aerobic type activities that I was used to doing before yoga. But, I knew that I would not be going back to that and ONLY THAT again.
I honestly believe that Yoga helped me get through one of the toughest times in my life. If you have ever had sleep deprivation you will understand! Yoga has taught me and continues to teach me that I need to breathe. Breathing is so very important. OUR BREATH....our life force. It has taught me to calm myself. To not worry so much about every darn thing. That everything will happen, will come and will come to fruition when it does and that I cannot control this crap. Yoga has taught me so much it is hard to put it all into words!!
I can say that this journey is ongoing for me. That I have just started reading a book on Yoga. Not on the poses, but why we do the poses and where did this all come from and why. For me-yes it is great physically for the body-more on that in a moment, but I want to know more than that. I want to understand why I felt/feel better mentally, spiritually and physically more than I had with any other type of workout I have done for the past thirty years.
I am not an expert on any of this, I am truly a babe in the woods, but I want to pass this onto whoever is thinking about making yoga a part of their life. IT IS AWESOME!
I am just now tapping into the deeper reasons/meanings about it and will post more in time.
What I do know is that I haven't felt this good in quite some time. That being upside down (inversion) is not just about working your abs in a head stand or hand stand, but about what happens inside your body...to your organs and the health benefits to it all. As I learn more I will post more about that.
Now at 6 months I feel like an on going new person. I am excited to see where this all takes me. My sleeping is back to normal and I continue to do yoga 3 times a week as well as do my aerobic type exercises also.
Although I would not want to go through that insomnia again, I am grateful to where it has taken me. In my own way of thinking I believe it happened for a reason. That I needed to slow down had to happen for me to see what I needed.
Yoga is not easy. You don't just lay there and expect things to happen. You can choose to just stretch it out...which is not easy, or you can work on strength and core and take it up some more notches if you want, but it is certainly not easy. Meditation is where I need to start focusing on also. Even though posing is a type of mediation also. More on that as I go through it.
It is also wonderful in the sense that in my experience nobody cares what anybody else is doing! I mean that in a good way. Everybody does what they do and that's it. Some people are advanced, some are beginner and some are in the middle. And from what I have seen and how I feel about it...who cares? What I mean by that is nobody seems to care about somebody who is a beginner or advanced, that everybody is happy for everybody to just be there no matter where you are at in your practice! I am not in a competition. This is about ME and my body mind and spirit. Not trying to keep up with everybody else. What can I do, how can I push myself to my limit. Not how do I push myself to the person's next to me limit. I find that to be another one of those wonderful things about yoga. In those rooms I find peace and strength from everybody irregardless of where anybody else is at.
All in all yoga has helped me tremendously in all areas of my life. I am so grateful that I found it and will continue to practice as long as I am on the earth. I hope that others will find some inspiration in this blog about it and maybe some of you are even going through similar physical problems as I was. Try it and see what happens for you.
Yoga has completely changed my life!