When I returned from India in April of 2017 I slowly fell apart and I stopped writing. Truth is, I was falling apart for a while. Physically I was experiencing a tremendous amount of pain in my shoulders. Long story short, I could no longer hold my body weight and to top it off moving in my daily life got worse as time passed. My practice was failing me and I turned to Western Medicine and opinions. I was diagnosed with RA and an X-Ray showed severe arthritis in both shoulder joints. I continued to teach in the Mysore room, however adjustments that were standard were causing me pain. I had some assistants at the time so that was helpful as they could do what I would instruct them to do. I felt really old and the pain depleted me.
Flash forward to Feb 2018, I ditched the medications that shut my immune system down and sought a doctor that would work with me on my diet as well as the right combination of supplements and a body worker that convinced me it was all a postural misalignment. It took a while for me to even consider slowing down. He told me to stop. What he meant was to stop doing anything that caused any pain. I practiced Ashtanga’s greatest hits in a supported way staying close to the floor and modifying nearly everything. Just raising my arms for the first breath in the practice caused pain. Top teachers gave me wonderful suggestions however it took a lot of time for this to pass.
The turning point was Postural Alignment Therapy from the Egoscue method which my bodyworker recommended. We went over the exercises in the book called, Pain Free, and I agreed I would do them daily. I did them so that I could practice, so I could teach and so I could move in my life. In August of 2018 I went up to a specialist in the Egoscue method and we worked on a new menu which was an enhanced series of postural exercises geared to a hip pulling my shoulder forward. This is a simplified version of a condition that presented itself in my physical body. Muscles that were supposed to work to lift my arm sort of quit as I could not access them due to the pain.
Today I practice daily and it is good. It’s not perfect and I modify postures so my practice is always a healing one. I feel pain free in my daily life and for this I am relieved. It took an incredible amount of patience and working properly to start to feel better. I feel stronger and no longer feel depleted. Practice gives me energy and gives me strength. I still do the postural work which I love as it strenghtens areas that are weak. I approach practicing yoga for healing, for strength and for peace of mind. It’s important for me to move; to dance, to walk , to ride bikes, to swim and to practice. I am grateful for the healing and feel blessed to be walking on the path.