My yoga journey is not unlike any of yours. I started Bikram Yoga almost nine years ago. I am the mother of three amazing children, and this year I am happy to say that I’ve been married for 25 years to the finest human being I know. Our life is full of ups and downs but made all the better with our two crazy, fun dogs. 🐕 🐶
About 12 years ago, I started competing in triathlons and wanted to find a ‘stretch meditative class’ to supplement the beating my body was taking and find a place to focus my mind. My most significant triathlon events include three Half Ironman races at Vineman in Napa and Wildflower in Paso Robles. While training for these events, I decided to give Bikram Yoga a try. I started with the 30-day trial, then several 10-class cards, a few 20-class cards, and finally the monthly unlimited. Today I’m on the annual plan.
I started my yoga journey to help prevent injury from my rigorous tri-training and maintain my spine mobility. Yes, I’m the gal with numerous scars on her leg who places a turquoise blue pad and hand towel under her right foot. My leg is about 1¼” shorter than my left leg. As a toddler, I was diagnosed with two bone tumors in my femur. Amputation was the initial recommendation due to my young age. My parents sought out and found a surgeon at UCLA doing experimental procedures on pre-teens. He agreed to attempt the tumor removal even though I was only two years old. The surgeries were ultimately a success, although the tumors interfered with the growth plate, thus stunting my leg’s growth. I am very thankful to have led a very full and active life. Yay!
An MRI revealed severe cartilage damage in my right knee about six years ago, which meant ‘no more running.’ This damage was due to many years of running with a leg difference, even with a shoe lift. Total knee replacement was my gloomy forecast, although my surgeon did not want to operate yet because of my age. These surgeries usually are for people in their 60s.
Persisting with yoga
Before, during, and after all of this, yoga was a constant for me. In the beginning, I may have attended 1-2 classes per week. As you all know, it’s a big time commitment. Slowly but surely, I became a 2-days per week yogi. Then I remember I took a class of Jessica’s during the 60 Day Challenge. I remember her encouraging us to consider trying this very sacred right of passage. She said that if you are a 2-days per week yogi, perhaps you could consider practicing three days a week. A lightbulb went off in my head. That was my first 60 Day Challenge – going to yoga three days per week. After that, I was hooked. =)
A year and a half ago, I was given the green light for my knee replacement. I returned to BYSJ last August, and in January, at the semi-annual 60 Day Challenge, I decided my challenge would be going four days a week. =) You can do it too. Whatever you want your challenge to be, make it happen!
In January, I met with a spine specialist, and he is amazed that I do not have more issues with my back, neck, or hips. I think yoga has been a safe haven for me and has truly preserved the integrity of my spine. I want to thank the staff (teachers and receptionists) and Michele for their openness and support in helping us all live our best lives. Healthy living is a practice, just like yoga! Forgiveness is key and today is a new day!
Presently, I practice four days per week. If I miss one, that’s alright. I do what I can do. I still ride my bike with friends and hike a few days per week. Who knows? Maybe my next 60 Day Challenge will be going five days a week. If so, BRING IT ON!
We all begin this journey for a variety of reasons. I’ve learned the more you put into something, the more you get out of it. Keep it real, make it yours, and enjoy the ride! All the best in your yoga journey.