Completely inexperienced, but curious about yoga, my former roommate remarked, " so, what has yoga done for you, John?" It's a great question and one that I am happy to answer here. After all, the Apostle Paul gave some great advice to Peter when he said," always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have."
AND since we find ourselves now in the season of expressing gratitude for the many blessings in our life, I'd like to list a few things that I'm grateful to in my yoga practice.
Here we go!
I'm Grateful for My Strong and Capable Knees – this is what first got me hooked on yoga. I’m a disabled Marine Corps Veteran and have had 3 knee repair operations on repetitive stress injuries. Even after the surgeries, I was experiencing routine pain from prolonged periods of sitting and during higher than usual activity levels. Both my doctor and surgeon explained this was normal, so I took pills – daily dosages of Naproxen, and we experimented with a few higher strength prescription options as needed for my active days or my recovery days. At 28 years-old, this had become my new norm: reduced mobility, with steady doses of mind and body - dulling pain and pills.
The “yoga therapy” approach to injuries is to mindfully and gently stretch and strengthen the affected and surrounding areas to bring pain relief. This is bolstered with strong alignment focus to reshape the muscular-skeletal structure to prevent subsequent stress and disease. So instead of avoiding use and activity – yoga encouraged me to explore that area with my time, my energy, my attention, and to be with my injuries.
"...instead of avoiding use and activity – yoga encouraged me to explore that area with my time, my energy, my attention, and to be with my injuries."
What we know of body tissue – and specifically the many tissues and structures that make up our joints – is that the body’s own healing mechanisms are most efficient when there is gentle tissue stimulation. Mindful movement along all the proper ranges of motion of the joints brings with it fresh and generous supplies of blood. The blood carries with it the tools necessary to bring healing to the cells and tissues that are under stress and disease. There are so many amazing yoga postures for the knees and my knees got exactly what they needed.
Needless (or perhaps necessary) to say, I soon stopped requiring and subsequently taking my medications; and my knees allow me to go wherever I want to at this point. I’m grateful for having access to the practice of yoga so I don’t have to deal with that pain or take those pills anymore.
Yoga Gratitude Continued...
#2 - Dietary Changes
#4 - A Strong Heart
#5 - Emotional Stability