Beginning My Yoga Journey

It was last December when my friend Sherrie, the Naturopathic Doctor, suggested water, bone broth, and yoga for the osteoarthritis in my knees. I immediately added bone broth to my diet. I re-introduced the yoga from my iPad app. And I always strive to drink more water. Strive being the operative word.
I have always known that the iPad app was not sufficient for my yoga needs, for at least three reasons:
1. It presents a limited selection of yoga poses.
2. There is no one with me to tell me I’m doing things wrong.
3. It’s more difficult to motivate myself alone.
Someone suggested that I go see Nydia at Nydia’s Yoga Therapy. That was in January and it took me until July to actually do it. Now, less than a month later, I’m kicking myself for having put it off for so long. But it’s all good and everything happens when it happens for a reason.
I signed up for a therapeutic assessment with Nydia as the first step. I wanted her to know about my issues and more importantly I wanted to know if yoga would really help me. So I told her all about my various health issues: my fairly recent surgery, my osteoarthritis in my knees, hips, and thumbs. And I told her some of the things that I wanted to do but could not at this time. Such as playing guitar. The arthritis in my thumbs makes this difficult. And turning cartwheels. I used to love to do turn cartwheels, but have not had the nerve to try one for years. Which brought up something else I needed – strength. In every area – hands, arms, shoulders, knees, hips, feet, legs, you name it. Basically, I want to be able to run and jump and play like normal kids.
##Yoga Assessment
That assessment was one long, private yoga session. Breath and breathing is a major part of yoga. And it’s much more than the Inhale/Exhale I got from my iPad app. We spent a lot of time on that. So much that I had abdominal muscles that I didn’t even know I had hurting the next day. But it was hurting in a good way.
The good news is that I learned that my yoga practice can benefit all of my joints and help to protect me from the degeneration that is osteoarthritis. I also learned that it is about doing it right. I’m pretty good at following directions. And I know that when it comes to physical activity, you need to do it the right way. And I know that even I can benefit from this yoga practice.
Nydia sent me home after that assessment with a booklet and links to her website. So I went home and practiced at home. Concentrating on breathing and on feet exercises.
##My First Yoga Class
It was nearly two weeks later when I took my first class with Nydia. I wound up in the front of the classroom, facing a huge mirrored wall. I have to tell you I was not prepared for that. I am overweight and out of shape and have lingering edema in my feet, ankles, and legs. I wanted to be far away from the mirror. (I thought about posting a before picture of myself, but I have yet to have the nerve to take that one.) Suffice it to say that I resemble the roundness of this image:

I enjoyed that first class enough to sign up for a total of ten classes. That first class was on a Monday and I went back on Wednesday. This time I chose to have a spot right in front of the mirror. That way I’ll get to watch my progress. I am pleased to tell you that I felt a little stronger and had better balance after just one class. Combined, of course, with the work I have been doing at home.
##My Yoga Commitment
This is only the beginning for me. I have long wanted to get into yoga and now is the time. I know I have limitations now. I just laugh whenever someone says “Sit comfortably on the floor in a cross-legged position.”
I’ll be writing here every week reporting my progress. And talking about all of the benefits of yoga. There are many. So follow me on my journey to see where all it leads!

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