Updated: Nov 22, 2018
What do I love most about a consistent yoga practice? Well, like many of us I have a very busy mind.
Before I began my yoga journey I found my mind constantly trying to achieving perfectionism or "over achieving”, common personality traits I also find with many of my autoimmune patients.
I found yogas ability to create stillness, clarify and self enquiry just as soothing for my immune system as eating an anti-inflammatory diet.
Stress is one of the major contributing factors to autoimmune diseases. I always ask patients to think back to when they first experienced symptoms, was there a stressful life event? A trigger of childhood trauma?
Their response? Yes, there is always a link.
By stimulating the parasympathetic system in the body, Yoga and Meditation have known to reduce stress levels considerably. Yoga and meditation allows a lateral shift of awareness, and helps us understand the phenomena of letting go. Many patients have reported that yoga has cured a major part of the disease not just physically but mentally as well. Acceptance of who we are can open gateways that are invisible otherwise.
Yoga forced me to pay attention to what was going on in my bodyIf I ate well for example, it showed in my practice. Repeatedly practicing the same asanas every day began to reveal what was working and what wasn’t as I made changes in my diet and supplement plan. Yoga revealed how my body really felt.
In the stillness of my practice, once my mind became quiet, I was able to drop my gaze inward and I began to love myself. I let go of resentment and fear not only for the disease but for other unhealthy attachments that I once had and from there I found gratitude. I found gratitude for my journey, for the beautiful able body that I have. I found it easier to look in the mirror and find things to appreciate rather than focusing on the imperfections. I discovered that if you tune in, stay connected, present and breathe deeply, you get to know yourself on an entirely new level. What I know for sure; this facilitates healing.
Yoga didn't cure me, but yoga gave me to the tools to take care of myself in order to heal, something I know many of my patients also struggle with. And do you have to practice a funk inversion pose like the picture above to reap the benefits? No, definitely not.
I enjoy the growth that I have each day, I learn from the journey and I continue to love myself. As soon as I start to forget, I return to my mat.
I often create yoga sequences specifically for a patients autoimmune condition, included in their autoimmune protocol I design. To find out how yoga + naturopathy can benefit you, click here for a free 15 minute chat.