It’s thanks to my neighbours that I went to a yoga class literally a stone’s throw from my front door. I’d recently finished the Mitomycin induction therapy – six weeks every week – chemo instilled into the bladder. I was feeling exhausted and listless. I wasn’t entirely sure if I could manage even a beginner’s class, but the teacher was welcoming.
Hatha yoga is apparently to calm your mind, body and spirit and improve flexibility and strength. The class was small, the room large and airy: we started with some deep breathing and warm up stretches. I found I could do them and the stretches felt like magic-unicorn-fairy-dust coursing through my veins and muscles. I loved that the teacher emphasised that we should do the poses or “asanas” at our own level and adapt them to fit us not adapt us to fit them.
I’d tried yoga before in Dharamshala, India the magical town on the edge of the Himalayas where the Dalai Lama lives in exile. I tried it every morning for the few weeks I stayed there. I didn’t concentrate well and was distracted, looking forward to breakfast porridge rather than being present. It wasn’t the right time and maybe not the right teacher or place. This time everything came together and felt so right I was present and smiled my head off through the unfamiliar poses. Downward facing dog stretched my hamstrings, opened my shoulders and worked a core that definitely needed working.
My doctor said it should do me good but that it wouldn’t really work unless done everyday – even only ten minutes. This comment turned out to be invaluable as I enrolled in the class and also found YouTube videos and apps for home yoga. Surprisingly I do practise every day, my core and bladder are stronger, and it always feels like magic. Try some!
Links: Gotta Joga App http://gottajoga.com and Sarah Beth Yoga on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-0CzRZeML8zw4pFTVDq65Q