How Yoga Has Improved My Health And Happiness

Scott Briscoe

Scott Briscoe

I am sure each person who has ever practiced yoga can tell a story how “yoga has resulted in a positive change in their life.” Since beginning a regular, consistent yoga practice 2 months ago I have seen transformation changes to my health and happiness, I wanted to share.

I have always considered myself to be a very lucky guy. I have a good life with a great family, with great opportunities/ experiences that have made me into the person I am. Some of these opportunities / experiences include:

  • Attending College and earning a bachelor and masters’ degree
  • Great opportunities within “corporate America” that have allowed me build a great skill set and have always have a good job
  • Surviving Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (a cancer of the lymphatic system) during my late teenage years
  • Having a great network of friends who continually have a positive impact on my life

In January 2010 life was still positive and moving along well. Despite the economic challenges our society was facing, I was fortunate to have a good job and continue living as I had for most of my adult life. However, as the year progressed I noticed changes in myself that had been building for some time that I wasn’t necessarily thrilled about.

  • I had taken on increased responsibilities at work that resulted in an increased workload.
  • I have never followed a diet per se, but noticed my metabolism was slowing down. I noticed my jeans weren’t fitting as well as they once had.
  • During my annual physical my doctor increased the dosage of a medication I take to supplement thyroid production (a result of having radiation therapy to treat my cancer this can impact the thyroid gland).
  • My acid reflux was getting worse as time went on and I was forced to take an expensive “non-preferred” medication as described by my insurance company that costs $100 per month.
  • And while my doctor didn’t really say “anything” on this topic I could tell my blood pressure had increased and was on the verge of being high, my cholesterol was close to being designated “high.” Having a history of heart disease in my family, this was a little concerning.

I made a mental note that I needed to make some changes. And for the next few months I just kept thinking about working out and eating healthier, but didn’t take any action.

Fast forward to late fall 2011 and I noticed a small pain in my lower abdomen. After a few days having this pain, I saw my doctor and while I was concerned about appendicitis, my doctor thought the more likely problem could be an ulcer. It was at that point I new my lifestyle needed to change. The “stress” of daily life was taking a toll on me, my diet was taking a toll on me, and I wasn’t taking care of “myself” and giving my body the “attention” it needed so I can continue enjoying this great life I have been given.

I had practiced Yoga at the gym I belonged to several years ago, and practiced once or twice per week with a great instructor. Just being in her presence brought about a sense of “calmness” and I remember how much better I felt after practicing. I remember one of my “yoga” friends with whom I attended class with mentioned I should connect with Kathleen and Wade at Maya Yoga, as they had a great Yoga program. Walking out of the doctor’s office that day was all it took for me to make the decision it was time to focus back on myself a bit, and get back into a regular Yoga practice.

I remember going to Maya Yoga for the first time and was amazed with how friendly and personable Wade and Kathleen were Their personality was very encouraging during the practice and later that night I remember thinking about how good I felt. I also kept all of those little ”comments” during the class in the back of my head with how important regular practice is, and how yoga has provides many benefits over just the “stretching” most people think of Yoga as.

The business guy in me wanted to make sure I took “full advantage” of the “New Student Special” so I attended as many of the introduction classes I could. After about a week into attending, I knew this was something I would continue due to the fact I was feeling so much better. Some of the benefits I have seen include:

  1. I feel great. My stress level has decreased, and when a stressful situation presents itself I think back to some of those moments during yoga practice, take a few deep breaths and the “stressful moment” seems to pass. I am sleeping better and wake up feeling fully rested and relaxed on a consistent basis. I attribute this to calming the “mind chatter” that had been present and allowing myself to relax.
  2. I don’t get “angry” like I used to. While most people would say I am one that doesn’t get “mad” or “angry” there were little things in life that were getting to me. People on the road who weren’t driving as efficiently as I would have liked them to, people holding up the line in the grocery store, etc. Now I realize it really isn’t a big deal, and acknowledge it isn’t worth the energy getting “angry” and stressed out over.
  3. I am enjoying life more than ever. I have been able to realize through yoga how special the gift of life is, and by taking better care of myself and managing stress better it just makes me enjoy every life experience “that much more.”
  4. My health has improved. While I have been consistently doing yoga practice 4-5 times a week for the past 2 months, I also heeded Wade and Kathleen’s comments with how important it was to be aware of what we put into our bodies. While I had been cutting down drastically on meat consumption, I noticed during the first few weeks of Yoga I wasn’t craving “steak dinners” and felt much better just having a salad or other vegetarian option. I made a conscious effort to substantially limit the amount of meat, dairy, and egg products I was consuming and the changes I noticed were nothing short of amazing.
  5. My acid reflux had decreased substantially. I had been waking up at least once every night with the burning in the chest, but those “middle of the night” attacks have subsided to almost nothing.
  6. I began to loose weight. While I knew my waistline was a little bigger than in high school, I didn’t necessarily set out to “loose weight” by taking Yoga, but the pounds began to shed. I became interested and started weighing myself a few times and week and after two months have lost over 20 pounds. My pants fit better and I feel great. I can’t wait for my annual physical next month to see what kind of impact my diet and yoga have had to improve my cholesterol and blood pressure.

In conclusion, taking Yoga with Kathleen and Wade over the past 2 months it s truly changed my life. I feel better, am a happier person, enjoying life to the fullest. Kathleen, Wade, and their compliment of great instructors really make you feel welcome at Maya Yoga, and their gentile, positive encouragement really makes you feel better about yourself, your life, and the world we live in. I would highly recommend Maya Yoga to anyone who wants to improve his or her quality of life and health. I look forward to continuing my practice and seeing what other “transformations” I will see in the future.

This story has been reposted with permission. Thanks to Maya Yoga. You can find the original here.

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