Kim Shand was born with a birth defect that caused 4 vertebras not to be fully formed. Prognosis was not good. She was expected to be braced or paralyzed as she grew up. Her parents put her on a regime of yoga early on and introduced weight training a few years later. Kim never looked back and she grew to be a normal beautiful woman. But life was not done with her yet. Kim would have to rediscover yoga all over again later in life. Watch this video for the full story.
You can find Kim Shand blogging at Rethink Yoga.
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I have always had an interest in Yoga and Pilates, but never got the chance to take a yoga class until this summer. When I discovered that UMBC offered an Ashtanga Yoga class I was excited to say the least. After practicing Pilates for about a year, I expected this yoga class to be easy; I was wrong.
Yoga is challenging, and it requires concentration and motivation. Controlling my breathing and remembering all the details of every new pose were intimidating at first. One of my greatest challenges was trying every pose and not giving up when I couldn’t complete it right away. The positions in Yoga take time to achieve and you have to be patient. To this day, I cannot complete the Lotus pose, but I am not giving up. As my instructor suggested, I do Sun Salutations A and B along with a few other positions in the morning before I eat breakfast. Consistently stretching and challenging my flexibility has greatly affected my abilities to complete more and more poses. My Lotus is looking better with every week.
In addition to disciplining my body, I have also been trying to control my eating habits. Eating healthy is difficult, especially when you are a busy college student. My regular diet consisted of pop-tarts, Chinese carry-out, Chipotle burritos, and extra sweet southern iced tea. Over the last four weeks, I have been eating out less and stocking up on healthier foods so I can prepare healthy meals at home. I now eat plenty of organic baby spinach leaves, salads, fruit, lean protein, and I drink as much water as I can every day. I limit my sweet tea and burritos to once a week (Saturdays are my “off-days”). My roommate has even begun to eat healthier because of my lifestyle change. Practicing Yoga at least four times a week and eating more natural foods has made a huge difference in how I feel. I don’t feel tired in the mornings anymore, my energy has increased, and my skin looks healthier. Even my co-workers comment on how I look thinner and healthier. A few of them have even begun to look sign up for the free Yoga/Pilates class offered in the UMBC gym. It feels wonderful to pass on the benefits of Yoga and healthier eating. The effects are real and worth the effort. Continue reading
I had developed depression and anxiety from the considerable life changes that occurred within a short period of time. Within a 2 month span I finished school, started my first job in my new career as an optometrist, got married, and moved away from my hometown Houston, Texas to Kansas City. I missed my family, friends, and the familiarity of my past life in Houston. The depression developed into anxiety that made me question my marriage and the choice I made to move to Kansas City for my new husband. The depression and anxiety naturally made my behavior teeter between being angry and sad that affected my daily activities. I wanted to stop having these destructive feelings and this is how I found yoga.
I had heard that yoga was good for relaxation and hoped it might help improve my outlook. Within a few short months of practicing ashtanga my feelings of depression and anxiety started to diminish. I currently practice ashtanga about 3 days a week and look forward to this time for myself. The focus on controlled breathing gradually abolishes all the insignificant and trivial thoughts that I accumulate between practices. I find that my brain feels most calm and clear when I am in poses that are inverted such as Sirsasana (head-standing). My practice has allowed me to be more accepting and more patient in all situations. Continue reading
I began coming to Yoga Passion and was immediately hooked regularly averaging four times per week. Running & working out in gyms for all of my adult life suddenly felt like a waste of time after the total experience of the HotCore classes with Peter Sklivas at Yoga Passion. I am feeling the benefits: better mental clarity; stronger sense of well-being even outside of class; increased muscle tone; greater range of motion in a shoulder that had three surgeries and nine months of physical therapy; and, the following experience:
Ever since I was a child, I’ve always bruised easily & bruises took an extraordinary amount of time to fade. Last year, a thigh bruise I received when a soccer ball slammed into me during a friendly family game took almost a year to entirely fade. The week before Christmas 2000 I fell from a ladder while putting up Christmas decorations. My left hand was swollen & badly bruised from the tips of my fingers to the base of my palm. I had a bruise on my hip that was about four inches across. While nothing was broken, my hand was extremely sore & the doctor told me that the deep purple bruising would not begin to fade for at least four to six weeks. Based on my history, I assumed it would be twice that amount of time for me. I continued to come to class even though my movement was limited with the soreness of my hand. Much to my amazement, the bruising disappeared in about ten days. Having changed nothing else in my normal routine & always having gotten a good cardiovascular workout at least four times a week prior to coming to Yoga Passion, I can only attribute this remarkable change in my system to HotCore Yoga.
This is a story written by Linda H. Young . This has been reposted with permission from Peter Sklivas of Yoga Passion. You can find the original here.
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I recently received an email from my friend Andy. He told me that he has just returned from spending a week caring for a friend in Springfield, Missouri. His friend had just undergone his second surgery to remove lung cancer and will soon begin intense treatment for the next six months. He was told that his life expectancy is about three years. Andy asked if I could share my experience with cancer and to help his friend explore some alternative forms of treatment. What started out as a reply to an email turned into this article.
The first step is to quit listening to anyone who puts a number on the years you have left in your body. One of the most important things anyone, who has been diagnosed with a life threatening disease, can do is to maintain a positive attitude! It never ceases to amaze me how crippling a person’s attitude can be to their health and well being! I have experienced financial stress developing into low back pain and I’ve watched grief over someone else’s illness turn into an allergy and asthma attack. My own experience of developing thyroid cancer is one of the most obvious examples of disease caused by not addressing the root issue.
Back in the 90′s I was a police officer in Anaheim, California. I had a number of experiences necessitating the development of mechanisms that would allow me to repress my emotions and still be able to fulfill my duties during my ten year career. Unfortunately it becomes difficult to shut these repressive mechanisms off. For example my father suffered from bipolar disorder all of his adult life. After numerous cycles of getting on medication, which helped him greatly, and then going off the medication he eventually hung himself on July, 1st 2000. I was able to fly from California to Wisconsin, clean out his house, arrange and attend his funeral and be back to work on July 6th all without shedding a single tear. It didn’t take long for my inability to express myself to literally come bubbling up to the surface. In July of the following year, I was scheduled to have a biopsy of a lump I found on the front of my throat. Continue reading