My life before yoga
“Peace is the result of retraining your mind to process life as it is, rather than as you think it should be” - Wayne Dyer
Yoga is a way of living that makes real happiness possible
I was in my early twenties when I first heard about yoga. But it wasn’t until my thirties, before my back problems forced me to search for new answer. Yoga took me from merely existing and transformed my pain into strength and the future looks bright as I move toward making it a way to help others who face the same problem.
For many months in 2007, I was suffering from aggravated and recurrent back pain. This forced me to rely on strong narcotics to stop the pain so I could try to fulfill my daily responsibilities as a wife, homemaker, business woman and community leader and continue with my duties as founder and president of the Canadian Latin American Association (http://www.calalondon.org/who-we-are/) . As you may expect, this health problem, not only affected my professional but also my private life. Complications began in my business and my marriage, luckily I had the unconditional support and understanding of a good husband.
My favorites Mantras:
- I have faith in myself
- I am willing to make the hardest decisions with a soft heart
- I have the courage to act from my heart and the compassion to stay open
The posture should be steady and comfortable - Yoga Sutra 2:46
In 2008, I was diagnosed with mechanical back pain. This condition affects my sciatic nerve. After countless trips to the drugstore, doctors began to recommend different alternatives to get me some kind of relief from the pain and try to improve my quality of life. Physiotherapy, acupuncture, chiropractors, spinal disk decompression therapy and others were suggested. These treatments lasted two years and despite having visited the best doctors in Canada and the United States, there was not much improvement.
Early in 2010, after MRI and Cat-scan studies, the results were devastating. I was diagnosed with a degenerative disk disease a combination of instability at the motion segment and inflammation from the degenerated discs. Many facet joint injections were applied in my lower back to numb the area and help me with the pain. My spine was starting to lean to the right and seemed to be starting a scoliosis. At that time, my physiotherapist recommended I take some yoga classes to help with muscle strengthening, stretching and posture. I started yoga as a therapy 3 times per week.
Seven Principles of Movement:
Breath – Yield – Radiate – Centre – Support – Align - Engage
In April 2010, I had to visit my family doctor to review my case and after several discussions of my history he told me: “We already have done everything that is within our reach. The next thing we need to do is send you to get spinal surgery. Unfortunately this is not recommended at your age, but its either surgery or you will have to accept and learn how to live with this pain and discomfort for the rest of your life.”
I was devastated emotionally, physically and spiritually. I was a train wreck. Loosing hope and having the idea to live in pain for the rest of my life was unfathomable for me. I hit rock bottom and couldn’t accept what he was told me.
Even so, I kept taking my yoga classes. At that point, my faith in God and yoga were the only things where I found peace and felt centered. Miraculously, after several more weeks of practice and a proper diet, I was beginning to feel better. I began to notice big changes in my body. I started to sleep much better. The pain was disappearing and my sciatic nerve was no longer tight. The doctors re-evaluated me after other scans and were surprised. The degenerative disc syndrome improved as the inflammation had disappeared, there were no more pains. The trips to the doctors and drugstores became less and less. I was a new person in a new body.
It was then, when I began to take my classes with more seriousness. I kept my faith always firm and my respect for yoga grew more and more, while my afflictions were disappearing. I began to understand yoga’s benefits and become more interested in this discipline. I started to absorb more knowledge not only for my personal benefit but also began to have compassion for others and thinking… why not help others who might be going through similar circumstances?.
As I realized an inexplicable appreciation for this second chance, I decide to set my new propose in life; became a Yoga instructor to help others. It was then when I started at the Mandorla Yoga Institute (Canada) since 2012, and in 2014 I received my first certification in "Therapeutic Vinyasa Flow Yoga". From there, my desire to continue deepening my practice and knowledge, led me to the wonderful International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center (Bahamas) where I obtained my next certification in "Hatha Yoga" in 2015. In order to remain under the standards of ethics and constant training, I registered in the International Yoga Alliance Organization (https://www.yogaalliance.org/TeacherPublicProfile?tid=131702) since 2015, as E-RYT200 - Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher. I intend to continue expanding my knowledge and remain open to receive more training in the coming years.
SO, WHAT IS MY YOGA?
It’s the miracle that took me from pain and depression and gave me a second chance at life. Is that everything that goes with me everywhere I go, and teach me to enjoy every present moment. My yoga brings me closer to God and provides me peace, strength, and discipline and also satisfaction in helping others.
Favorite Flow Session.
Repeat this sequence 12 times in the morning
This booklet reflects a personal journey that began 8 years ago. I have had important helpers along the way. I thank each of you for your support: Thank to my Mom,
Grandma and my family, specially to my soul mate Samir, who was consistently support me during those dark times and celebrated with me during the happy ones.
Also, thank MANDORLA YOGA INSTITUTE – CANADA and my yoga instructors Stefani and Sandy, their help and support have been invaluable. Also, I thank my mentor Monique, having the responsibility of teaching and inspired me to practice and to continue to learn.
Finally, I acknowledge and thank THE SIVANANDA YOGA FOREST ACADEMY – BAHAMAS and my instructors: Satyadev, Nirmala and Vani Devi, their teachings and essential comments, were invaluable for my training and deepen my practice. Thank you so much Swami Brahmananda, Jnaneswari and Rukmini, your insights about Our Supreme God, self as existence, bliss and the universe, fulfill my life with light, knowledge and wisdom. Thank you Dr. Durga for sharing your knowledge about anatomy and physiology.