Yoga Therapy empowers and supports individuals to manage their health issues and develop their own yoga practice. Here’s a post from Therapy student Kerry about her experience in Therapy sessions.
I was diagnosed with severe COPD 9 months ago. After a serious case of bronchitis, I was left with 30% lung capacity, very shallow breath and several coughing fits per day. My pulmonologist prescribed strong medication and discussed a bleak future ie I could now expect a downward trajectory and spend some time in and out of hospital.
After a lot of soul searching I realised that this was not the narrative I wanted – becoming dependent on others went against my very being. It was important to me to continue to live in strength, maintain my independence, enjoy my work and the rest of my life. I came to the conclusion that I was willing to change and do whatever it takes, even if this meant changing old habits and taking on the hard work. I researched what others with COPD were doing and then went about changing my diet, losing weight, increasing my fitness and practicing my breathing – but all of this still wasn’t enough – I continued to struggle with life, and I had no trust that my breath would continue to support me. Thinking about my issues with the breath led me to consider yoga as an option as the breath and yoga are fundamentally linked. In my case, because my breath was weak I was unsure if I could even make it through an entire class.
I came across the Marrickville School of Yoga online and queried if this yoga therapy program could help me. My pulmonologist was supportive and agreed that I could try and walk this path without medication. I went along anxiously to my first lesson and was relieved that I made it through to the end of the class. This meant that yoga therapy could now be considered a serious option. During classes, my teachers were very supportive and provided alot of personalized tuition; they were also very observant and guided my body through the various postures to open the lungs and allow healing to take place. At the end of each class I felt rejuvenated, refreshed and alive and I knew I was on the right track.
Stephanie, Simon, Hasu and their team are very experienced and well accredited yoga therapists who have a deep understanding of how the body works. I have been attending yoga therapy for 6 months now and my customised yoga program has enabled me to expand the lungs, strengthen the breath and open up the muscles in the chest. I am now able to breathe into my belly which I could not do prior to beginning yoga therapy. I continue to live with COPD but am very grateful for this therapy class as I have developed a stronger body and increased both my energy and fitness levels. I feel very blessed to be on a yoga journey with such caring and experienced practitioners and now have become committed to yoga for life.