I grew up on the shores of Lake Erie and moved to North Carolina 15 years ago. I truly have enjoyed living and working in the small part of NC known as “The Harricanes”. The community in this area is close knit and to say they have become a family to me and my two children is an understatement.
For years, I struggled with self-esteem and weight issues, never really finding the right fit for me until I found running. Running gave me an outlet and a daily ritual I needed. I have also been plagued with spinal issues that resulted in a fusion of my L5-S1 joint in 2020.
The spinal fusion in October of 2020 left me with little choice but to hang up my running shoes. Prior to the surgery, I struggled with pain and complete numbness down my left leg. My core strength post-child had never truly gotten to where it should be for stability, and the weakness on my left leg was no help. After falling in love with running, I was very reluctant to try yoga or any other form of exercise that did not involve a great deal of sweat and breathlessness. I headed to the ortho urgent care for my second round of cortisone shots in my left hip to help with pain and was told to start physical therapy or try yoga. I opted for yoga – Piper Moon Yoga was more convenient and cheaper than PT. I started going at the very end of December 2021 and fell in love. My first month I went to 27 classes. I found both the sense of community that running gave me and daily routine that I needed.
The practice of yoga has been very rewarding. Physically, I have lost 20 lbs. without even trying. My strength and stability have improved. I stand for long hours at my job and for the first time in years I do not have pain while doing it. I have also gained flexibility. I hadn’t been able to sleep on my stomach since 2018 and I am now a proud stomach-sleeper again. There is also the mental aspect. The practice of yoga is more than poses. I have become more centered, less agitated, and my concentration has improved.
My favorite pose by far is savasana. The lavender towels and stillness are amazing. Slowing down, resting, and giving myself gratitude are all things I forget to do.
I was completely wrong when I thought only exercise that left me extremely sweaty and breathless could give me a complete workout. I go to all the different classes to round out my complete wellness. Vinyasa Flow and Power Flow give me the cardiovascular benefits, Hatha’s longer holds builds strength, and both Yin and Relax and Recharge allow me to stretch. I really wish I would have become a yogi years ago.