How long have you been practicing yoga? Since October of 2018
How often do you currently practice? 3-5 times per week
What was it that motivated you to take your first class?
I wanted to start recovering from depression and start moving. It was something I always wanted to do but I kept putting it off and putting off because I didn’t have the energy or the motivation. So, when I started coming, I got addicted. I love it. I’m trying to get some strength in my body; build some muscle because I had been sedentary for so long. I want to get myself in a little bit better physical, mental, and spiritual shape. I love being around the people, the camaraderie. The instructors are great.
Do you remember how you felt after your first class?
I felt great. I loved my first class. I think that since my first class, I have been putting my soul into it. It’s good for meditation. It’s good for my mental health. It has just kind of changed me, physically and mentally. I’m a little more focused. I’ve noticed I’m building some muscle, and some strength. I think I look a little better. My clothes are fitting better.
Do you care to share about any conditions you have that yoga has had an effect on?
I have fibromyalgia, lupus, and major depressive disorder. And for all three of them, yoga has helped tremendously. Yoga is something that I’m not going to stop any time soon because it helps so much. It gets me moving. Yoga is gentle enough for me to do. It takes away some of the pain of fibromyalgia. I’m sore in the mornings, but not as bad as I used to be. It’s easier to get out of bed. Before I get out of bed, I do some yoga, and then I become a happy person.
Do you come to class when you’re not feeling good, when you’re in pain?
Yes. All the time. I come no matter what. When I feel that bad, I will challenge myself more. Because when I get done, I feel better.
Have you noticed any change in the cognitive issues that come with fibromyalgia?
It’s on and off. My focus is a little better because I can get myself into more of a meditative state where my brain isn’t going all over the place and I can focus on what I’m doing
How have you noticed any effect yoga has had on your depressive disorder?
With fibromyalgia and lupus pain comes depression. When you get that pain to come down, the depression comes down.
Do you have any words of encouragement for people who are considering starting a yoga practice?
Just make yourself go one time. Because after you go once, you’re going to want to keep going. And because it does help with the fibromyalgia and the depression, what do you have to lose by trying? Some days I don’t feel like coming to class but I do anyway. Like you say, just do what you can, and you can even sleep in class if you need to.