Bliss: My Return to Yoga!

After 3 long months, I finally made it back to yoga for the first time last Sunday and returned again this morning. Both times rather ambitious as I did not have warm weather making the journey easy, rather zero degree weather with negative wind chills and fierce winds beckoning me and my mat as I made my commute to the cozy studio a few miles from my house.

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January marks my fifth year practicing yoga. My absence from a practice that brings calm and peace to my mind and body including my blood sugars and a sense of ease and joy was not intentional or desired.

(For those that don’t know: I came down with the flu the last weekend in October (they are saying this is the worst flu season yet!), followed by an upper respiratory infection, then finally pneumonia and a frozen shoulder made worse by each of these illnesses and what happened next.. The day after the potent antibiotic for the pneumonia ended my husband and I were in a car accident (not good for an already depleted body!) while headed out to dinner and a play on our five year wedding anniversary–as you can tell, these were NOT fun several months!). I have been determined to do everything possible to restore my health and have found acupuncture, massage, chiropractic and homeopathy to be wonderful modalities to assist in my healing. And I am getting stronger! Yay!

It feels amazing to be practicing again yet extremely challenging too. Strength, flexibility and the ability to be in the present moment without judgment does not come to those spending their time resting on the couch. The classes have also brought up much emotion in me, some difficult, as the painful experiences I have endured over the last several months are released through the poses.

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I hope to work up to my 2-3 times per week practice in the coming weeks and look forward to the continued positive benefits to my body, mind and spirit. I enjoyed a long nap last Sunday and this afternoon—much needed as I try to get my body back into shape and to experience the vibrant health I once knew before the rough several months of illness and extended bed rest I endured.

Have you tried yoga yet? Along with a glucose meter, syringes or pump and insulin, yoga can be a great tool to have in our kit of wellness. Yoga is an important element of well-being for me in my holistic journey to health. There is an abundance of health benefits including helping to improve mood and relieve anxiety and depression. I wish every person with diabetes who experiences hardship emotionally would give this natural health booster a chance—yoga helps me immensely in raising my spirits and gives me almost supernatural powers in my ability to handle the stress of living with multiple chronic health conditions. It is also very good at balancing the chakras, or energy centers of the body.

My favorite kind of class is Slow Flow—where each class starts and ends with meditation. Poses are moved through in a calm relaxed pace and held for a length of time that allows one to feel the positive effects in their body and finishes with a long savasana (final resting pose). I know a small handful of teachers that teach in this style with two of my favorite both teaching Sunday morning. So far I have been choosing the one with a later 10:00 am start! I also love restorative yoga and Hatha.

If you would like to start yoga for the first time, look into beginner yoga classes at a studio close to your house (If you are not familiar, you can google yoga + your zip code to pull up studios nearest to you!). There is a certain energy present in the room of a live class that cannot be matched by following along to a video at home. If financial resources prevent an in-studio practice for you, a yoga video can be a wonderful alternate way to experience the many benefits yoga offers. I hope you will try it out! Men practice yoga too—I’m still trying to get my husband to return to another class with me!

ps. I achieved these sugars by eating one piece of gluten free toast w/Sunbutter before class this morning and a .60 unit bolus of insulin (a very small amount for me) from my pump (and no 30 microgram shot of Symlin as I usually inject before meals). I shut my pump off for an hour after class holding me at a perfect 83–amazing, isn’t it?

Yoga truly is amazing for diabetes!! 🙂

Peace & Light,

Cynthia

I welcome you to join our awesome online community at Diabetes Light on Facebook! You can also find us on Twitter @diabeteslight. I look forward to seeing you there!

You may also like to read: The blessing of restorative yoga

**If you live in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area I recommend these yoga studios: Invisible Bee Yoga, Devanadi Yoga, One Yoga and Yoga Center of Minneapolis.

pps. Due to my strong belief in and love for yoga, I was set to start a yoga teacher training program this past fall. It has unfortunately been delayed as I work to heal my frozen shoulder first. I hope to return to the program of study this fall if my frozen shoulder thaws and heals by September.

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