Personal Experiences

Yoga Has Been Therapeutic For Me

Beth BeardAt some point about 5 years ago, I injured my left hip. I don’t know exactly how it happened but I experienced increasing pain with every step. I was advised to stop doing yoga, so I did. I gained more weight as I became less active. I also felt depressed and frustrated with the chronic pain.

I was told I had a tear deep within my hip socket that would never heal because that area does not get enough blood flow to heal itself. I was also told I either had to live with the pain or deal with it surgically. I was concerned about my increasing use of anti-inflammatory medication and pain relievers so I made an appointment with a surgeon. He said that success with this kind of tear in the shoulder was high but in the hip socket…not so much. He also informed me that the traction I had to endure, as well as complications from the surgery could make my pain much worse.

Feeling pretty hopeless, I went to a gentle yoga class. We did an uncomfortable hip opening pose called ‘pigeon’ (see pose below). We held the pose for quite a while, on each side, letting the muscles release. I was walking around after that class in amazement that my pain was gone. The stretching created space so my socket wasn’t rubbing and causing pain with each step. Eventually the pain came back so I would regularly move into pigeon pose at home. Each time I found relief. I believe this exercise allowed for blood flow to this area because in time I no longer had the pain.

This sparked my interest in Yoga as therapy. Yoga can be used as therapy for physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual issues. I eventually went and studied Therapeutic Yoga at Yama Studios in Baltimore. I could not be happier with that decision.

Pigeon Pose

Pigeon Pose