Building Resilience & Strength Through Yoga

“Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall” – Confucius

After my stroke I wanted to do things I hadn’t done before. I wanted to discover new things, new ways of being and doing. I wanted curiosity and wonder in my life again.

Initially, I dove back into all I knew after having a massive hemorrhagic stroke in November 2016. Overall I was lucky. I didn’t know I had had a stroke and did not get checked until 16 hours after my first symptoms. I was lucky again that I was still in the hospital when things went really wrong and had to have emergency brain surgery. The Neurosurgeon removed part of my cerebellum that had died and gave me some titanium plates in it’s place.

Amazingly, I had only minor deficits and I was disciplined enough (and had been fit enough prior to my stroke) to jump back into a fitness routine. My routine started with first only being able to walk around the house, then the yard then around the block. I belong to a women’s fitness community that was incredibly supportive through it all and when I came back to workout with them I knew I could comfortably work at my own pace as I gained strength back.

It took me about 6 months trying to be who I was before my stroke before I had exhausted myself and started to realize that I was falling into old familiar patterns and habits that I wanted to leave behind. I’d always wanted to do yoga but was intimidated by the few in-person classes I had attended. I found a free 30 day yoga program that was included with our Prime subscription. It was more advanced then I was but I was hooked!

I started looking for in-person classes again and I was fortunate to find an amazing instructor. Yoga became the thing that I allowed me to crowd out all the other “noise” and only focus on one thing. My intuition told me that this was good for my brain and it was also challenging me physically.

I ended up becoming certified to teach yoga, never thinking that I would teach. I now teach every other week at the women’s gym I still belong to and I recently started teaching to other stroke survivors.

Fast-forward a couple of years and yoga is now a part of my regular routine. It has helped me with my overall health goals and has given me increased balance, strength, range of motion, focus and all around well-being. I’ve learned that yoga is more than an exercise program; it is a way of life. Yoga is a way to quiet my brain and a way to strengthen my muscles and my overall resilience.

I am currently working on a 5-week session for the stroke survivor class. The overall theme is building resilience and strength through yoga. Each week will have:

🧘🏻Pranayama (breathing)

🧘🏻 Asanas (postures) and

🧘🏻 Meditation

Follow along with me on this 5-week journey to increase resilience and strength through yoga. I will be posting details and resources each week.

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