Several years ago I hurt my right hip. I had a bad habit of getting out of my car by placing my left foot on the ground and then twisting my right leg and "dragging " it out. Eventually, like all bad habits, it took its toll. The leg became stiff and, instead of exercising, I favored it. It kept deteriorating and arthritis stepped in to hasten the decline. I began to walk with a limp. I had terrible balance; I couldn't stand on either leg long enough to get a pants leg on. After falling down the stairs because my right leg wouldn't support me, I resigned myself to going up and down on just my left leg. The leg became even weaker and, if I could manage to get up out of a chair, I would have to hobble over to something to lean on and try to straighten it out since it remained bent as if I were still sitting.
"I imagined my future sitting in a wheelchair. "
What could I do?! I had to fight back! But, how? I couldn't walk or ride a bike. Forget about going to the gym for more strenuous exercise!
In the spring of 2018, on my way to a craft store, I saw a YOGA sign. I didn't know anything about yoga except if I got down on the floor, I was going to have the devil of a time getting back up. I didn't do anything about it but that YOGA sign kept "poking" me. Sometimes life truly does give you a “sign”; you just have to be willing to see it.
By the time I decided to come to Shree Yoga in Saddle River, NJ that fall, I had no cartilage in my right hip and I was in pain 24/7. I knew I was facing hip replacement surgery but wasn't brave enough to deal with that yet. I signed up for, not one, but two chair yoga classes a week. Of course, yoga couldn't heal my leg; this isn't a fairy tale. However, it could and did improve my balance, the strength of my leg, my overall muscle tone, flexibility and feeling of well-being. Yes, chair yoga! And when I faced my hip surgery in the summer of 2019, it definitely helped with my recovery and physical therapy.
To say that I am grateful to my chair yoga teachers, Susan Walsh and Jan Jeremias, is an understatement. I cannot thank them enough for their professionalism, encouragement and support. To date I have had several teachers at Shree Yoga: Rachel, Terry, Emi and Valerie -- they have all been wonderful. These are people that not only want to help you learn yoga to the best of their ability but see you as an individual and honestly care about your welfare.
Recently I have moved out of my chair classes and into gentle therapeutic and other more challenging classes. There are things my right leg is never going to do. That's just the nature of things for me. I still have a balance "issue"; it doesn't come easily for me. There's still plenty of room for improvement, but I try to do my best in my classes and my Shree Yoga teachers are there to help, encourage and support me in my journey.
"ShreeYoga Studios has made such a wonderful difference in my Life. It has improved the quality of my life so much for the better; how many things can you say that about?"
Thank you for taking the time to read my story. I sincerely hope it makes a difference and helps someone.
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