In the beginning
Two years ago, my boyfriend was helping me put underwear on. I was crying, because being thirty-two years old and needing help with your underwear is worth crying about.
I didn’t know anything about Yoga.
I was diagnosed with Severe Depression and Fibromyalgia when I was seventeen. The doctors told me that the pain was due to my depression. I knew better...I knew the depression was due to my pain.
I didn't know anything about Yoga.
In March of 2016, while walking my dog in Portland, Oregon, I was attacked and raped. They never caught the man and, as flippant as it sounds, life went on. I threw myself into work, going in early...coming home late, doing anything I could to stay distracted. Sleeping was impossible. Eating felt pointless. My Fibromyalgia spiraled, and I took pain medication to keep moving. Five months later and I was in the emergency room, trying to make sense of what the doctor in front of me was saying.
“Your kidneys are done, and your body isn’t far behind. You are disabled, and are no longer healthy enough to work.”
I didn’t know anything about yoga.
I spent the next two years learning some hard lessons. I learned that, without work, I had no idea who I was. I learned that listening to my body, while inconvenient, was no longer optional. Most of all I learned that personal pride takes a back seat when you need help putting on underwear.
And then I found Yoga.
I downloaded an app called YogaGlo (now Glo), trying to find any activity I could do without my body staging a full blown mutiny. I found a beginner’s class, taught by Jason Crandell. I stood in the middle of my living room, took a deep breath, and pressed play.
My life changed forever. My body still hurts, but it allows me to move. My mind still storms, but I’m learning to bend instead of break. I’m still disabled. I still take my medications, see my counselor, and struggle with getting enough sleep. I still don’t know anything about Yoga...
But I know I want to spend the rest of my life learning. I know that I want to share the path with anyone willing to walk it with me.
I am just a small speck...a lone coyote following the paw prints of those who run ahead. My jaw is wide, my tongue is hanging, and my teeth are bared in a laughing grin. Come run with me. Let’s find that loping stride, the one that may not be quick, but nonetheless eats the miles whole.
I am a yogi coyote...and I intend to find the path.