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Updated: Oct 30, 2022

I have a story to tell, and this surgical screw sums it up very nicely. It represents a turning point in my life. My bones are a bit defective in shape, enough to cause problems after decades of wear and tear. Bear with me, I'll get to the yoga part in a bit...

This screw held my shin together for several months after a surgery to realign my kneecap, by surgically fracturing my tibia and putting it back together at a different angle. That was only one of my multiple orthopedic surgeries on both feet, both knees, and both shoulders.

I went from pre-surgery not being able to carry a laundry basket down a flight of stairs, to post-surgery backpacking the 93-mile Wonderland Trail around Mt. Rainier. Now I average several hundred miles a year of hiking, backpacking, biking, and snow-shoeing, something I could only dream about before.

Several years ago I also found out I have a spine defect that will eventually need a lumbar fusion as it progresses. I sometimes can't feel my right foot and my low back feels less-than wonderful. I had started practicing yoga inconsistently before that diagnosis, but when I realized how incredible yoga has been for managing my low back pain (I don’t even take Advil or Tylenol), I dove into yoga head-first and never looked back.

That led to me to 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training (YTT) and 300-hour YTT. I went from dabbling in yoga because it was kinda “fun” to becoming a yoga teacher with several classes a week. It has changed my life. I've since added Accessible Yoga training, TRX-Yoga, and 2 Yin Yoga trainings as well, and incorporate those into my teaching as well.

I can’t imagine where I would be right now without having gone through what I have gone through. Just like that screw and what it represents. Rehab was not at all pleasant, but I came out so much stronger and happier on the other side of it.

Sometimes life throws curve balls at you, some good, some bad. It’s easy to let your mind go into the “Why me?” or “It’s not fair!” mindset. I spent years in that dark place. Decades. It’s not a good place to be, either for yourself or for those who love you.

Mindset – Yoga has taught me to always try to find the positive in things, no matter how bad they might look on the outside. To see the blessings even when things look daunting. To know that it's OK to take time to take care of myself, because that makes me better able to take care of others. To be completely content with where I am RIGHT NOW regardless of hurdles I've been through or what might be coming in the future (see my blog post on Santosha). I guess what I'm trying to say here is that sometimes you have to go thru a bit of hell to come out oh-so-much-better on the other side. Smile. Get on your yoga mat and smile.

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