“I was being worked up for kidney transplant when the doctors told me that I needed new lungs because I wasn’t passing my pulmonary function tests. After a slight panic, I started pondering what to do to heal myself. One thing led to another and I found myself in a yoga class. The only one that I had any chance of being able to do: a class for seniors at the community center.”
It opened this amazing world at a time when I was quite lost. I had not gone to college like the rest of my friends. I just ended up suspended in this weird limbo where my life was consumed by doctors, lab draws, dialysis and disease and I’d just about had it.
After the acute kidney failure turned chronic I was losing hope of my kidneys working again and my attention turned to transplant. But my body had other plans because it seemed that my lungs would not be able to handle the stress of going under anesthesia for 6 hours and I was informed that if I wanted a new kidney I would need a new set of lungs as well. Cleary there was not a quick fix solution to my problem.
When I went to my first yoga class it had been about three years since the severe decline of my health. After almost dying, multiple hospitalizations, 2 months in the ICU and almost total loss of muscle, my body was not exactly supple, flexible or strong, and regular classes were out of the question. After that first class I found a small studio and started private lessons doing some very gentle yoga and breathing exercises for my lungs. I was hooked, for the first time in over 3 years I didn’t feel uncomfortable in my own skin. It was like this warm tingly feeling was bringing life back into my body. Of course, it wasn’t easy, and at times it was painful because my body was so battered, but little by little I chipped away and little by little I felt better and better.
It started with just the physical poses and breathing techniques, but the most wonderful part was the philosophy, mindfulness and spirituality that helped me overcome the fear, depression and negativity associated with getting so sick so young. It inspired me in ways that I didn’t think possible in a time when it was hard to get up in the morning.
I wish I could say that I am completely healed, that I am cured and I live a perfectly zen yogini life, feeling nothing but happiness and love. But I’m not quite there yet, the path of yoga is hard work, it takes commitment and patience and a whole lot of faith. There are days when I feel wonderful and my practice is fantastic and there are days when I can barely get on the mat, standing is a chore and concentrating on breathing out of the question.
Yoga lit a fire inside of me and ignited a passion that I wanted to share with the world and so I decided to sign up for a 200-hour teacher training at the small studio in Florida. After I moved to Encinitas last summer I found that I was craving a deeper study. I wanted to learn how to use yoga specifically as therapy and help my students the way that it has helped me. After researching all my options, I felt called to sign up for the Yoga Therapy Program at The Soul of Yoga.
My move to California had been less than smooth health wise and I found myself passionless and without enthusiasm. When it was time to go to the first 10-day intensive of the Soul program, I was having hesitations and didn’t want to attend. Reluctantly I went to the first day and almost immediately I was reminded of my love for yoga. The Soul was the place I needed to be, I had found my yoga home.
My health has improved significantly, even the western doctors cannot explain the healing of my “chronic” diseases and now my attention turns to what to do with the precious life I was given. My near death was a wakeup call and I have found that my path is yoga and service for the world. A dream of a spiritual retreat and sustainable living center for the development of human consciousness is developing itself in my life vision. All thanks to having found the path of Yoga.
Click here for more information about our 200 Hour Hatha Teacher Training and Yoga Therapy Programs.
To meet Waleska she will be supporting her mother Aarya’s 5 week Chanting for Humanity event starting May 13, 2017. And she is regularly at The Soul of Yoga attending the advanced therapy courses and yoga classes.