We are continuously inspired by our amazing Christina and her incredible yoga journey and felt called to share her story.....
"My yoga journey began six years ago. I had hit rock bottom. I was depressed, 50lbs overweight and in sever chronic pain. Eight months prior, I was diagnosed with a rare incurable spinal cord disease called Syringomyeila, when a cyst was found inside my cervical spinal cord. The cyst will continue to grow and elongate over time, pressing against my spinal cord and aggravating every nerve fibre in my entire body. All my limbs and organs will be effected.
I began to live with a searing, throbbing and radiating pain that would spread throughout my entire body, causing migraines, fatigue, weakness and balance problems. I developed troubles with hot and cold sensations in my hands and feet and every movement in my body felt painful and difficult. I depended on a cane to stay mobile when it was really bad. Stairs were pure agony and I would have to rest at the top of the stairs before being able to regain feeling in my legs. I didn't have the mobility to shoulder check while driving and could hardly hold a blow dryer over my head for five seconds. The nerve damage has causes sensitivity to sounds effecting my hearing. I began to experience ringing in my ears and sometimes even a loss of hearing in one ear.
I am thirty six years old and a mother of two young children. I knew I could not continue to feel this way. On October 17th 2012 I remember bawling my eyes out to my doctor. I couldn't take this anymore. I was desperate for something to changed and worried about the dark path I was going down. I was taking seven different medications, I felt terrible and was deteriorating fast. Thankfully my doctor was familiar with the therapeutic benefits of Bikram Hot Yoga. He believed the heat would be soothing for my sore body and encouraged me to start practicing the Bikram series. I needed to get moving and this was the most gentle, therapitic form of exercise I could do for my body besides swimming. That night I took my first class and I never looked back.
I saw dramatic changes quickly. I was gaining energy, mobility and balance. I began sleeping better and my depression was lifting. I was reclaiming my range of motion and I started to shoulder check without pain! I lost 50lbs in the first five months of my yoga practice. I couldn't get enough and was taking class five days week.
After all these years I am still committed to a regular Bikram Yoga practice. Now settling to three or four classes per week. I can't stop. If I am away from class too many days in a row, things start hurting again. Muscles stiffen and pain returns. This practice truley is my physiotherapy, my good medicine, my therapist and my fun.
After my huge change I decided to go one step further in repairing myself. I needed to get off my medications. I took the plunge and started using cannabis oil daily. Cannabis oil allowed me to wean off all of my pharmaceutical medications while controlling my symptoms and pain. I have been free of pharmaceutical prescription drugs for three years and know I am on the best possible path.
I have made yoga my lifestyle, improving my quality of life by leaps and bounds. I am part of the Yoga Union team, working as a receptionist and am passionate about helping and encouraging others who suffer with chronic pain to discover the healing power of yoga and natural medicine. I dream of attending a Yoga Teacher Training one day, if I am stable enough to do so. I am grateful to have this studio close to home, where I can continue my journey of healing."