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How a Diagnosis Helped Me Find My Way Back To My Body

My journey with yoga began 4 years ago, when I was diagnosed with HIV. My life had changed forever and one of my biggest fears had come true. Not only did I feel like the straight-mans...

My journey with yoga began 4 years ago, when I was diagnosed with HIV.

My life had changed forever and one of my biggest fears had come true. Not only did I feel like the straight-mans cliche but also became disconnected to my body. I felt like a ticking time-bomb, radioactive but also let down and betrayed by the body I thought would see me through without fault, right to the very end.

This feeling of disconnection actually made me realise I had never really been connected to my body at all. The only connection I had was abusing it slowly with drugs.

I was desperate to find some way back to my body - to understand it and try and find a way to create harmony. Of course, news like the one I had received was understandably hard to digest, and I knew I could not employ my regular coping mechanisms, and after some time I knew healing would have to start. The only way I knew how would be to start creating synchronicity with mind and body and that’s where yoga came into my life.

Being vulnerable and anxious, I did not feel brave enough to go to a class, so I started with some random YouTube videos.

At first, I felt so stupid - out of breath, and just like a newborn giraffe calf - flopping around in all kinds of ways. But, after a while, it became an everyday habit, and something slowly started to lift within me, where I was understanding things a little better, and acceptance to this new way of life I was thrust into. This simple everyday ritual was helping to anchor me, creating normalcy in a chaotic situation.

After some time I joined the ‘real world’ of yoga - the formal class. In true fashion, I thought I would go all out for the occasion and make sure I looked the part, think of it as yoga camouflage if you will. I arrived and suddenly didn’t know what the hell was going on. I soon realised that I was just pretending to do yoga. And I know that there are countless number of people that would say as long as you’re breathing you are doing yoga, but, I have to say, being in a formal situation and being guided meant that for those 60 minutes, I was able to be taken out of my mind and in to a place where acceptance for who I am and what had happened was somewhat closer than before.

Fast-forward 4 years and yoga has been a staple part of my life. By no means has it ‘fixed’ but It has given me the space where I can find the answers to questions and feelings that for a long time had caused so much fog in my mind.

Tagged with: Yoga

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