When I first met Joel, he told me he was dealing with arthritis. Really nonchalant about the whole thing. After I got to know him a bit more, and had the pleasure of leading him through class a few times, he let me in on his condition.
Joel has lived with arthritis, gout, and diabetes for years and has very little cartilage remaining in his knees. Chronic pain is probably an understatement.
Yet, I see him in class EVERY SINGLE DAY. The pure determination. Enough said.
How long have you been practicing yoga?
2014 / 2015 – Approx. 9 months
2017 – Since January 1, 2017
How often do you practice? Daily.
What changes have you noticed in your practice? I’ve adapted to the heat. I’ve learned to control my breathing, especially, during the challenging moments. I’ve learned to focus and reject distractions in the hot room. I’ve noticed improvement in my range of motion.
Do you have an injury or health condition that yoga has relieved or healed? Through daily practice and loss of weight, I’m experiencing less joint pains and have received improved results from my last blood-work.
What daily activities has yoga made a difference in? I’m able to sleep more soundly, move more responsively. I am more alert and now I eat with a more conscious mind.
How is your yoga practice contributing to the rest of your life? I’m experiencing less discomfort and chronic pain.
Do you have a Favorite Posture(s)? Least Favorite Posture(s)? Although it will require several years of practice, my favorite postures are the ones I look forward to accomplishing in their complete form, such as the Standing Bow Pulling Pose, Tree Pose, Toe Stand, Bow Pose, & Camel Pose. For the same reason, they are also my least favorite postures, because I know they’ll take me several years!
What is your most memorable experience in class? I can’t specifically recall a single most memorable experience in class. Although, I do remember all of the moments I struggle in class because they motivate me and show me what I can do to improve my next practice.
What has been your most difficult experience with your yoga practice? My most difficult daily experience with my yoga practice is feeling anxious prior to the class about my performance due to my limited range of motion with my knees.
Additional comments that you would like to mention? I’ve been told that yoga could extend our lives for many years. It would be nice if we could actually do something in our lives to assure a “longer life”. However, I don’t practice yoga to live longer, but to be able to live pain-free, which would allow me to live more contently.