YOGA IS MY MEDICINE
Guest Blog by Lindsey Sternett
Lindsey Sternett is a yoga student here at Black Cat Yoga. We are honored to have her share her own personal journey with chronic pain and speak to how her yoga practice became instrumental in easing her physical pain by writing a guest blog for our website. Lindsey hosts her own extraordinary website called "The Invisibility Journey" which is devoted to helping people who are experiencing chronic pain, anxiety, and other illnesses. She uses her own life journey to offer support, inspiration, and encouragement to others so they, too, can live their lives more fully, joyfully, and lovingly. Thank you, Lindsey, for your contribution to our blog and for being a bright and beautiful light in our world.
Growing up with chronic pain left me constantly searching for answers and relief...
Answers came in 2003 when I was diagnosed with hypermobile Ehler’s-Danlos Syndrome, a connective tissue disorder that causes pain and excess movement of the joints in the body. The second part of my search proved to be much more fleeting. After trying many different medications and therapies without much success, one thing I’ve come to understand about pain is that it cannot be treated by addressing the physical aspect alone. This is why yoga has become so important in my relief.
Even ten minutes of practice in the morning...
Physically, yoga has given me strength and corrected my poor posture that was caused from weak joints in my back, which led to more pain. It gets the blood flowing in my body and reduces pain and fatigue. I use Asanas at the onset of pain flares that used to keep me in bed for days or weeks at a time, and have even been able to stop a full-blown flare in its tracks. Even ten minutes of practice in the morning can make a noticeable difference in my day. The physical changes I’ve noticed since beginning my yoga journey have been remarkable, but it’s so much more than that.
Yoga has taught me patience...
My yoga practice has become something I carry with me in my daily life, even when I’m not on my mat. It has shifted the way I think and the way I approach new situations. I’ve become more intuitive to what my body needs to feel healthy, and I’ve become disciplined enough to maintain the lifestyle it requires. Yoga has taught me patience and how to allow myself grace when I can’t do something because of my illness. It has strengthened that little voice that reminds me to focus on my breathing in the middle of a flare, and reminds me that this feeling is only temporary. It allows me to come back to the present when my pain is causing my thoughts to run wild.
Treating physical symptoms alone isn’t enough...
The mind-body connection that yoga instills is the piece that’s missing from western therapies and medications. Treating physical symptoms alone isn’t enough when it comes to chronic illness. While these treatments may bring temporary relief, yoga develops the mindset it takes to not just survive chronic pain, but to thrive. I used to feel like my disorder controlled my life and made all my decisions for me. Now, largely because of yoga, my life is determined by my dreams and desires – not my pain.
I’m Lindsey – a blogger obsessed with music, art, travel, and adventure. I write about my experiences with managing chronic pain, anxiety, and other symptoms of hypermobile Ehler’s-Danlos Syndrome. My goal is to inspire those suffering with chronic illness to take charge of and create the life they have always dreamed of.
The Invisibility Journey www.theinvisibilityjourney.com