Some of you may know of Allanah who has agreed to write about her experience with Endometriosis. I hope her story encourages you to incorporate Yoga into your life.
Yoga for Endometriosis
Illness is the night side of life, a more onerous citizenship. Everyone who is born holds dual citizenship, in the kingdom of the well and in the kingdom of the sick. Although we all prefer to use only the good passport, sooner or later each of us is obliged, at least for a spell, to identify ourselves as citizens of that other place. Susan Sontag.
My name is Allannah Law and I am a yoga teacher who has Endometriosis. Its genetic, my mother had it, as did her sister and my cousin. Melissa has asked me to share my story with you in the interest of giving you hope concerning what yoga may be able to do for you. So here goes!
For the last three years I have had a chronic illness. Symptoms came and went, but the twenty kilos that I lost because of it remained. It happened just after the birth of my daughter, which felt like horrendous timing, although, is there ever a good time to get sick? For the first two years, it remained unidentified – they were the hardest years. For those of you reading this post who have chronic illness, I’m sure we have all shared the incredible anxiety and self-questioning that comes from unexplained symptoms.
Then in March this year, I was diagnosed with severe endometriosis. The funny thing is my symptoms are not all associated with endo. But endo it is, big as life and twice as ugly. I was incredulous when told. A huge blow to my ego. I have been a yoga teacher for 6 years, practitioner for 12. I no longer drink, take drugs, I eat well and I exercise. And so I asked the inevitable question, why me?
Well, why not me? And why someone else? My health journey has taken me to some incredible places where I’ve met incredible people. People dealing with a lot worse than me. My symptoms – nausea, abdominal cramping and bowel trouble pale in comparison to my student’s liver cancer, ovarian cancer and even more severe endometriosis. Now I count myself lucky. Unlike some of my students I have not been given a certain amount of time to live. I have not had to have a complete hysterectomy. I do not have a child with a terminal illness. I have been able to give birth to two happy, healthy children.
These brave women (and men) show extraordinary strength every day in what they face. I feel guilty sometimes even mentioning my illness when I’m with them and often I feel powerless to help. But I’m not entirely powerless. After all, I’ve been able to have kids and pain-free periods. And the only thing I can put that down to is Yoga. Yoga unites the body and the mind. Yoga reduces stress and anxiety and keeps the body fit and healthy. Yoga keeps your energy from stagnating. And, I believe, Yoga has helped me become a better person.
And I can pass on the knowledge of yoga that I have to others, so that they can benefit from it too. So if you have endometriosis, and would like to find some relief which is inexpensive and achievable let me know and I’ll do my best to put together practices for what ever is going on for you. Yoga is not a magic bullet. It will not “fix” your condition. But I guarantee it will help you find some peace and leave you a healthier, happier being.
Namaste and be well,