Monday, February 4, 2013

F&FiF: Evolving with J

To celebrate us all getting Fit and Fab in February, I'm really excited to get to bring you a series of guest post from some spectacular folks! This week, our post is from J, a fellow gluten-freer with a fantastic message. 

Through Yoga I Found Myself
It’s been a rather odd and joyous journey throughout the course of my life. From the moment, I was born it’s been filled with challenges mostly physical, due to cerebral palsy and gluten. It has not stopped me from living my life but has weighed down me emotionally until the moment I found the essence of yoga. 

I was 15 years old when an application was made for me to receive services at Shriners Hospital in Houston, Texas. I was accepted and then had surgery to correct my walking as much as possible. The surgery, as well as the second surgery following it, worked as best as they could. I no longer walked as wobbly as before. It’s now more like a small limp. Throughout that time I heard a lot of talk about yoga on television and in magazines. It intrigued me. I wanted to know and experience the healing powers of it. I didn’t explore as I wanted. My own emotions and my self-imposed depression stopped me until I went to college.

I signed up for yoga the last semester of my undergraduate degree. I was very nervous as I wasn’t quite sure what I was getting into even though I had done my research on yoga and the class. I spoke to the teacher about my challenges and she said it would be fine and to do all that I could. So I did and guess what? I had never felt better, granted my gluten issue was still going on, but I felt better! I had arrived to the place that I needed to be. I practiced three times a week and I was getting mentally and physically healthier. After that semester, I let life take me away from yoga. The stresses of starting graduate school and having no time for anything bogged me down. Needless to say, this was a very challenging time for me. I was sad and I was lost. 

Once I graduated and gained employment, I immediately went back to yoga by enrolling at a studio. There I learned that I preferred morning yoga and meditation and that, unfortunately, I just didn’t have the time for it as classes started at 9 am. My health declined significantly after I let go of yoga again. I was getting sicker each day and I was always sad. I was becoming negative and invisible. 

I slowly gained my confidence and empowered myself when I went back to school to obtain a second masters in 2010 but in 2011 is when ultimate change happened. I value this time so much because I grew in all areas of my life and I saw that I am worth it. I learned to love myself through everything. This challenging and empowering time helped me get back to yoga which I did in October of 2012. I learned to balance my health, life, and the way I handled situations. I learned to kick out the negative out of life. I learned that life is beautiful and I should embrace it in all its facets. The ultimate lesson that I learned is that I was practicing yoga all along. 

You see, yoga isn’t just physical. It’s valuing yourself and your body. It’s knowing when to rest and when to go. It’s knowing when to hear the silence and when to scream with joy. It’s knowing that no matter what that you will make it through. It’s knowing that you are here on this earth and gosh darnit you’re going to make it because you just know it. 

Yoga is my sense of peace and empowerment. Every day I work on myself both physically and mentally through it and by implementing meditation and self-awareness journaling. I am by no means an expert or perfect. I am learning every day, modifying, adding what I can and especially learning from others.
Some find yoga is not for them and that’s alright. There are many types of yoga and there are many different paths. It’s up to you to find one. Just listen to yourself. Listen to what the world around you is saying and go for it. 

Empower yourself, take charge, and take the initiative, to be the person you want to be. Go.

Some Helpful Tools for your Yoga/Empowerment Journey:
- Discuss with your doctor first before starting a new program.
-  Do your research and do what’s best for you. 

·         Yoga Journal
·         Jo Beth Yoga
·         Daily Cup of Yoga
·         All-In Yoga app

·         Mayo Clinic Information
·         How to Meditate (Has Buddhism aspects; great information)
·         Meditation Oasis (Information and apps)
·         Insight Timer App

·         Living Compassion (Information and apps)

J is a freelance blog writer who loves to write for others and also writes a little bit on her own. Gluten free. Beginner yogi. Paradox of interesting. Don't worry! One step at a time--we'll get there. #evolve4 life Visit


  1. I really hope we experience yoga nirvana this weekend!

  2. I have Celiac Disease as well and have recently started to practice yoga. Looking back, I wish that I would have started when I was diagnosed. Despite my body failing me from time to time, I feel stronger and better than I have in ages. I am looking forward to following your blog, J.