A magical journey that is down to earth
Suddenly I can not walk properly after getting out of bed. I fall on the floor 3 times while trying. On my buttom I go down the stairs, telling my husband: ‘something is really wrong!’
This was the start of a long journey. I had double-vision, my ears didn’t work properly and had a severe tinitus. In the backside of my head a burning pain I never had in my life. Muscle- and jointpains and vertigo so strong that the world was spinning. I felt sick a good part of the day. I was exhausted, could not take much light or sound. I vomitted after sitting upright longer than 10 minutes, after a talk or watching tv.
Reading, household or taking the children to school was no longer an option. I could not do my fantastic job as a social-legal worker and hardly spend time with my husband and our children. I had to use a walker for the few minutes I could walk. And after 7 months, out of the blue, the ligaments in my knee and meniscus ripped.
Doctors and diagnoses
So, this all involved doctors, treatment-try-outs and diagnoses like neuritis vesitbularis, a persistent virus, vertigomigraine, fybromyalgia, B12 deficiency, Hashimoto disease, buckethandle-meniscus that needed surgery. In 18 months it summed up: 73 times contact with doctors, 77 treatments and research, regular and alternative. I tried different medication, that mostly did not help. Only Thyroid meds and weekly B12 injections stayed.
Lessons in life and yoga
On the other hand there was the yogapath I was on. After the first 3 months, my yogateacher Ankan, Yoga Kumar, came at our home, to help me start yoga again and give individual advice.
I remember laughing, as I could hardly stand straight, when he suggested balance postures. But he was serious. So with some ajustments I did practice balance too. Within my limitations, but a goal was set! I could, at that time, practice yoga only 5 minutes each day. After half a year I could come to class and join 25% of it, while I had to rest the whole next day. But, I kept practising yoga daily, just the minutes I could. The combination of knee and head problems brought a lot of difficulties.
After 12 months into the disease-proces, I had a knee surgery and in the next 4 months, yoga and physical therapy helped to move forward with baby steps. Yoga helped me from the start to accept this new reality for the time being. I was finding new ways to connect to my body and take my lessons out of this period. And this time of not being able to work or do much in the house, gave an opportunity to practice ‘just being’.
Also the education in constellation work I took, did help to break through some old paterns, that appeared to have physical influences. This too was helping me to bare through the consequences of the disease.
Life changing choice
But, recovery did not take further and therapists found a strong limit on my capacity that was not stretchable. We made the best out of each day as a family, but the challenges in daily life and as a mother and wife were still huge.
That was when Yoga Kumar pointed us to India as direction for my health: more yoga and Ayurveda. This advice was an immense turnaround and an emotional rollarcoaster. We had to quit our jobs, find schooling for the children to mention only 2 issues. Still our family of 4 felt a deep yes. It was an inner knowing that we should go and we decided to listen to that voice. So in july 2017 we flew to India, Maharasthra to land in Kaivalyadham Yoga Institute to stay for 10 months.
A long, intense and beautiful expedition followed. Physically, mentally and spiritually. Ayurvedic doctors prescribed yoga as therapy and Ayurvedic treatment. We ate Satvic food. My weeks were filled with 4-5 times yogatherapy and ayurvedic treatments. And we were together on the yogic 8 folded path of Patanjali: being aware on how to treat others and ourselves healthy, via asanas, be conscious of breathing and our senses and practice concentration. It was the real deal.
Peace of mind
Traditional yoga is working on the mind. I learned to stay within my comfortzone, instead of always discovering outside. The balance between activity and relaxation was disturbed in me. Looking back I realized I never really took recoverytime after intense activity. In the traditional classes I noticed how important it is. How my body needed the shavasana after a posture. How my mind became more quite, since it didn’t have to follow up on all of my great ideas :), prove myself, or do all the important things I did. My mind was less busy forcing myself to reach a little higher than I could, so it found space and peace that my body needed to start recovering.
In the meantime Ayurvedic treatment worked on my immunesystem, detoxing and painrelief. This helped a great deal physically and on calming my mind too, as pain is very disturbing, either if you try to ignore or give it attention.
West meets East
This whole lifestyle worked integrated with the western medicin I (for now) need. The western hospitals are experts in trauma (like when you break a leg) or medication for a serie of diagnoses. But for lifestyle diseases, that are so common and in such a variety among us, it falls short. The ancient wisdom of yoga and Ayurveda is complementary. This works both ways. Science is finding that more and more too. Many times I felt deeply gratefull, to experience east meets west in a profound way. That I, we all as a family, took the plunge to turn our lives upside down, to encounter recovery, grow, adventure and so much love.
Good to hear, but what happened next with your health?
After two months India, I swapped my walker with a stick and I could walk like this for about 15 minutes. After 2 more months I am walking without stick or any help. In yogaclass I can do all postures now, without someone holding me.
One more month and I could drive the scooter. Two 2 years (!) after the disease came along I took my children to school again by myself!
The Vertigo is less, my eyes work better, so I can read again, energy is more, pain less, tinitus reduced big time, I spend less hours in bed during the day.
Every 2 months I was tested at the Scientific Research Departement of the Yoga Institute Kaivalyadham and the tests on strength, coördination and balance stated huge improvement. So the testresults corresponded with my daily life.
A final touchdown and first new steps
I could move from therapy-yogaclass to basic class in january 2018. When we returned to The Netherlands the end of April, I even finished a 200 hours yogainstructor course!
I started to develop and conduct workshops for teachers with my husband ‘how to teach yoga to children’. Learning about this lifestyle in a fun and traditional way, will benefit the children ánd parents & teachers on many levels. Slowly I pick up coaching again, now with the addition of the powerfull ancient sciences.
Bringing forward the Yoga & Ayurvedic lifestyle that supported me to great extend physically, mentally and spiritually, is the natural way to go. New chances will be unfolded and I am ready to take each new step!