I was in a class this week, catching up with regular students and meeting some new faces when a conversation took place on the side. A girl was relating to her colleague about her physical condition and wanted to know if yoga could help with minor scoliosis. Her colleague’s reaction was strong, immediate and ultimately negative due to her own personal past experience in addressing her back pains through yoga. However she is also one of the few that consistently shows up for class every week, which strikes me that perhaps yoga benefits her in other different ways.

A few days earlier, I was catching up with another friend who just discovered the wonders of yoga. Eyes shining and talking excitedly, she was relaying to me how amazing she felt after attending Hot Yoga with a teacher she had recently found. Part of that happiness I believe was closely related to shedding 9 kgs in less than 3 months.

My Yoga Journey

Since I first started attending yoga years ago before completely falling in love with it and starting my own daily practice, I too have had my own positive and negative experiences. I have twisted a muscle in my neck that took weeks to go away because I thought practicing a plow pose on my bed was safer than on my mat (this was obviously a very bad idea!). But I have also experienced the healing abilities of yoga. After attending my teacher’s training, I learned to enter the pose safely and correctly. The plow pose is said to stimulate and enhance your immunity and I believe this has shortened the length of my colds and cough ever since.

My first plow in front of a crowd was at my 200 teachers training. A safe plow should be performed on a hard surface with a folded mat to support the cervical vertebrae.
My first plow in front of a crowd was at my 200 teachers training. A safe plow should be performed on a hard surface with a folded mat to support the cervical vertebrae.

Yoga Helps Different People in Different Ways

Many people approach yoga for a multitude of reasons, and wanting different things out of it. Some begin to attend class to de-stress, gain flexibility or build strength, while others stumble on to yoga as a last resort to lessen their pain and suffering.

Arthur Boorman is one of those people who approached yoga in hopes of gaining back his normal life. A disabled veteran of the Gulf War, for 15 years doctors told him he would never walk unassisted again. Almost all yoga instructors he approached refused to work with him due to his condition until he got hold of “Diamond” Dallas Page’s DDP Yoga DVD.

The video below documents his journey from walking with leg braces and crutches to running across the fields within just 8 months. I first saw this video early last year but have come back to it again and again. It never fails to make me tear and inspires me to keep teaching and developing classes that are accessible to all types of people, irrespective of their current health conditions.


What does yoga mean to you? Share your yoga journey in the comments below or on our Facebook page!


Written by: Nabilla Sharil, a registered yoga teacher and founder of MindBodyBreath Malaysia.
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