Tory Pereira- Sepsis Survivor
Copyright © 2015
Yoga has been a huge blessing in my life, before and especially after my accident. I started practicing when I came to college and immediately fell in love. Summer of 2013 was when I started practicing daily and it changed my life forever! Through practicing I learned that yoga wasn’t just about becoming more flexible and doing cool handstands.
The purpose of yoga is to unite ourselves with our highest nature. Yoga taught me how to become one with my body, learning how to connect my mind, body and breath. Breathing is very important in yoga because it causes the movement of energy throughout your body and helps your body to relax.
Yoga is the process of self-discovery and allows you to become more aware of who you are. The practice helped to create space throughout my body after being bedridden in a hospital bed for a month. I was skin and bones when I was released from the hospital but yoga helped me to love and appreciate my body once again. Once you start practicing you become aware of your mind and all the noises it creates.
It’s amazing because yoga helps me even more off of the mat. I have a lot of anxiety since my accident, and yoga has helped me learn how to breathe. When I start to panic or feel unsafe I start breathing my ujjayi breathe and the feeling of calmness soars throughout my body and mind.
My soul felt dead after my accident. I didn’t want to listen to music, I didn’t laugh at jokes, I was very angry, sad and confused. I didn’t understand why something so awful would happen to me.
Yoga is what brought me back to life. While I was in the hospital I didn’t think I was ever going to be able to practice again, I was relearning how to walk and I was the weakest I had ever been. The thought of not being able to practice my passion in life broke my heart.
I knew before I stepped on my mat I was going back to the basics. Think of my scar as a tummy tuck, it was so tight that it wouldn’t allow me to stand straight up.
First I would sit on my mat and just cry. They were happy and sad tears all at the same time. I was so happy and thankful to be on my yoga mat again! But I was very sad because I physically couldn’t do much. I had never been physically weak before so this was all new and very scary to me. Not being able to pour myself a glass of milk or put my own dishes away because they were too heavy.
I couldn’t do baby cobra and that was just a shock! Something that was so simple before, I couldn’t do now. My happy place was on my mat so I got on it everyday even though I couldn't do much. I started seeing progress after a month, I stretched my scar out some and was able to do baby cobra. That was beyond exciting! I continued to see progress throughout my body and mind. I was loving it. I was starting to feel like Tory again.
I honestly never thought I would physically be able to do a backbend again because of 15 inch scar going straight down my belly. I was scared to try the first time because when my scar stretches it hurts really bad and I didn’t think my arms had enough strength to hold my body. I was so wrong! The first time I tried my backbend was a year after my accident in February and I was with my friend Carmen. Breath and go! WOW Carmen I’m in my backbend! I jumped for joy and I’m sure she could feel my excitement!
If my accident and recovery has taught me anything, it’s to have faith and to never give up. I worked hard everyday to gain my strength back and I’ve witnessed so many beautiful miracles. God is beyond amazing.
I was reminded of the power of yoga and connecting to my breath when I realized I felt alive again, integrating yoga and meditation into my healing. When I connect to my breath, the physical and emotional pain I was suffering would go away, and my mood would feel calm, focused and happy. It was during my mindful practices that I would listen to God and my life purpose slowly started to emerge from the muddy waters.
I am very thankful to have yoga in my life because it helped me to make peace with who I am again. The goal of yoga is to love,... well, yourself! It did just that, yoga helped me realized I am not a weak girl who can’t pick up a gallon of milk. I am a strong girl who can’t pick up a gallon of milk, YET! Thank y’all so much for reading today's blog post, see y’all next week! God Bless.
Peace and Love,