How Yoga Has Improved My Physical + Mental Health Post Surgery

By now I’m asssuming that if you’re a regular reader of my blog you’ll have read my health update post where I talked all about my surgeries over the last year and a half and how I’m feeling these days. What I didn’t really talk about  in that post is how I’ve been helping my body to heal, and a big part of that has been yoga.

I’ve had an on again off again relationship with yoga since I was a teenager, yo-yoing between going to classes, practising regularly at home, or going months without so much as thinking about the mat. Ironically, I have the habit of abandoning yoga practise whenever I’m busy or stressed, which is usually when I need it most.

After my last surgery in September, my mum and I signed ourselves up on an eight week course on Yoga for anxiety, spending two hours a week in a studio on a mat, and taking time out to practise each day. The difference this eight weeks made on how I felt was incredible.

I started feeling more capable. After over a year of feeling out of control of my own body, with days where I couldn’t even get out of bed in the morning, I actually felt like my body wasn’t completely broken. Sure, I won’t be spending an hour in Crow anytime soon, but I was actually able to do something, and being able to do something reignited my drive to do more.

I got stronger. I’m no Hulk now, and I could still do with a bit more arm workout (why are your arms the first place to lose muscle tone?!), but yoga was the perfect way to start building up my strength after spending the better part of six months in bed.

I wanted to be healthier. Whenever you struggle with digestive issues, you start to wonder why you bother eating healthy, when even an apple upsets your stomach. After a few weeks of solid yoga practice, I stopped craving pizza and crisps, and wanted to fuel my body with proper, whole food.

I started caring less. About what other people think, about little day to day problems, about the insignificant details. I was in a pretty negative headspace after all the surgeries, but yoga helped me find a way to stop getting caught up in little things. I got better at seeing the positives in most situations, and started keeping an eye on the bigger picture.

I felt less anxious. Feeling so out of control of your own body leaves you feeling pretty nervous and anxious a lot of the time. I found practising meditation, mindfulness and different breathing techniques helped me stay present in my day to day life, rather than reliving the negatives of the past or worrying about the possibilities of the future.

I felt happier. 2017 was a hard year for me, I felt sad, frustrated and pretty down. I still have down days and I’m still recovering, but bringing yoga into my day to day life made me feel so much more like myself again.

Are you a yoga fan?

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  • I definitely need to get back into yoga – it always makes me feel so much better! x

  • This is really inspiring. I also have a chronic illness and recently started going to the gym after about two years. I already am starting to feel better about myself, perhaps I should throw in a yoga class too!! xx

    Lynsey || One More Slice