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  • Shane Kokas

How yoga changed my life

YOGA. 


 I've learned this word may appear like not much, but this is not the case. If you're like me, yoga is kinda frightening and for sure challenging. However, I admit it has many positive benefits. I’ve done yoga several times before but I've never made it a priority. A yoga session was always on an annual basis and the 60 minutes were always unplanned and was someone else's suggestion. Though infrequent, how has yoga benefited me?


Chapter 1: Warning Signs 


In the summer of 2012 I had injured my left hip. I am still not certain what the initial incident was, but the pain was more of a nuisance than anything. Nothing serious. With stretching and corrective techniques I was able to progress where there was no pain - just tightness in the glute and hamstring. I was in great condition, until the end of summer. 

I was enjoying the end of summer at a friend’s lake lot. We went out on the lake where I was on a tube behind a boat (tubing and boating is the bees knees). 

My friend decided to step on the gas and cut it sharp. If you're familiar with tubing, you know that once this happens, a large dip in the water occurs. If you hit this, there is a large blow to the tube and you’re thrown in the water. If you manage to escape you will slide rapidly across the water, flipping a couple hundred times. I experienced the later of the options.

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Chapter 2: The Incident 


Upon flipping I managed to grasp the tube's handles, then was submerged under the water. I held on for some time. I mean why give The Caption of the boat the sweet satisfaction of winning this battle? No, thanks. 


Well, my endurance ran out -- I had to let go. I got back on the boat, dignity somewhat intact and noticed my left hip felt off.  This was the start to a painful inconvenience.


Chapter 3: The Aftermath


Following the weekend the pain was similar to what was experienced in the beginning of summer - annoying, but tolerable. The only difference this time was the pain started to escalate, then began giving impressions of sciatica. I couldn't effectively train my clients. Soon after, I couldn't get out of bed. This happened all within 10 days. I had to make an desperate appointment with a chiropractor.

The chiro performed some excruciating active release on my hip, then realigned my spine. It was painful, but I felt better.


The chiro also couldn’t pinpoint exactly what went wrong. It was concluded the muscles in the left hip became so tight, causing it to shift more and more to the left. The blow from the tubing incident was too much and pulled my hip out of its proper alignment. After about 4 weeks of treatment I felt better. Still tight in my left leg - you know, the usual. Nothing significant happened after that. 


Chapter 4: The Yoga Class 


One evening some coworkers attended a yoga class and persuaded me into attending. I was due for my annual 60 minute yoga anyway. I drug my heels into the class, to which I then found out was actually 90 minutes (the profanity running rampant in my mind LOL).


Two days following the 90 minutes of personal hell, I noticed my hip never felt better. My leg never felt looser and my lifts felt stronger. I forgot how amazing it felt to actually have a full range of motion.

Though I don't get into a yoga class as much as I should, I acknowledge the importance and benefits behind the practice. 


Moral of my story:


  1. Sometimes you need to push your ego aside. Get help when needed. It will save you time, money and stress every time.

  2. Push yourself out of your comfort zone. New challenges bring growth.

  3. Stretch. Your body needs it. By no means am I a Yogi, but the practice of yoga changed my life and could well change yours.

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EDMONTON, ALBERTA

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