With a little help from yoga

Students find their way to yoga along many different paths, but in our experience they usually fall into two categories.  Those who want to prevent injury by becoming more flexible and those who want to recover from it.  So it was when Aaron rocked up, having asked around to find a local yoga teacher.

Aaron’s story is such an inspiration to anyone who thinks they will never be able to do the things they love after recovering from injury, that we wanted to share it with you.

In 2009 he suffered a major disc herniation to his lower back following a mountain bike crash. A keen surfer, through sheer will and determination he got back on his bike and in the sea within five months, but the underlying issue of structural imbalance meant his spine hadn’t recovered properly. Over the next year he suffered two more prolapses, which resulted in having to stop all the hobbies he loved.  No more surfing or biking and to make matters worse, he now suffered so badly from sciatica that he couldn’t sleep on his left hand side. So worried that he would injure himself again, he lost confidence to do much – the activities that seemed so simple had became a real challenge.

His journey involved lots of different forms of treatment and after a couple of years he made some progress with Bowen Therapy. After a period of treatment the practitioner advised him to start yoga in order to reintroduce mobility and strengthen his body and structural alignment.

Given the extent of the damage his body had suffered, Jock worked with Aaron on a One 2 One basis. He took the time to understand what was important to Aaron and it became clear that if we could get him back in the water he would be a happy man!  By the time he came to us, it had been four years since he’d last surfed and when Jock said he would get Aaron surfing within the year, he laughed out loud!

By focusing on what was important to Aaron we worked on introducing postures and sequences with his goal of surfing in mind. The lessons were taken at Aaron’s pace and we often filmed the sessions so we could review his mobility and give him a reference so he could work on the sequences at home. Over the course of the first year he had 10-15 sessions and what was so inspiring was his commitment to practicing at home, something he found he enjoyed.

It is a huge testament to Aaron’s commitment, that after 6 months he was back in the water surfing; something he genuinely never thought he would do again.

Two years on and he still sees Jock occasionally and is back to doing the things he loves, which now include being dad to son Kobe.  In Aaron’s words ‘the work Jock has done with me has made a massive difference to my life’.

What inspires us though, is Aaron’s commitment to heal and to sustain a regular yoga practice.  Often it doesn’t matter how long or short the practice is, if you can do something every day it can make a huge difference to your life.  Whether we’re recovering from physical injury or emotional distress, yoga can provide a space to focus on something that can transform your life.  If Aaron can do it…so can you!