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inspiration of the month - lisa dugan

About three years ago, I met a local yoga instructor who asked about my familiarity with the practice of yoga and its benefits. In the short time we talked he recognized by the way I stood that I was uncomfortable with my body weight and image but even more uncomfortable in talking about it. I had only gone to maybe five yoga classes in my life and never gave it enough of a chance to become my go to work out. To be in a studio, around others, mostly standing still in held poses then flow in and out of all the while hoping gravity and body weight didn’t land me on my face, I thought, no way.

Infrequent workouts had been a mix of powerlifting, some CrossFit, occasional wogs (you know, the walk/jog). I was also diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis in my hands and feet which pretty much ended heavy weight lifting or running.

I agreed to start my yoga practice at a studio downtown Columbus – within a few classes, I was hooked. Each practice was more noticeable than the previous in flexibility. I was surprised in a yoga class to sweat as much or more than other workouts and also have the same (good) soreness from each class. I wanted to get better each and every class.

The not-so-convenient commute into downtown Columbus for a regular schedule of classes was becoming hard to manage. Thank goodness one day I noticed a car with the Burn Within advertising decal and found out that this was a new yoga only studio recently opened in Grove City -- thank you Teresa for opening what GC needed! I started a membership immediately.

Yoga is truly my calm, my balance to stress. When I miss classes, I begin to feel it not only in my body but also in my mind. I become yoga ‘hangry’ until I can finally get back to a practice.

Yoga helps to manage my rheumatoid arthritis pain. Its benefits are unlimited in keeping inflammatory flares in check, and my hands and feet flexible and reactive to medication. Yoga tones and builds muscle, balances the mind, and improves posture. Without a doubt, yoga motivates me to eat cleaner and be more active. It has been key to my weight loss.

Leaving our “To Do” at the studio door and disconnect is hard to do -- but during a practice, the brain begins to turn off and disconnect starts to happen. Yoga can reverse a bad day, can build up confidence to power through a pose that I could not before, can bring tears (of joy and sadness) that I might have held back and needed to release, and provides such a sense of balance when the class is over.

It’s exciting to be advancing my practice with inversions (so awesome when the brain and body work together), wanting to practice more challenging forms of yoga, and take longer classes. Arm balances are still my archenemy but I’ll master them in time.

Lisa Dugan

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