Ooooooo! Where do I start? What do I claim first? What is the most beneficial? I don’t know! I love everything that is coming with this full immersion into the Yoga/Meditation lifestyle, the flexibility, the mentality, the patience, everything! Ok, maybe I should slow down and give some background. About a month ago (June 12th to be exact), I blogged about the awesomeness of yoga and meditation. At that time, I was practicing the art 1-3 times per week. It felt good but the physical benefits were not blowing me away. Remember, I rock Multiple Sclerosis and a few other incurable diseases so my dedication was questionable at best. Sure, I wanted more out of it but in my mind, there was no possible way to “step my game up” anymore. My head was still spinning with daily Gratitiude posts and juggling the influx of business. Fast forward about a month and bruhhhh…. Yoooo…. I AM DOING THIS.
**I’ll do my best not to overlap these explanations**
-I’ll start with the easiest and most obvious, strength. I can’t lie, I had NO expectation of getting stronger but I have. Sure, I’m definitely and definitively more flexible but the strength increased too. My arms are getting more defined and I didn’t notice until my brother said something! Even goofing off in the pool with my son has suddenly gotten more interesting. At the beginning of summer, he was actually trying to dunk me and I struggled, cheated, tickled my way out of trouble. Now? Oh, it’s on. Now, I’ll scoop him real quick if he gets too close and lazy. When I’m moving my wheelchair in and out of trunks, doorways, etc., I move efficiently and without the loud grunts of efforts. Every husband/father sees “bringing in groceries” as a personal challenge. We will darn near lose a finger trying to load up those plastic sacks in a single trip. Well, I can bring in even more after a month of yoga! Do I ever fell sore after a good yoga session? Sore, like worked-out-too-hard sore? HEEEELL YES! Yup, I do. It took a solid week but as I pushed my limits, that soreness hit and it felt great. My wife… *checks to ensure she isn’t reading* My wife comments on how my shirts fit, which goes to prove my chest is looking manlier. 💪🏾
– I shower sitting down. Yes, I should get a shower chair. You’re right, I should have BEEN got a shower chair but #Whatever. 😉 I soap up while standing but sit in the back corner for washing off, washing head (Yes, bald folks wash their heads.), washing face, and general rest. It’s a slow, 20min process. I go from sitting on the floor to rolling on all fours, blah blah blah. At least, that’s how showering USED TO BE. Now? I’m in and out under 10min because after lathering, I can go bended knee and back standing. I didn’t even know I was doing it until I flabbergasted my wife on date night. “BABE! When did you start doing that? You’re so fast now!” Sounds cheesy and corny and maybe even a little too much but I was shocked too. I hadn’t paid attention to how much improved my movement was. All those Gratitudes yet I was missing stuff!
– Waaaaaaay up. I crash like a kid after a whooping and a dose of Benadryl but during the day, my energy is banging. Let’s not to get too silly now because I still deal with those random bouts of exhaustion. Everyday? Yes to the yup but it’s random and doesn’t last ALL damn day. I’m up 5am, napping by 10am, back at it hour or so later, napping again by 3-4pm, on it within an hour, etc. What’s the difference between now and before? Before I woke up 6am, leave bed by 10am and drag myself through the entirety of the day using cannabis, alcohol and promises of 30min naps. Before, I would go a full day without eating because I didn’t have energy to chew my food. Cross my heart that it’s true. I’ll skip a meal with the quickness if I’m tired but since yoga, I’m grubbing. I play Uno and Dominoes with my kids. I finish movies with my wife. I make it to lunch with friends.
Walking & Driving Distance
– Walking further, longer and more stable while doing it. Again, honest evaluation is I don’t walk without assistance. My walker, wheelchair or canes are ALWAYS with me but I can go further. Crossing the parking lot doesn’t require an act of God anymore. On my BESTEST days, I can show houses by myself because I can drive myself and operate my mobility devices. This is something even I noticed. Before, I couldn’t drive myself longer than 30min from the crib because I wasn’t healthy enough. I would pull over with leg spasms, MS hugs, foot numbness, painful tingling, EVERYTHANG. For the last week, I’ve driven myself 40mi away to appointments, shown 6 houses in a single day and drove home non-stop. I’m pooped TF out when I get home. 🙄 Probably won’t eat because that’s just too much but I can do it!
Less Neuropathy & Back pain
– You knew THIS was coming huh? 😁 All that stretching and movement is great for preventative maintenance and proactive self care. Neuropathy and other spine-related pain doesn’t disappear. Matter of fact, sometimes I believe I’ve gone too hard and caused pain! The next day, I yoga, meditate and gradually whatever I hurt, calms down. If I’m guessing, I have 1 or 2 less “episodes” per week.
– This is one of my favorite benefits. My high schooler says, “Yea, Daddy doesn’t flip out as much as he used to.” Yoga is a slow boogie element of self care, meaning you won’t see results immediately or soon. Hell, I think I’ve written a few times in this blog post that others noticed changes before I saw them. When I meditate, I would go crazy waiting for the 5min timer to sound. I mean, meditation is not fun at all, at least for me it isn’t even after a month. I do it because it makes me feel kinda hippy cool. Now though? When the timer sounds, I’m almost frustrated it happened so quick. The time away from my phone makes it so much easier to handle life without my phone. That 5min practice everyday is making me more present for family time. Instead of checking for emails, texts, messages, posting, pictures, I’ll just chill, watch, talk, smile and enjoy life. I credit this feeling of being present to meditation.
– Just like it reads, yoga and meditation are stackable WINS. Before I do anything outside the home, work inside the home, create, etc., I have 2 wins for doing yoga and meditation. Add to my habit of posting Gratitudes and I’m at 3 wins any morning. The whole yoga/meditate routine has increased the last week to include a Push-up Challenge and an Ab/squat Challenge which means I start every day with an opportunity to earn 5 W’s. Why is that important? It’s hard to announce or predetermine a bad day when you start with multiple W’s out of the gate. This becomes a mentality, a lifestyle, a daily challenge that is very much winnable. Even if it is a bad, terrible, painful day, it’s hard to admit when you start with FIVE FREAKING WINS. I need those in my life. Are they manufactured W’s? Hell naw because it hurts and it ain’t easy.
– Maaaaaaaaaaaaaaan…. I’m back in high school. It’s absolutely ridiculous how primed I remain all day. For my male readers, that early morning iron rod doesn’t go away. Dude, come on; no it isn’t rocked literally all day but it can feel like it. I’m ready when the wind blows. I’m ready when she enters my atmosphere. I’m ready to the point of embarrassment. In the middle of a conversation, amongst friends, my wife brushed against me and BOOM. I was ready. He was ready and again, others noticed and the jokes began. “DAAAAAMN DAWG!! 😂😅😂🤣 Go stand over there. You and your clothes rack.” This is a true story people. I’m a bonafide, textbook Scorpio so I will NOT complain. Shhhhhhiiiiiiiid, I’m bragging on this! Couple this with my improved communication skills and appreciation for EVERYTHING wife-y…. SUPER LOVING MARRIAGE. 🔥🔥🔥 My kids get sick of us flirting, winking and defending each other vs the tyranny of 4 kids.