I suffer from Degenerative Disc Disease. At the young age of 15, my back began to ache. Without a clue as to what this pain was, the ache soon turned into chronic pain. I was an athletic young girl with a passion for basketball, but my athletic capabilities began to decrease and so did everything else: school work, energy level, even friends. After countless doctor visits, I discovered my spine had a fused vertebrae and my L5 disc became degenerative at an uncommonly young age due to a tear in the disc. I was prescribed MANY prescription drugs from muscle relaxers to antidepressants to sleep aids to opioids. These medications negatively affected my school work and overall sense of self, which led me to drop out of high school during my junior year. That same year, my sister gave me two gifts that I thought were STUPID: a yoga mat and a hula hoop. Little did I know this yoga mat and hula hoop were going to SAVE my life.
After overcoming a long stretch of insomnia with meditation and yoga, something awakened my spirit. Though I experienced withdrawal symptoms, with the help of yoga, I was able to completely discard addictive medications.
My beautiful life was reborn through the practice of yoga which contains never ending lessons and pure joy, even during hard times.