The Challenging Times Will Forever Make You Stronger

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Please meet Aubrey Buchwald. She is Mind Body Flow Yoga’s featured student for this month’s newsletter. Aubrey has a beautiful yoga practice and was generous in sharing it with us, as she demonstrates dancer’s pose (Natarajasana).

Aubrey Shares Her Yoga Journey

My yoga journey started twelve years ago while living in Las Vegas, NV. Some friends of mine and I would take a weekly class at the local gym, and then go out to this delicious Greek restaurant. We had fun together and I loved the practice but I can’t lie, the dinner after was what I worked so hard for during class.
After two years out west, I moved back home to Buffalo. Life moved pretty fast from here. My boyfriend became my husband, and within seven years we had three children. I loved my life and tried to embrace the chaos of being a wife, having three children under the age of five, and a career, but it was a challenge. I felt as though I was on the proverbial “hamster wheel of life.”

Last August, the hamster wheel stopped. Our pediatrician found a mass in the abdomen of my son, who had just celebrated his second birthday. After a CAT scan and many conversations with the oncologists and surgeons, we decided that the best course of treatment would be to remove the mass and the kidney that was housing the mass.
The mass was sent to pathology to be tested and the waiting game began. I held it together as best as I could for my family but the fear of the unknown was so strong it was taking over every thought I had. So I began to prepare for the “what if’s.” I began researching foods you should feed your children to help minimize the effects of chemotherapy, my husband installed a hand sanitizer dispenser on the wall, and we took my son, my last baby, out of his toddler bed and into a queen size bed. This would allow us to lay with him if he wasn’t feeling well after any treatments he might need. Every plan we had with our family was put on hold for these “what ifs.”
A good friend of mine suggested that I come with her to Mind Body Flow Yoga for a yoga workshop on essential oils. I was hesitant to step away from my family for two hours and worried that I would not be able to keep up with others in the practice portion of the workshop, but I committed to going with her. My goal was to take away information about essential oils and how it could help my sick son. In that one workshop, I reached that goal and so much more. I stepped out of my comfort zone and shared my son’s story and our family’s journey. I cried in front of these beautiful, yogi strangers. They never judged me or even said “I understand,” because they didn’t. They simply listened and supported me. Marina took the time to send me a beautiful email after the workshop and from that point on, I knew that yoga at Mind Body Flow Yoga was where I belonged.

Shortly after beginning my yoga practice at Mind Body Flow Yoga, we received amazing news that the tumor removed from my son, would require monitoring every three months but no chemotherapy or radiation. We could begin to move on with our lives, although living a new normal.
It has been a year since my first class at Mind Body Flow Yoga. This has been a year of gratitude toward the practice, Marina and the other instructors, the community that I am apart of, and for life in general. Every day is a blessing. Yoga has taught me that things in life are hard, some are more difficult than others, but you show up and get the work done. The challenging times will not last forever and they will forever make you stronger.
Yoga has taught me that self-love is not selfish. The time I spend on my mat is time for me to de-stress, reset and find balance. I have become a better wife, mother, teacher and a more positive person in general because I intentionally take the time for myself.
I am not the same person I was a year ago and I know that I won’t be the same person a year from now. This whole experience has taught me how to be present every day and stay off of the “hamster wheel of life.”
Thank you, Aubrey, for sharing your story.
What stood out the most for you in Aubrey’s journey? Please share it below to let Aubrey know you appreciated her story.


What is Aubrey’s Pose About?

*If you have any medical concerns, talk with your doctor before practicing yoga.
This is a balancing pose. The resulting shape is a deep opening through the shoulders, chest, thighs, groins, and abdomen. Watch Aubrey enter into this asana from Mountain Pose (Tadasana). She will exit the pose and land back in Mountain Pose (Tadasana) as well.
Here are a few things to keep in mind, if you decide to try this pose, or if you have already started to experiment and play around with it.

Tips for Dancer’s Pose (Natarajasana)

  • Shift your weight onto your right foot, and lift your left heel toward your left buttock as you bend the knee. Press your right thigh bone back, deep into the hip joint, and pull the knee cap up to keep the standing leg straight and strong.
  • Begin to lift your left foot up, away from the floor, and back, away from your torso. Extend the left thigh behind you and parallel to the floor. Stretch your right arm forward, in front of your torso, parallel to the floor.
  • Stay in the pose for 3 to 5 deep breaths. Then release the grasp on the foot, place the left foot back onto the floor, and repeat for the same length of time on the other side.

Benefits

  • Stretches the chest and shoulders
  • Stretches the thighs, groins, and abdomen
  • Strengthens the ankles and legs
  • Improves balance

Caution

Avoid this posture if you have:

  • a recent or chronic ankle or low back injury.
  • experiencing low blood pressure, dizziness, migraines, or insomnia.

Always work within your own range of limits and abilities. If you have any medical concerns, talk with your doctor before practicing yoga.
Enlist the help of an experienced instructor with Dancer’s Pose if this is your first time trying it.
Have you tried this pose before? What has been your experience?

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