Through practicing yoga and mindfulness meditation, you get to know a lot about your body. Moving with much more awareness triggered me to care for real for my physical body. And how lucky it is that if your physical body feels fine, your emotional body feels better too!

From my late teens, I had on and off problems with one side of my lower back, with a slipped disc situation every 3-5 years. Also, from the start of my twenties, one of my knees started feeling weaker than the other. I did not get any treatment at the time, just took medicine to relax the muscles around the affected area, stopped with sports for a while until I felt fine again. I sort of just accepted that these conditions were part of who I was. And this way of seeing things lasted a loooong time. Until yoga and awareness of my body really kicked in.

That is when I realised – I could repair myself!

For me, this meant taking charge, for real. It started with having MRI scans to understand what was not working in the lower back and “weak” knee. It ended with targeted yoga practice to treat my back, as well as keyhole surgery on my knee to fix a tear in the meniscus. I am so happy I did this! My lower back now feels stronger than ever, and I often forget which knee I had surgery on.

Today, I do not understand why I waited so long to repair my body. Maybe it was based on fear? I remember not wanting to do anything medically to my body that could permanently hinder natural movement. This fear disappeared during my training at the Yoga Academy. Here, my teachers suggested that if you have something in the body not working for you, start by doing targeted yoga practice for a three months period. If that does not treat the problem, turn to western science. What I liked most was a graph they showed to illustrate how yoga could sometimes only heal up to a certain point, and that it could be the same with western medicine. However, combining a regular yoga practice with western medicine might double the positive effect on treating an injury. I just thought “Wow – there is a way to repair myself”. It was suddenly clear that checking what was really not working in my body, (daring) going to the source of the problem, was the best thing I could do. It was not easy to admit that I had over several years defined myself as someone with a weak knee and bad lower back, and that I had felt safe with that identification.

Just to point out reality as it is: No one knows your body better than you do. You are the only one who can really care for yourself, and you are also the only one who knows what is right for you. So it is up to you to act if you want something to change. It is good to accept things as they are, and from that state of acceptance… everything opens! Allow yourself to realise that you have the opportunity to act and repair yourself if that is what is needed.

In case you find yourself in the situation I was in, and you are curious about what yoga can do for you, feel free to contact me! I run yoga classes in the Wimbledon area.

(photo from Yoga Academy teacher training)

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Annette Wiik

My name is Annette. I am a Yoga Academy Certified Teacher (BWY-Accredited School) and started practising Hatha Yoga over 20 years ago. Holding a certificate from Bangor University to teach mindfulness-based courses, I incorporate my knowledge of mindfulness meditation in all my yoga classes. I have two grown-up children.