Four months prior to my Bikram Yoga journey I was always tired, slightly overweight, constantly ill and very anxious. I craved carbs and ate terrible food all the time, I ignored engaging in any form of physical activity and I worried far too much for being a teenager.
At the end of March, nine days after my 18th birthday and 2 months before my high school graduation I left home to go live on my own. All my life I have been an independent spirit and when I started University in the fall of 2009 I was extremely excited to have the chance to play varsity hockey. During the middle of training camp and evaluations I acquired a lethal staph infection known as Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA). Since I work part time at a communal pool as a lifeguard and swimming instructor I am exposed to various warm/humid environments where bacteria is known to fester and multiply. This MRSA superbug is resistant to certain types of antibiotics, if left untreated for too long it can enter the blood stream become septic and morph into a severe case of flesh eating disease... I dare you to google it.
The MRSA had found a nice place on my right knee to inhabit and looked like a tiny spider bite, I thought nothing of it until 48 hours later when my knee was extremely swollen and the size of a small apple. I was unable to walk and was in excruciating pain, I immediately made my way to an emergency room where I was told by the emerge doctor that if I had waited twelve more hours to get treatment they would have considered amputating my leg. Luckily they were able to get rid of most of it with minor surgery and a bout of IV antibiotics.
When I knew I wouldn't be able to play hockey that season it really did feel like someone had taken my leg. Hockey is such a huge part of my life and I was not used to having a winter without it. In many ways it is like an appendage to me and something that I needed to have in order to function. Hockey is such a natural and necessary component of my life and it broke my heart when I knew I would have to do without it for a season. From September to January I had become very depressed and suffered from classic symptoms like insomnia, anhedonia, fatigue, internal system imbalance and weight gain.
Over the course of 4 months between September and January, the MRSA had re-occurred four more times on different parts of my body. I had no idea what I was going to do. But in January 2010 my mother had started participating in Bikram yoga and suggested that I do the same. At first I was extremely reluctant and did not want to put myself in any more pain than I was already in; I was far too tired and depressed about not playing hockey, too stressed out about organizing my classes for next semester along with recovering from finals, too busy booking hours at work and trying to recover from this terrible MRSA infection. But since I was blessed with a warrior spirit like my mother, I ended up going to the studio and my first class was ruthless... somehow I lasted through the 90 minutes and when I left the hot room something inside of me changed. I was instantly addicted and went to 13 classes in my introductory week. I could not get enough, it replaced the part of my life where hockey used to be and the yoga made me feel like the kid I was when I first stepped onto the ice and discovered how to put play... I was back and finally feeling like myself again.
After a month and a half of hot yoga I visited the infectious disease clinic at the Foothills hospital where I was swabbed and tested for any existent MRSA, 2 weeks later I received a fantastic phone call with the results from my swabs and they were completely clean. The doctor was shocked, he could not believe that the infection had cleared after one month since my last occurrence. My doctor was so amazed and insisted that I return for another appointment... where once again I was swabbed, tested and free of any MRSA. It was the best 19th birthday present ever.
Before hot yoga I was on antibiotics almost everyday and entering the hot room saved my life. From being extremely depressed and almost losing my leg back in September 2009 to rocking out standing boat pose and sweating the MRSA infection out of my body in January 2010. I’ am pleased to say that with the help of everyone at Bikram Yoga Calgary South the practice of this yoga has made my mind stronger and rid my body of the many demons I had been battling against during the darkest time of my life... Thankyou to Bikram Choudhury for creating this yoga and helping me learn so much about myself. You restored my health and have helped my heart grow in so many ways.
So guys, would you rather suffer for 90 minutes or 90 years? See you in class...
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