The Revolution of My Wellness: Hindsight is 2020

February 22, 2020
The Yoga and Body Image Coalition is a 2020 Featured NEDAwareness Week Partner.  The following is a YBIC National Eating Disorders Awareness Week post that highlights how the practice of yoga can be an integral component in the effective treatment of and on-going recovery from eating disorders and disordered eating. The shares included are from those who have first-hand experience with disordered eating or from those who are called to share their body acceptance journeys.

Yoga helped me to escape from the confines of society and to heal mentally and physically. Allowing me to accept myself and prioritize the things that are important to me in my life.

My yoga journey started simply… a friend was inspired after seeing a picture of Madonna with her leg behind her head – (Eka Pada Sirsasana) and suggested we do yoga. I was game, not realizing what a major impact this decision would have on my life.
My life was stressful with very little “work-life balance” and so work orientated.   Something yoga allows me to now have is allowing my body to heal and leading a healthier lifestyle.

At this time I was all about conforming to a life that society had dictated, although this was not the real me – I had lost that spontaneous Donna that would fly by the seat of her pants and just go with the flow.
It was when I became ill with Bell’s Palsy, that I started to re-evaluate my life, and this is when the revolution of my wellness began. It was a shock to suddenly wake up one morning and discover that the right side of my face had become paralyzed overnight, leading to me believe I had a stroke.

Initially, I didn’t want to be seen and I removed myself from everyone and downplayed the severity of my disability. I could see the shock on friends’ faces when they saw my face post the Bells.  I lived with the condition for 5 years and tried all the things advised by Doctors – which was very little and unsurprisingly there was no recovery. Eventually, I started to accept this was going to be the way my face would be. Not realizing at the time that the condition would progressively get worse as the muscles in the face would not regenerate without treatment.

I was able to continue with my yoga – having a visible disability allowed me to embrace the ‘come as you are’ ethos. I was able to experience yoga just with the body I had in that moment.

My yoga practice led me to heal my body more holistically…. and things shifted remarkably.

I now realize that Yoga accepts you for who you are and there is absolutely nothing you to have to get on the mat. You don’t have to be flexible, or have the right clothes. You don’t have to change, but if you allow it, yoga will transform you in ways unimaginable.

The practice of yoga not only allowed me to accept my condition but to also heal both mentally and physically.  Allowing me to appreciate that I am so much more than how I looked.

This is why I have become a body image advocate to show that our bodies are amazing vessels.  Yoga is one of the ways that we get to experience how strong our bodies are and how it is never too late to change or heal.

Without yoga and acupuncture, the Bell’s Palsy would have progressively become worse as the muscles continued to deteriorate. It was as though the illness was a gift to help me change my life. I often ask the question, if I had my time over would I eliminate the Bell’s Palsy? To be honest I don’t think so— because it has defined and changed me in so many ways. Making me a stronger individual who was able to deal with this setback. It might sound cliché but viewing my experiences through the lens of yoga has transformed my life.

Together with the miracle of the healing and perseverance, I started to become whole again.

Some years later I had to deal with redundancy — which was one of best things that happened to me. I’m not sure I would have had the courage to deviate from my chosen career. Being a yoga teacher was never part of the plan.  My thinking was it might be something I do when I retire. I suppose I have since retired from the corporate world.

Going with the flow, accepting myself as I am, has afforded me so many opportunities, some of which I can’t believe but know are right.  There was a trend starting to appear in my deviation from the social norm and expectations. Which was allowing me to come home to myself as a path unfolded in front of me, through the revolution of my wellness. Come as you are on the mat and find out what you will discover.

Donna Noble

Yogi (Noble yogi). Blogger. Writer. Coach. Entrepreneur. Body Positive Adovocate

My name is Donna Noble, and my journey with yoga started in 1999.

An ex-colleague saw a picture of Madonna with her legs behind her head and her enthusiasm made me want to try yoga.

I fell in and out of love with yoga due to the usual pressures of life, family, work and studying for a degree.

At the time not realising how important and transformational yoga was going to be in my life. Read more…

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