When I found the ming+ming classes, I was desperate to get back to my yoga practice. I had taken up Ashtanga yoga to rebuild muscle mass and bone density after a bout of degenerative hyperthyroidism. I was doing yoga six days a week and feeling pretty damn good about myself, not realizing that the underlying connective tissue disorder was allowing my body to stretch and flex, but not really repairing itself in the process.
My life was hectic. We had chosen a private school for our son across town and sat in traffic for hours a day. My small business was a lot of work with little return. I had a fall down the stairs that seemed all right at first, but as I continued my demanding yoga practice, I realized that the damage was more severe.
“Power through,” I thought to myself. Some of my yoga teachers had done their practice through the ninth month of their pregnancies! I had a friend who sprained her wrist who just continued doing her yoga series on her knuckles. “You can do this – just keep going.” I wasn’t listening to my body. At all. All the things that I let go of when I healed my thyroid started trickling back in. Sugar, chocolate, caffeine, alcohol. I was surviving, but my hip was a reminder that things were not well.
I went to acupuncture, physical therapy, and did Reiki for my hip. I even started Pilates with a personal trainer. After a year and a half, I could walk normally but every attempt at yoga ended in sprains. I sprained my elbow, my wrist, my ankle, my knee, and so on.
I missed my yoga. For me, yoga is meditation in motion. It was the only time I allowed myself to be still. My refuge in a crazy world. My connection to the Divine.
When the “lockdown” of COVID happened, it gave me the opportunity to stop. Stop driving. Stop socializing. Stop forcing myself into poses just because the muscular yoga instructor could do it -- or that guy on the mat next to me who’s seventy.
I’m different. I should not have to compete with them but I couldn’t seem to turn off the noise that told me otherwise.
Ming-Wai was one of my bridesmaids so of course I tried her class to show my support. It was online and seemed easy to fit into my schedule as I desperately needed to get back into yoga. As life would have it, the driving to private school turned into homeschool. I was looking for refuge so I came to two yoga classes a week. Eventually, I was able to move my hip after a while and started experiencing the unexpected benefits of taking yoga class in the comfort of my own home. I had all the props I wanted with no one critiquing my poses–especially myself. I just did what felt right to my body at that time. And each time it was different.
I didn’t expect my ming+ming yoga experience to be this powerful, but it was.
And then I joined the meditation class. We learned about our negative reels, which is the voice inside that says “power up!” when your body is powering down. I learned about focus and what it means to let go of everything – including your thoughts. I learned about others’ struggles and wins and shared my own.
This community is why ming+ming classes and workshops are so successful for me. It’s not just yoga, it’s yoga with friends. It’s not just meditation, it’s being vulnerable in a group of people who care about you and who cheer on your effort. I’m literally the walking proof that they work. I don’t know if I would have made this change in my life without them.