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I used to avoid walking...at all costs.

Years ago, I'm not sure how long now, I would avoid walking at all costs. I was the person who would drive out of the way to find a Starbucks with a drive-thru rather than getting out of my car to walk to one that was only five minutes away. I was the person that would avoid certain stores because I knew that I couldn't get close enough parking. Any amount of hill was too much of a hill. I was miserable because I couldn't keep up with my family, and because I really wanted to be able to walk and enjoy the outdoors. And to be really vulnerable here, it was also because I knew that my husband knew that I was avoiding having to walk. Now, to his credit he NEVER said anything to me, he would simply circle the parking lot to find a closer parking space. But I knew that he knew that I couldn't walk without feeling like I was going to faint.


I always wanted to be a walker...actually I wanted to be a runner. I wanted to be able to walk all day down Whyte Avenue, I wanted to walk my dog, I wanted to hike Elk Island, or god forbid walk across West Edmonton Mall. I wanted to run a 5K.


So I started. I am not sure where the resolve came from, I wish I could tell you that it was easy, but starting was really, really hard. And again to be completely vulnerable here, I had to do something that I never hoped to do, just to start. I went to a maternity store and bought a pregnancy belly belt to hold up my stomach to help ease the pain in my back. Here I was in my thirties, done having children and buying a maternity belt....to walk.


Before I go on, please know that I still have that big belly, and I am okay with that. My weight has fluctuated through the years, I can honestly say that I have gained and lost hundreds of pounds. This is not about weight. This is not about the size of my belly. This is not about body positivity or disordered eating. This is not about that, this is about pain. The fact of the matter was that my back was not strong enough to support the weight of my stomach hanging, that's it. Its basic physics that the load was too much on the front side of my body.


So, lets get back to it....I started walking short distances while wearing a maternity belt and because of that belt I was able to over time increase the amount of time I could walk. I walked this way for quite some time, and I am not ashamed of that. I did what I needed to do to support my body, kind of like using a yoga prop.


Not long after that, gaining confidence in myself I started taking yoga classes. Now here I am years later a yoga teacher and yoga therapist, heck I own a yoga studio!


It was during my 1000 hour Yoga Therapy training that I started to understand the mechanics of walking. I started to understand the concepts of gait, anatomy and movement. A friend and fellow yoga therapist started a program for runners, being a runner herself, and it gave me the idea to share what I have learned about walking with others. Not only can I teach helpful concepts to people because I have the formal training but also from lived experience. I have been there, I have been on the bottom of a hill crying because the only thing to do is walk up and I was scared, and I have also since then hiked mountain trails.


Maybe you don't want to hike the mountains, maybe you only want to be able to get around the grocery store without having to rest on the cart; or perhaps you want to be able to take the bus and walk to and from the bus stop being able to save money on the door-to-door convenience of Uber. It really doesn't matter how far you want to walk, what matters is that walking for most of us (without the need for wheeled assistance) is a basic human function and you deserve to be able to do that with confidence and without pain. Walking shouldn't hurt, and I am sorry if it does for you.


Your walking pain may not have anything to do with size, or with your back for that matter. Your pain may be in your feet, your knees or your hips. Your pain may come from a different place, maybe your avoiding walking has more to do with some sort of mental block. Again, it doesn't matter. What matters is that it shouldn't hurt.


I would like to help you. On Saturday, May 13th from 1:30-3:30 pm I am holding a walking clinic / workshop. Using the best parts of yoga (breath, movement and stillness) we will learn how to start walking away from our pain. We will look at our limiting beliefs, goal setting, best practices and even bio mechanics. This workshop can help you, I can help you. We can do it together.


Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions.


Thank you for allowing me to be vulnerable, thank you for holding space.


Much Love,

Misty

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I an very much looking forward to this particular seminar!!

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