Smiling Yoga {with Cats}

It’s been 29 days since we began practicing yoga daily at our house. The girls love it. The cats do too.

Yoga makes him smile.

Yoga makes him smile.

For me, it has been nothing short of astounding. I swear, I’m not exaggerating one little bit. I’ll get to that in a minute…

Daily yoga was not a New Year’s Resolution. It started with a gift for the Adventurer (now 14).  There was a new yoga mat and video under the Christmas tree. On New Year’s Day, she decided to try it out. The Butterfly (now 10) and I joined her.

After one session, we decided we must do this everyday.

Yoga isn’t new to me. I did my first Sun Salutation when I was 13, but over the past years of my struggle with Lyme Disease, I lost touch with yoga. The idea of adding to my constant pain with intense muscle soreness and even deeper fatigue (which is what exercise does to a Lymie) kept me from doing some of my favorite things – yoga, riding horses, dancing and hiking.

Are you wondering what changed? This is what’s astounding: my attitude. Yoga has helped me change my attitude about the pain. I started treatment again for my relapse late in December. Typically, the first month on meds is hellish. I haven’t bitched at all.

Okay, maybe just a little. But I’m willing to work through the pain. I’m optimistic that it won’t go on forever.

On top of everything else, it’s crazy cold here (and everywhere). You know I hate the cold, the darkness, the constant gray. I typically spend the winter whining about wanting to move south and insisting that the cold is the root of all suffering in my life.

Again, not bitching. It’s so strange.

Yoga is astounding. That’s the only way to explain my pleasantness in the dead of winter and optimism in the face of pain. I feel good anyway.

In 9 years, I’ve lost a lot to the pain. I’ve gone through times of intense frustration and anger over my misdiagnosis. I’ve been angry, anxious, fearful of the pain increasing and afraid it take over my life permanently. Don’t get me started on the insurance companies and the money spent!

{Pausing for a deep breath}

Yoga has helped me let that all go. Almost. Clearly, I need to work on that last part. Overall, I’m able to feel where I am right now and be okay with it. And as the 29 days have passed, I’ve noticed some changes. My legs hurt a little less. My mind is a little less foggy. I’m sleeping.

I smile more.

You know what part is the most beautiful? Every morning I get up, light a pretty candle, lay out the mats and do yoga with my girls. Nothing is forced. Everyone does what they feel strong enough to do. I have the privilege of sharing this journey with them. I get to be right there as they build strength and balance, as they find quiet and peace each morning, side by side.

She was about to move into up dog...but he wasn't allowing any dog poses today!

She was about to move into up dog…but he wasn’t allowing any dog poses today!


We use a variety of yoga videos (depending on how much time and energy we have) through Gaiam TV’s streaming service. They have all types of yoga videos. Our current favorites are Vinyasa Flow with Seane Corn, Aim True with Kathryn Budig and Shanti Yoga for Youth Peacemakers (perfect for teens and tweens). If you are interested in doing yoga at home on your own or with your kids, definitely have a look at this offer:

Get unlimited online access to yoga, fitness, wellness videos plus inspirational films. Sign up now and get your second month FREE on me!


  • Melanie Chisnall

    That sounds like the perfect way to start the day! You’ve almost made me want to give up my latest running/walking addiction first thing and do that instead 😉 I need to make more time for yoga, usually I only get in one workout a week and that’s no way near enough. Last night I lay on the mat and put on a guided 20 min meditation video. It was AWESOME! Have you tried these? I’ve been struggling to meditate lately – mind wondering in a zillion directions – but with the unobtrusive and gentle guidance it forced me to completely relax. Felt like a new person. I’m sorry that you’ve been suffering with all that pain – I had no idea. I love the positive attitude you have about it, and yoga definitely sounds like it’s helping in leaps and bounds! P.S. I just had a green juice and thought of you and your yoga. I think I really need to fit that in today!!