Replacing meds with Yoga

Dec 2011 scans showed that the cancer had metastasised to both lungs and parts of the skeleton. I went through a few rounds of chemo and had radiation done on the upper part of my spine. The pain from my spine required me to take morphine and apparently so for the rest of my life. I consulted with 3 different doctors, experts within this field and they all agreed that morphine was my only solution and unfortunately a lifelong one. When I was first diagnosed in 2009 I had radiation done on my lung. The radiation burned my oesophagus and I then had to take large quantities of morphine as my oesophagus was an open sore and every time I swallowed it felt like it was on fire. I had morphine stickers on my arm and was popping pills like candy. It got a bit out of control and I fell into a big depression. After a few months the pain started to release and I could finally start weening of the drug. This led to a horrific comedown that lasted 3 months, I couldn’t sleep or eat, screamed, pulled my hair, banged the walls, wanted to kill myself ….   Only place i felt a little comfort was in a hot bath, I basically lived in the bathtub during this period. The morphine comedown is by far the worst thing Ive experienced in my life. So when I was told that I would have to take this dreadful drug again and for the rest of my life I was devastated. I was hospitalised at the time and had been taking morphine for about a week. A few days later, still in hospital, I had a strong desire to go and try bikram yoga. I had tried it a few times before and had a hunch feeling that this could help the pain in my spine. I was allowed on leave at the hospital so the following day I went to the yoga studio with a pickline in my arm, on morphine and with one functioning lung due to radiation done to my right lung.  I was probably high at the time cause I remember going to class in my boyfriends underwear as yoga pants and thought nothing weird about it at the time. Bikram yoga is a 26 posture series done in 40c heat, first week it feels like you’re gonna die. I remember thinking what the f*ck am I doing here, but determined to live morphine free I got my ass to the studio and started practicing regularly. The amazing thing about bikram is that you feel euphoria once the class is finished and this feeling of high stays with you throughout the day. This euphoric state got me hooked and after one month of practicing I could stop taking the morphine. The yoga had cured the pain in my spine. This is how I started this beautiful yoga journey that has helped heal me in so many ways both fysically and psychologically. I can with great confidence say that I wouldn’t be alive without my yoga practice. Im writing this from the magical holy city of Rishikesh, India. The birthplace of yoga. Surrounded by the magical himalayan mountains just outside my bedroom. Im here to do a 200hr hatha yoga teacher training do deepen my practice and to maybe one day be able to share this amazing way of life with others by teaching my own classes.

The bathtub where I spent most of my time during my come down. Full of Morphine stickers on my upper arm.

The view outside my bedroom. Jeevmoksha institute of yoga studies, Rishikesh, India.

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