New Sign Ups Get 15% Discount on their FIRST ORDER!
Yoga for CP (Cerebral palsy), Mariah @yogaforcp
When I was growing up, I was always the only kid in my class or activities that had a physical disability or used a mobility device. I felt confident in who I was. I embraced my disability as a part of me, but it was not my whole focus of who I am. Cerebral palsy impacts the way I move in the world, but not my potential. It was up to me to choose my attitude and my actions in each moment. I learned to adapt, think creatively, and keep trying. I had fun with my friends, scouting, arts & crafts, playing baseball, biking, listening to music, etc. Growing up, I went to PT and OT often (two to three times per week). Occasionally, I did speech therapy. I also did horse therapy and swim therapy. I had a rhizotomy, hip rotation osteotomy, muscle transfers, and hamstring lengthening surgeries from age 2 – 12.
In 2003 I met my best friend DiDi. We were both in 8th grade at the time. It was the first time I met someone who was going through the same experiences and challenges, because she faced them too. We instantly recognized the powerful connection and immediately became known as the giggle twins. Meeting DiDi shifted my entire life and all of the experiences to follow.
In 2017, DiDi’s disabilities progressed rapidly and she died on December 23, 2017. It was a loss more deep than anything I had ever experienced before. It impacted every part of me. It was hard on my body due to the way my physical body processes stress in the presence of spastic cerebral palsy. For a year after she passed, I had difficulty walking, moving, and interacting with my friends. I knew this was not the way I wanted to live my life or how DiDi would have wanted me to continue.
So, I asked my physical therapist, Dr. Tiffany Neal, if she thought it would be a good idea if I tried Yoga. She immediately said yes and connected me to her friend and colleague Dr. Sarah Eads, who is also a physical therapist. We began working individually and adapted the practice to my abilities. I enjoyed the practice very much and became dedicated to attending classes consistently at Method Wellness and Physical Therapy. At this point, I have learned how to adapt my practice and have attended classes alongside practitioners. I have completed over 300 classes since December 2018.
With Yoga for CP, I share adaptive yoga, breath work and meditation practices. My goal in raising the funds through the PCA campaign is to continue to my yoga journey with additional learning opportunities. By learning more, I will continue sharing what I learn to support others with disabilities who are interested in learning about the positive impacts of yoga and trying the practice themselves.
We Couldn’t Do It Without Them