We all have friends that swear that yoga has changed their life, some of us have even experienced the benefits personally, but nothing demonstrates the healing powers of yoga more than the case of Dalia Adel. After slipping a disc in her spine Dalia underwent surgery and was left facing many physical limitations that seemed like they would never end, and so she turned to yoga. 12 years later, Dalia is now a yoga teacher at Yalla Yoga and is able to live a full and active lifestyle. We spoke with her to find out more about this incredible transformation.
“There is a before and after in my life. Before I found yoga and after”.
For Dalia, yoga was a cure during a low point in her life when she was in significant pain after surgery, “the doctor had implied that after the operation to fix the slipped disk in my spine, I would have my life back. But after six months of hydrotherapy and medication the doctor came back to me and said, ‘the surgery has helped you avoid paralysis, but you will have to cope with your life as is’. But I couldn’t live my life like this, I was young and the kind of person that likes to go out and do things with my time. So a friend of mine advised me to do yoga just to build some muscles to help with the back issues”.
And ever since that first class 12 years ago, Dalia’s life was changed for good: “There is a before and after in my life. Before I found yoga and after”.
“Yoga helps you get to your optimum physical state”.
Physically, the changes were significant, “Now I can do anything physically that I want to; swimming, horseriding, hiking, whatever”, Dalia tells us. As a result of this incredible personal transformation as well as her experiences as a yoga instructor, Dalia is very passionate about the positive impact that yoga can have on the body. She explains, “Yoga works on the body on the muscles level and the joints level, giving you both strength and flexibility. It improves all body functionings including the immune system, not only helping you get better more quickly, but even preventing illness in the first place. It even impacts your metabolism. Essentially, yoga helps you get to your optimum physical state”.
Dalia emphasizes that no matter what your physical condition when starting yoga, the outcome of practising it is positive. “I had some pain and limitations when I first started, but yoga isn’t about pushing yourself, it is about connecting with your body”, and as a result, she now recommends that any people with physical injuries or difficulties give yoga a go. “For people who have experienced physical injuries, I would recommend Hatha yoga, because it doesn’t require holding the poses for as long and it isn’t fast or physically demanding”, Dalia advises.
“You have to fix the internal and then the external falls into place.”
On top of the physical impact, Dalia notes the significant emotional and mental impact that yoga has had on her and her students. “Everything you achieve on a physical level, you achieve mentally and emotionally”, Dalia tells us. She explains, “there are lots of illusions in our minds that we buy into, which can be limiting and misleading, yoga helps us see beyond those”. Her personal journey in this regard has been significant, “I used to be more focussed on the external and I didn’t have a lot of self esteem. This has completely shifted. You have to fix the internal and then the external falls into place. I have my illusions of course, but I am at least aware. Yoga is a journey of awareness. It has shifted my relationship with myself which has impacted my relationship with others. I used to be very demanding and a bit of a control freak. I had strong mood swings that aren’t there anymore”, Dalia reveals.
So instead of saying, ‘I can’t do this’ when faced by life’s challenges, Dalia tells us that by incorporating yoga into our lifestyles, we will learn that “‘I can’t’ is more of a mental limitation than a physical limitation, and in reality we just need to realize that we can”!
To sign up for classes with Dalia, get in touch with YallaYoga through their Facebook!