Elephant Journal Publication

From Inversions to Infancy: How Chronic Lyme Disease Redefined my Yoga Practice

I wanted to nail that picture.

I’m sure you’ve seen it floating around your news feed every now and again. Your friend hikes somewhere awe-inspiring, sets up her iPhone and captures herself in a flashy yoga pose with just the right amount of sunbeams. I planned for somewhere in the Rocky Mountains. I would outdo the gals before me by stumbling upon wildlife at sunset.

Then, I would strike a Natarajasana in front of a majestic beast, and astound everyone with my flexibility while in perfect union with nature.

Let’s be honest. What are the chances of this one playing out? This wasn’t my only outlandish yoga fantasy either. I daydreamed about mastering the most difficult of maneuvers that frankly require some quirky genetics. My desire to succeed in yoga fueled an aggressive approach to class. I would try as hard as I possibly could to take flight on my mat. Every Monday, my legs would swivel into eagle pose, and split wide for bird of paradise. I craved the feeling of accomplishment that came with mastering an inversion, my toes pointed proudly above my head.

Little did I know that I was accomplishing these yogic feats with a bacteria that was staging a coup: a coup de corps. The worm-like inhabitant entered my system through a tick bite and spread through my body, waiting for an ideal time to strike.

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