This is a part of the Hot Topic podcast series from the Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center on Exercise After Burn Injury. Joy Greene, Burn Survivor, discusses Getting Back to Yoga Class.
Sustained a Burn Injury in 2011
When I decided to go back into exercise, especially yoga, I had to think about what it was gonna be like for me. I didn't sweat like I used to. Burn patients, we don't handle heat anymore. We don't regulate. Our sweat glands are completely different. And I thought to myself, I'm not gonna be able to wear long pants. I'm not gonna be able to wear the exercise clothes I wore before. I'm gonna I have to wear shorts, loose shorts, and everyone's gonna see what I look like.
And I wasn't sure if I was gonna be able to do that. I wanted to feel good, but I didn't want people staring at me and making me feel more insecure than I was feeling. Insecurity was something I never had before my accident, and now, it was something I totally understood, what it was like to be fearful of exercising in front of people, especially people I didn't know. But I decided to do it.
And I got very cute shorts. I was the only one in shorts at yoga, and I noticed that, and I felt more different than ever. And I didn't want to feel that way. I wanted to belong, kind of be lost in the crowd, but that wasn't going to happen. And I felt that first time, doing yoga, I knew all the good things about it.
I knew that it didn't help you only physically. It helped you spiritually, mentally. I thought it would help with my brain injury. It would help with my broken bones, my muscles, my burns, everything, internally organ damage I went through. But how was I gonna do it? How was I gonna get through an hour class? I didn't know how it was gonna happen in these shorts that no one else was wearing. And I was scared, and I didn't do too well in the beginning.
And I gave up many times. I decided not to go back. But then I would try it again. And every time I gave up, I felt defeated. It was like, you survived the worst thing in your life. You can survive this class. But I didn't know how to do it. But I kept trying. And yoga reminded me that it wasn't how incredible my dancer pose was. It was that I was there, and I was breathing and doing that powerful ocean breath.
And I was holding poses I never thought I could ever do again. And it was calming my mind and bringing peace to a brain that had been so shattered and a body that had been ravished. And I started to understand the magic of yoga, and I'm still learning about it today.
Visit https://msktc.org/burn and get the answers you need from experts who conduct innovative and high-quality research, provide patient care, and work to improve the health and overall quality of life for people with burn injury. That’s https://msktc.org/burn.