Health & Family

How yoga helped me get control of my life

Susan Brunner, 59, has worked as a dental assistant for the past 29 years. She lives in Mint Hill.
Susan Brunner, 59, has worked as a dental assistant for the past 29 years. She lives in Mint Hill. Courtesy of Susan Brunner

Susan Brunner, 59, has worked as a dental assistant for the past 29 years. She lives in Mint Hill.

About the time I turned 30 I made a conscious decision to take charge of my health.

You get to a middle-age point where you don’t exercise and start to put on weight. I’d seen photographs of myself and wasn’t pleased. I felt this was just not who I was or who I wanted to be. I realized I wasn’t just someone going through life being batted back and forth – I was in charge of what was happening to me.

I sat down one day and simply told myself, “You are not going to be overweight; it is your decision. You are going to take care of yourself.”

There are certain things within your control if you take charge. I started going to the Y and exercising a great deal. Eventually I took yoga, a practice I still pursue and find great benefit from.

In fact, yoga has become my mental “panic room”; when things are overwhelming I can go to that. Everything else is gone – it’s just me and the yoga practice. There is a mind-body connection that is truly wonderful. It forces you, in everyday life, to face a situation that makes you uncomfortable and take a deep breath and step back. You look at it and put it in perspective.

Through my life’s journey I’ve learned to trust myself and be OK with what I think and feel. I’ve learned it’s OK to speak up and express myself. In the past that wasn’t always the case. I let people roll over me. I was a pleaser.

It’s OK to be who you are and find out who that person is. That search is probably the most interesting thing a person will ever do.

As told to Michael J. Solender

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