This Yogi’s Story
Welcome! Thanks for taking a moment to find out a little more about me and what I do. In my first career, I was a farrier. That’s a very physically demanding job and I’d heard from somewhere that yoga was good for your back. I thought that would help counteract the constant hunchback position of my job so I signed up with an Iyengar instructor.
Five years later, I’d developed a personal practice that carried me through another five years of major life changes including two pregnancies. After the birth of my second son, my health crashed. After a year of ill health and making the rounds of doctors, I was diagnosed with Lupus (Systemic Lupus Erythematosus).
Once both my kids started school it seemed like the right time to do a teacher training program. In the middle of the program, my diagnosis was officially changed to Mixed Connective Tissue Disease. Turns out that I have moderate joint thinning and erosive arthritis everywhere. The only explanation I had for my relatively pain free status was my consistent yoga practice. I entered the program not knowing if I wanted to be a yoga teacher but that diagnosis really solidified my desire to bring yoga to others who were struggling with health challenges.
Since then, I’ve collected more auto-immune diagnoses. Moving forward, I’m actively managing my chronic disease with the mental tools yoga provides, while helping others with what I’ve learned.
So why bees? Because they’re cool! I was casually interested in beekeeping when I had the opportunity to take a beekeeping class. I bought several hives and that first year I learned the hard way (and even more so the bees - who died) the intricacies of hive management. Bees make yoga principles concrete. Yoga philosophies such as sthira and sukha are helpful to remember in Trikonasana, when you drop a frame of bees, they’re essential. The importance of right effort and and non-attachment to outcomes are highlighted by a year of work with no honey to show for it.
Thank you for joining me on this journey navigating yoga, beekeeping and autoimmune disorders. Who knew three such disparate topics could find a home in the same place.
Christa Fairbrother, RYT-200
Certified Yoga for Arthritis Instructor
Aqua Kriya Yoga Certified Instructor
MA, Museum of Education, University of Leicester