Kelsey Koch, 24, who has been an amputee for most of her life, first tried yoga a little over a year ago, after receiving an ‘active’ leg. “Yoga undoubtedly changed my life,” she says. “I have found my passion, and am able to share the importance of the practice with so many individuals. Even as teachers, we are still students and are constantly learning every day. This practice has given me such self-acceptance as an amputee.” Melissa echoes this sentiment: “It's helped me so much, and every day I gain more confidence. My love for myself since starting has increased significantly, and will continue to grow – that excites me the most!” As anyone who has tried yoga knows, it feels different from regular gym exercise. Physically, you stretch and strengthen rarely used muscles, and get into the fascia (that sheet of connective tissue that stabilises our muscles and organs). But mentally and emotionally you also stretch and strengthen some rarely used parts. Yoga works on calming the nervous system and the thoughts, to bring the body and mind – and soul, if you believe in that – into one (the word 'yoga' means union in Sanskrit). And developing a physical yoga practice very often goes a long way to show you just how much you’re capable of in other areas of your life.
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