Humans of Barefoot #2: Victoria

Humans of Barefoot showcases the wonderful stories behind our members, and what yoga has done for them. Victoria, our second Human, speaks about skiing accidents, managing her diabetes, and beating stress with yoga.

Everyone has a different reason for doing yoga. Health, mindfulness, stress relief – yoga has been proved to as a safe and effective way of increasing flexibility, strength and balance. Victoria sat down and shared with us her unique relationship with yoga, and how it has helped her manage her day-to-day life.

How did you get into yoga?

Where I work, they started doing free yoga sessions once a week. So I got into it through work. I used to go to the gym quite a lot, and they did yoga there, but it just wasn’t the same as here.”

At the time, Victoria was coming back from a knee injury sustained whilst skiing. Injuries to the Anterior Cruciate Ligament are very common in sport, often requiring surgery or extensive physical therapy to recover from. “Last March, I went skiing and tore my ACL. I went for an MRI, and was told it was a high-grade tear. My physio recommended yoga to strengthen my knee… The ACL has seen improvement; yoga is strengthening it back up.”

Has yoga helped with other aspects of your life?

Victoria has Type 1 diabetes. She has managed her condition ever since being diagnosed at an early age, but yoga has proved an unexpected means of support.

“Everyone produces cortisol in their body – a stress hormone. Normal people produce insulin to counteract the cortisol. But, if you have diabetes, you’ve got to learn to manage the cortisol yourself. If you don’t, your blood sugars will get really high. Yoga doesn’t produce insulin, but is great for stress relief.”

Yoga hasn’t just helped with stress relief, however.

“With diabetes, you’re also more prone to nerve damage. A lot of people [with diabetes] find that if they don’t look after themselves, their nerves die – leading to tissue damage. Another great thing about yoga is that it encourages blood flow to your extremities, so it’s really good for avoiding nerve damage.” Victoria joins an increasing number of people with diabetes turning to yoga to improve their overall quality of life.

How have you found yoga?

“I found it quite tough at first. The studios in town are so busy all the time, and they weren’t relaxing. Barefoot is more relaxed.”

And hopefully, Victoria will be with us for a while yet. “You can do yoga at any age. It’s good for my diabetes now, but even in thirty or forty years, it’s still something I can do.”

Keep your eyes peeled for Humans of Barefoot #3 next week! I’m indebted to Victoria for helping out with this project and sharing her story.

And if you would like to be a part of the project, just let us know at front desk! We love our members and their stories.