Cat Eli lost her husband at the age of 46, she was the same age.
“I knew that he was sick for a long long time and I think just think dealing with that I felt a lot of fear bottled up in my body and that is it’s own form of trauma,” Eli said.
Eli’s husband was sick with a disease that many didn’t want to talk about.
“It was HIV and so it wasn’t acceptable to talk about, so it was the secret and we knew it and we knew we had to deal with it so I think we did just what most parents and most people do, we bottled it up inside,” Eli said.
For 16 years Eli held onto that trauma.
“I don’t know how anyone can be ready for that kind of loss, and it hits you and life is still there and you can’t just crawl in your bed and curl up in a ball, you have to go on,” Eli said.
Doctor Jim Shames with Jackson County Public Health said carrying heavy stress for a long period of time can have a major impact on our heath.
“There are a lot of hormones that are released, things that can raise your blood pressure, things that affect your judgment people don’t take good care of themselves when they are carrying around a lot of anxiety and pain,” Dr. Shames said.
Eventually Eli found yoga to release some of the built up anxiety.
“Just the whole life practice of keeping that breath with you no matter what turmoil is going on outside. It is a challenge but it is better than popping pills,” Eli said.
Keeping the body relaxed and moving is something that Dr. Shames said can reduce stress and anxiety.
“Activity is definitely one of those things that not only does it tone you and keep your heart and lungs and muscles in shape but in fact it produces natural endorphins that give you a sense of well being,” Dr. Shames said.
And now Eli is moving through life with more mindfulness and taking it one breath at a time.
“It just feels like nothing is as traumatic as it was before yoga,” Eli said.
Head to Rasa for more information about their yoga classes.
NBC5 News at Sunrise co-anchor Allison Ross graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a degree in broadcast journalism.
Before coming to NBC5 News, she was a reporter and anchor at KOMU in Columbia, MO and interned at FOX 25 News in Boston. Allison also spent six months reporting in Europe where she covered the European Commission.
When she’s not in the newsroom, Allison loves adventures. She enjoys traveling and is excited to explore the West Coast. Allison’s motto: “Try everything once!”