Greetings everyone; I'm Melina.
I started this hot yoga challenge because it felt like an incessant little tug on my sleeve. Something nagged me all summer long to do this...let me share why:
A couple years ago I was (quite luckily) diagnosed with severe mercury poisoning.
After a series of failed testings, there was a Bingo!. My test results for mercury returned exceeding 3500% the safety limit. That discovery changed the trajectory of my life - and brought me back to the States from abroad to undergo over two years of chelation therapy.
Why such obscenely high numbers?
This is a question I often get asked. Truth is - no one really knows. I was told that with such numbers I would have been hospitalized if it was from a sudden exposure. So, chronic it was!
The standing theory is that I absorbed mercury through the skin over a period of 10-15 years through cortisone creams I was prescribed for childhood eczema. Many of those creams, back in the 80’s and 90’s, still contained mercury. My parents - not knowing any better and following the doctors orders - would lather me in such creams on an almost daily occurrence.
I share this story not because I like to identify with it - in fact, I prefer not to. But I find myself called to share in hopes that it helps others. It was a blessing that I was diagnosed as a young and otherwise healthy woman. And it is especially important for women planning on future pregnancy to be tested for heavy metals.
Most doctors consider mercury poisoning ‘quackery’ because health insurance companies rarely cover the bill, and being something outside their formal medical training, it’s an uncomfortable threat to them.
But the truth is mercury exposure is a major threat to human health, being one of the most deadly neurotoxins known to humans. Exposure unfortunately has increased - not decreased - over the years - especially in over-developed and industrialized nations like the US, where the ‘safety limit’ is lobbied by industries.
For example - ‘green lights’ contain mercury. If a green light bulb breaks - it is incredibly hazardous on contact, even fatal for infants or children. Directions for clean up are not usually provided on the packaging - instead they direct you to a website...how convenient! In search for easy solutions many times new problems are born...
Anyways - excuse my digression...
How does all this relate to hot yoga? Well, in that disorienting return home I found hot yoga.
I was never before a yoga goer, but was convinced that because of the excessive heat and sweating, it would help accelerate my chelation therapy. My first ever class I was on the floor for sixteen of the 26 poses.
While back then I only went once a week, it proved my intuition was correct.
Even my doctor told me emphatically, “Whatever you’re doing - keep doing it!”
After so many months however, chelation has proven expensive. For six months I went once a week, then cut back to twice a month, then once a month, and now I go once every few months, even though I’ve yet to reach the good news of entering the ‘green zone.’ I’ve been hovering between yellow and green for what feels like forever - the finish line always elusive and a few inches ahead of me.
So now having discovered Riverflow Hot Yoga, which is devoted to all things hot yoga and whose instructors are all wonderful, I've decided to do this hot yoga challenge in hopes that some day soon I'll reach that green zone!
While mercury poisoning is what originally brought me into the hot yoga room to unroll my mat, in the process its become a tremendous gift.
I feel just incredibly grateful to be in a corner of the world where hot yoga is accessible and taught, and where such a great studio is only twenty minutes away...this is not something I take for granted!
Hot yoga is like an all-in-one package. Yes it’s ninety minutes, and yes it’s a commitment - but when broken down into smaller roles and benefits, the ninety minutes and monthly expense seem incredibly modest.
Hot yoga is my chelation therapy. My chiropractor. My gym. My meditation. My relationship guru. My therapist. My business coach. My energy booster. My sleeping pill. My mood stabilizer. My sauna. My spa. My humbler. And now at Riverflow, it’s turning into my community as well....
All that from just 90 minutes? It’s worth it in every way.
While there’s more to share about my actual hot yoga challenge days, the poses themselves, and some take-home lessons I've learned in the heated room, I’ll save these tidbits for ‘next time’!
Until then, cheers!