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Three years ago, life totally threw me off course. Waiting at the deli counter at my local grocery store, I experienced crushing chest pain that knocked me to the ground. I thought I was dying and passed out. Luckily, I awoke to two smiling faces telling me that I would be all right and the ambulance was on the way. After a battery of tests at the hospital, it was found that I didn’t have a heart attack and my heart seemed to be working very well. However, I remained very dizzy and couldn’t shake the chest pain. It took two days for the hospital to discover that I had a large pericardial effusion around my heart. Thankfully, I responded quickly to the medical treatment without needing my pericardium drained.

After the hospital discharge, my life was no longer my own. It was shocking going from being at the pinnacle of my health to being bedridden. Luckily, the support of my family and friends got me through this difficult time. In addition, my yoga practice sustained me daily. I wasn’t able to do the postures, but the meditation, relaxation, and imagery healed me. I would struggle for two more years trying to figure out why I continued to get recurrent effusions and chest pain.

By the grace of God, in the fall of 2011, I was referred to a rheumatologist who suspected that I had celiac disease right before a previously scheduled colonoscopy. In November 2011, I started my journey of healing by starting a gluten-free diet and taekwondo.

To this day, I am not sure which intervention has been more successful! Having a background in non-violent yoga, I never would have imagined that taekwondo would be so enjoyable. This practice has helped me to increase my strength, endurance, and self-confidence. In addition, my 17-year background in yoga has supported and strengthened my taekwondo practice. These two practices complement each other very well, and this complement led to the creation of Sijahk Yoga™. It is my goal to introduce all practitioners of Sijahk Yoga™ to their own inner strength that can be reclaimed through this powerful practice. All one needs to do is SIJAHK!