Your practice, your story – Ola’s tale of transformation

All month we've been collecting members' stories about how yoga has helped you overcome challenges. We're honoured to share Ola's story.

Ola Walsh

We asked you, our members, how practicing yoga has helped you face challenges, change limiting beliefs, heal and grow… We received extraordinary tales of transformation. This is Ola Walsh’s story.

Big Magic – New Zealand

2020 was the year my husband and I planned to backpack across Africa and India. The world, however, had other plans and life changed in ways I never could have imagined.

With everything on hold and no place to call home, we decided to leave the UK for New Zealand to be with family. We had this wild idea to convert a bus and travel around the country, with the hope of returning to the UK once things had settled.

We found our bus – Big Magic! – and got started. However, renovations fell behind, money was tight, and we had to find work. A year passed.

I found a lump.

We moved into the bus permanently mid-way through renovation. We still had so much to do, but all the essentials – like gas, running water and a bed – were in place.

A week after my thirty-ninth birthday, I was diagnosed with breast cancer.

Travelling within

Over the last seven months, I’ve embarked on the greatest healing journey of my life. I went through IVF, fifteen rounds of chemotherapy, and surgery. I had to find small ways in which I could ground myself and decided that treatment would not stop at the end of an IV line.

It was time to travel within.

My intuition guided me back to practices that had served me well in the past: Yoga, Reiki, Qi Gong, Meditation, and a plant-based diet.

In my first Kundalini class many years ago, during the closing meditation, I experienced a profoundly intense energy shift with flashing visual auras – I know, it’s funny! Especially as I wasn’t even enjoying the class and felt very self-conscious. I was new to yoga and didn’t think the style was for me.

Years later, with Reiki, I had a similar experience and was inspired to learn a little bit about Chakras but didn’t delve deep.

Coming home

Call it divine timing – exactly two weeks after my diagnosis, a newsletter from Esther popped into my inbox: “Connect with your Chakras.”

Usually I take time to think about signing up for things, but I had this knowing. Within a minute, I became an EkhartYoga member and have signed in everyday since. I followed all seven of Marlene Smit’s Chakra sessions and still regularly tune in to unblock, shift, balance, and restore.

After a month of connecting my body, mind and soul using all the tools (and apps!) available to me, I started to heal. My tumour shrunk by half before chemotherapy even began.

These classes have grounded, elevated, connected and restored me. They’ve brought me back to myself, given me a home when I lacked one, and a sense of self-love when I felt desperately alone.

This photo (main image) is my tiny yoga space, my ‘nearly finished’ home; full of big energy, big love, big healing, big gratitude and big magic.

Thank you, Esther, Marlene and everyone at EkhartYoga.

Throughout June, we’re sharing stories of transformation from members of our EkhartYoga community leading up to a special class with Esther on International Day of Yoga 21st June. We invite you to follow along on Facebook and Instagram or via our weekly newsletter.

Register here for Esther’s free class. We’ll send you the link to the class on 21st June 2022

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EkhartYoga Written by one of the EkhartYoga staff or guest writers. A dedicated team of yoga teachers, yoga students, anatomy geeks, and recipe creators.