by John Fritz, Manager at Yogatown
A few years ago, I stopped breathing in my sleep. I jolted up from bed and clutched my heart. It felt as if someone was running a sword in and out of my chest and I didn’t know what to do. I ended up going through a few tests at the hospital that night, but there were no conclusive results. Wanting to stay active without putting myself at risk for heart problems, I booked my annual checkup with my family doctor.
With a little digging, she noticed I had a heart murmur. We ran some tests and found out that I also had an arrhythmia (an irregular heartbeat). At this point, I was referred to The Heart Institute where I spent the next two years going through tests to find the root of the problem. While I was there, the staff was incredible. Being the youngest person among many patients is humbling. The staff always stayed positive and gave me the encouragement to keep living my life. During my time there, I got to see one of the top cardiologists in Canada, Dr. Calum Redpath, who reassured me that I could continue my passion for hot yoga and that my heart would be okay.
Following my healthy diagnosis, I returned for my annual check-up at my doctor’s office. She had me do some deep breathing exercises (identical to the exercises I practice in yoga) and discovered that my breathing was correcting my heartbeat’s rhythm. My yoga practice was healing my heart and soul at the same time.
I am truly grateful for all the excellent work done by The Ottawa Heart Institute. This fundraising event is just one of the many ways for me to say ‘thank you’.