I used to not understand yoga.
I used to be incredibly intimidated by it. Scared to go. Scared to practice and overly self-conscious. I couldn’t understand why people swore by it. I am so grateful this is no longer the case. Today – there is nothing I love more. My body craves it just as much as my mind. I feel refreshed, energized and at peace after practice. I feel strong and encouraged to keep working at it!
So how did this love story flourish? My lifestyle changed. My perspective changed. My vision changed. I started to look at life through a different lens and I was working through my anxiety. I started to desire things that brought me calm instead of being scared of not being good enough. I was always scared I was not good enough. Overtime, I taught myself that I am good enough. I learned to trust that I could be the best source for my own happiness. As I mentioned in my last post, I started looking inward instead of outward. When you constantly look outward it becomes harder and harder to practice mindfulness. This is something I am still working at daily. Some days I am just stressed, tired and not able to get on the mat. And that is ok. It is alway ok. Listen to your body.
Today, I remember the days of sitting on my mat looking around nervously at what everyone else was doing and feeling scared. Believe it or not, I have had a panic attack during a yoga class. Seems like an oxymoron, but it is true. So if you have been there – I feel you. I know that feeling. That feeling can change 🙂
As I started to work on myself and actively practice yoga, something switched. The power yoga has over my anxiety is so powerful. Now, only thing that gives me anxiety now is not having enough time on the mat. Actually, I’d say it is less anxiety and more excitement. Excitement to be in a place that I feel so connected. My phone is off (so important). My intentions are set. My mind is focused and I come out feeling so good (and sweaty!). It takes a different kind of patience than other types of exercise, and that’s why I believe it is called a practice. You grow in your practice and you become better. Slowly, but you do.
In some ways, I would say that Yoga has saved me. It has given me a new light and presented physical challenges (which I love!). If anyone is feeling the way I once did about yoga my advice to you would be to give it another shot. Just try. I am so happy that I did.
Shout out to my hometown fave studio Citizen Yoga. You guys rock!