I have read so many good things about yoga and how it helps with anxiety. You learn to breathe, inhaling from the bottom all the way to the top and holding and exhaling, helps when you are feeling overwhelmed.
You reduce stress in your body and mind, by not only the breathe but by the poses you get into. You relax your body and learn meditation. You can focus your mind on stillness and teach yourself how to consciously quiet your mind whenever you feel like your anxiety is overwhelming.
Doesn’t all that sound great?? For years, I wanted to try and last year I made my new years resolution that I would try yoga and boy did I try yoga. I got obsessed. I did not even know where to find a yoga studio, it kind of fell on my lap. We went to a friend of a friends house for New Years lunch and a yoga business owner was there and they did their spiel on how good yoga was and that everyone there was so nice and there was no judgment. My wife and I decided to give it a try and our first class was a Power Flow class and holy moly, I don’t think we sweated so much in our lives. It was HOT YOGA, so it was 90 degrees in there!!! But, we loved it. Yes, we were super sore the next day and the day after that day, too, but we kept going back. I instantly loved it, it was a whole new world for me. Everyone was so sweet there, I did not feel judged and they helped me with different poses that I was not doing right.
I went to yoga class with my wife; I was too scared to go by myself. I would try but then change my mind, I would go in panic mode. But someone else came into my life that helped me get passed that, a yoga teacher named Marilisa. Like me, a crazy – high energy Puerto Rican! My wife and I used to go to the classes taught by the owner of the studio and one day he couldn’t make it, so she filled in for him. At first, we were not sure how to take her. She was new to the class and she was over the board but we loved it. She wasn’t perfect and we loved that about her. She read the poses from a book and told us what to do, but not only did she tell us, she showed us. She went around the room and made sure we were doing the poses right and also teaching us how to breathe. It was a whole new yoga experience for us. We went to a second class and soon enough, she was the only teacher we would go to. Then, I started going by myself during the day when my wife was at work. It was a big deal, I’m not going to lie, some mornings I would take half a pill of my anxiety medicine to take the edge off but I did it. I went to class by myself…well..maybe I got there by myself but the other yogis were with me. It’s a community of awesome people, we are all coming from different walks of life but everyday we take an hour or so out of our lives to get together and do yoga together.
We moved to another yoga studio and every teacher there is awesome (don’t worry my yoga BFF is at the new place too). I have learned so much about myself and have been able to cope better with my anxiety and most importantly letting things go. I feel like yoga has filled in a gap in my life that was empty, I hope that makes sense. It has shown me that I do not have to fear new things and I can by myself. Everyone has their own journey and thankfully I have my yoga BFF and the other awesome teachers to help me through it.
This month at the yoga studio we are learning about compassion, and let’s be real…that is something we need to learn everyday. Compassion for everyone, for the unfortunate, for the ones going through illness, or even having a bad day. A Tibetan Buddhist teacher Pema Chödrön writes, “In order to have compassion for others, we have to have compassion for ourselves.”
“Compassion is not a relationship between the healer and the wounded. It’s a relationship between equals. Only when we know our own darkness well can we be present with the darkness of others. Compassion becomes real when we recognize our shared humanity.”
And that is something we need to be reminded of every once in awhile. Thanks Beewell Yoga for being a inclusive commYOUnity. <3
Keep Moving Forward.
Love – WBC