Through yoga, little by little, you uncover yourself.
Yoga is a physical, emotional and spiritual practice; through the movements of my body, I connect to my soul. This is how I continuously discover and rediscover my true self, and leave fear, judgment and shame behind.
Before I started my yoga practice I was trapped in an anorexic, anxious and self-conscious state. I struggled in silence and denial, too ashamed to talk about what I was feeling, and too stubborn to admit my defeat. I pretended nothing was wrong with me, I pushed those close to me away, and I kept living my life in pain, hoping that one day I would simply stop suffering. That denial was hurting me most of all.
Completely disconnected from myself and my true feelings, I started to suffer depression, went deeper into my eating disorder, dealt with anxiety attacks, and always just wanted to be alone, thinking that I didn’t deserve to be happy. Once I discovered yoga, slowly it taught me that I would heal, I could cope with disease, and I can accept and love everything I am; imperfections and weaknesses, strengths and vulnerabilities.
Through devotion to the practice, all 8 Limbs, but especially asana, pranayama and dhyana (the physical postures, breath-work, and meditation), and learning to surrender to the present moment, I located the ability to forgive myself for my struggles, and allow others in.
If you haven’t found your own version of the practice yet, I invite you to unroll a yoga mat and embrace any discomfort that comes while moving though the asanas (poses). Breathe into your limitations when you struggle; this will always help you to offer words of acceptance, surrender, and connection to yourself. Trust that this process will help you to focus and strengthen your mind, and help you to develop the skills to walk the path of healing from life’s ups and downs.
It is then that you can mold the familiar anxiety of your past suffering into the beautiful blessing of the future – of life. We might not know what’s coming next, but we can choose how to see what’s behind us. We might not be able to control what’s going on outside of us, but we can learn to control what’s going on inside of us.
Take every inhale and exhale in your yoga practice as a gift, as an opportunity to connect to your true self, to calm your mind and to let go of unnecessary holdings. Listen to what your physical body is trying to tell you – and instead of fighting against your emotions and limitations, surrender to them. Embrace your whole story, and live into your own healing. You, and those around you, need your vulnerability; that vulnerability is your greatest strength.
Don’t be afraid to tell your story. Share it with the world. Your authenticity is a form of service. Your medicine is needed.