Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Another Testimonial of the Awesomeness of Yoga

As a followup to the last post on The Benefits of Yoga, the following comes from a reader and fellow anxiety sufferer named Bonnie who has used yoga as a great resource to overcoming her anxiety.

I think my anxiety can be traced back to high school. I still believe that kids can be a tough crowd! However, the one thing I have now that I didn’t have back then, is coping skills. This past year I took the time to get to know me. I had been battling some particularly intense bouts of anxiety and was on my way to downright depression. Most people believe that stress and anxiety occur with bad situations – but that’s not always the case. Sometimes my anxiety came from good things, like going out to the movies with friends or taking a road trip with my husband. As time wore on, I began to shut things out of my life… like friends and activities that I once enjoyed. But now I feel like that person I used to be is a complete stranger. I took one year to battle my demons. I wanted to see how strong I was.

Along my road to recovery I discovered some amazing things about myself and found relief from unexpected outlets. A couple of months into my journey, I found yoga. Yoga encouraged a stillness in me I had never experienced before. When I cried on my yoga mat during class one day, I knew I found what I was looking for. By having a steady practice and embracing some yoga philosophies I was able to fight through my panic attacks and anxiety. Here are some things that helped me along the way that I learned from yoga:

1) Check Your Ego At The Door: A big fear of mine that caused immense anxiety was embarrassing myself in front of people. What if I got sick or fainted or said something stupid and people saw that? I spent more time thinking about what other people thought than what I thought. Keep your ego away and live how you want to live. Don’t worry about other people because other people rarely worry about you.

2) Perfection Is A 4-Letter Word: Trying to do everything perfectly is exhausting and you are constantly plagued by the fear of messing up. It doesn’t matter in yoga if you do a pose perfectly, all that matters is that you feel bliss when you practice. Do what you can. Don’t strive for perfection because it doesn’t always exist.

3) Stay Present: My worries were always focused on something I dreaded in the future. I was always concerned with what was going to happen next. Yoga keeps me still and in the moment and when I am so engulfed in what I am doing, I don’t have time or energy to needlessly worry about the future, I am too busy enjoying the present.

I came very far from where I once was – I hardly recognize the person I was a mere year or so ago. Each step in my journey has been an important one and I’ve learned from my experiences. I still feel anxious every now and again, but I know I can cope. I found freedom in yoga and continue to use the philosophies I’ve learned to help guide me along the way.

I know it’s scary, but don’t ever give up. Sometimes you find help in the most unexpected places. Find your freedom…


Manmeet N said...

Useful article, i have taken note of this, pls keep posting.

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jh said...

Yoga is really the only thing that, done consistantly, really quells my anxiety. I think that it is the connection I get, the ability to really focus and breath, the letting go. Kundalini yoga is really the best I have found. It has changed my life for sure. Thanks for posting about it.

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Anonymous said...

It really is true that perfectionism can be something that stresses us to no end and that causes a lot of anxiety...I was like that but I had to let some of it at least go in order to be less stressed.
thanks for the post!

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Blogger with Ocd said...

I have OCD, and yoga is difficult because it's hard to quiet my mind.

On the other hand, I find that running works for me like Yoga might work for you.

When I'm running, all of my energy goes to my body, with very little on my brain. If I can't make myself get into "the zone" like I need to for yoga, a good 6.4 mph stride will do the trick! : )


Ruby said...

Hi Aimee

I'm so glad I came across your blog, I used to do Yoga a long time ago, and haven't really given it much thought since, though I really enjoyed it. You have planted a seed for me to check out my local classes.


Anonymous said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.



Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

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Abbey said...

I used to just buy fioricet online for migraines. That was until I learned about yoga. It doesn't always cut it, but it helps take my mind off the pain.

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