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Yoga to me is both my connection to myself and an escape from myself. I suffer from generalized anxiety disorder, and from a young age (13-14 years old). I found that yoga was a way to truly connect and check in with myself. In a way that was different than when I would work out or go for a run. I have always practiced it by myself, in my room with either yoga books or videos.
Wherever you live – Vancouver, Bali, Thailand, Toronto, Hawaii, New Zealand, Sydney, Perth, Brisbane, Melbourne Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa, Toronto, Hamilton, Halifax or Montreal we all consistently do yoga or we fall off the wagon.
However, Yoga was able to help me through some truly difficult times. In my later teens as I battled and tried to learn about my anxiety disorder.
I was never someone who liked medications, it always gave me more anxiety to have to take any form of medication. So when it came time to consider taking something for my anxiety I really wanted that to be my last option.
I really wanted to find a natural alternative to help control and accept my mental illness. I remembered the moments of mental clarity I felt when I practiced yoga from time to time. Especially when I was able to it consistently.
I decided to take a yoga teacher training, as I felt that maybe if I could stick with a practice and build a true habit for myself then I might be able to work with my anxiety.
It wasn’t until my early 20’s that I was really able to figure out what worked for me, and when I found a career that really spoke to me I was really able to build a practice for myself.
It also took time for me to realize that I didn’t have to do yoga for an hour every day.
It was most effective for me to just set aside at least 10 minutes aside. And if it went longer, which it often did, then there was no pressure.
Yoga was also my introduction into meditation, and with the use of both I was truly able to both connect with myself and escape myself.
With yoga I am able to connect my physical body to the world and really ground myself and with meditation I am able not just connect to my mental body but also observe it and understand it.
I still have so much to learn and I definitely still suffer from anxiety but now I am able to stop, take a step back mentally and really give my mind safe to safely come through the episode and move into a calm state of mind and understanding.
The more I study and learn about yoga, whether it be form this course or books I read, the more I learn how to both control my mind and also step back and let my mind be free.