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I am not extremely flexible. I am not 100% laid back all the time, I still get stress and anxiety on a regular basis.
So how did yoga change my daily stress? If I’m still experiencing it?
Yoga shows you ways of coping and managing your anxiety. recognizing what it is, and using techniques to lower your bodies anxious reaction to the situation. Yoga will not take away the stressful situations, but it will give you the knowledge to control your bodies reaction to it.
2 years ago, At my sons art class, watching him through the glass as he splashed paint all over the place. I found myself gasping for air, my throat felt life I just had a severe allergic reaction and it was closing. My chest began to feel like it was collapsing. Looking at the other parents, I was waiting for their facial reactions. Thinking I probably looked like I was going to kick the bucket. I rushed to the bathroom to look at my face, nope not swollen. I called my friend, and made him meet me at my apartment in case I needed to go to the hospital. I was definitely having a heart attack….or so I thought. Toughing it out that night, not going to the hospital. I came to realize. Oh my god that is what an anxiety attack is.
From that point, I started experiencing numerous anxiety attacks a week. It was unbearable. They would happen at the oddest times. Driving to work, with music on and no traffic. Right before bedtime. I felt like I was losing control of every situation. Life wasn’t fun anymore. It was constant fear of these horrible attacks. Simple decisions became stressful. Something needed to change. I was headed for a serious BREAK DOWN
I STARTED WATCHING YOGA VIDEOS AT NIGHT AND IN THE MORNING
After research, and recommendations. I chose to start the yoga practice. I started with watching videos on Youtube. I would put my son to bed, make a tea, lay my mat on the floor with my laptop, and watch decreased anxiety videos. The first few nights, I noticed a bit of a difference. I could feel the stretches, and it was relaxing but was not decreasing my anxiety levels.
“This isn’t helping, I don’t need to get more flexible, I need to help my anxiety” angrily venting to a friend. I remember him saying. ” Sarah, you are not listening to your body. You are doing it only for the poses. Look past that, concentrate on your breath, and become one with your body”
I decided to keep trying, I mean what’s the harm. That night, I grabbed my Mat and tea, tuned in to YouTube. Really trying to focus on my breath. During that practice something changed. I remember like it was 2 minutes ago. It is like I could hear everything in my body. I lived in a high rise on a main street, and the traffic and sirens disappeared. Each pose , my breath took me into a deeper stretch and mental relaxation. I finished the video, grabbed my tea, and headed to the balcony. I was in complete ZEN. My mind was so clear, I don’t even think, I could remember my stresses at that point. All my visions and life seemed to make sense, and positive vibes were glowing from me.
The next morning I woke up an hour before my son, to do morning yoga “THIS IS IT, THIS IS MY ANXIETY MEDICATION” I practiced religiously every night and every morning. Each video bringing me into a better mind state. The mornings I would feel energized for the day. Knowing that when stress appeared, i could handle it. The nights I would feel relaxed and free.
YOGA DOES NOT CURE ANXIETY, IT GIVES YOU THE TECHNIQUES TO CONTROL IT
Now I am not saying, my anxiety is completely gone, and that I no longer have any stress in my life. Believe me with a business to run, a 5 year old son, 2 dogs and sports to attend life gets crazy. But yoga gave me the techniques to use when in those stressed situations, I can cope. It lets me connect with my body, to control my break downs and attacks.
Now as many think yoga is only for exercise, and you have to be flexible. YOU ARE WRONG!
For me yoga took me on a road to recovery from a BREAK DOWN.
“It’s not about touching my toes. Its about what i learned on the way down”