My Yoga Journey began in October 2017.
During this time in my life I was anxious, depressed, and disconnected. I was struggling with disordered eating, perfectionism, trying to wrap my head around the news that I was “infertile” and feeling completely hopeless about my future.
I have suffered from anxiety for most of my life and bouts of depression in most recent years and found myself caught up in self-sabotaging behaviors like extreme dieting, over-exercising, addicted to rigidity, throwing myself into bodybuilding competitions as a way to control and seek a perfect body in order to feel more worthy and more loved; only to find myself in a state of chaos – mind, body and soul. I have talked about this a lot in previous blog posts. I may have looked “fit”, but my body was screaming for help, screaming to be fed, screaming for connection, and stuck in a vicious cycle. There were mornings I didn’t want to get out of bed and many nights I cried myself to sleep. I tried to “fix” myself by following strict rules and put way too much stress on my body.
I sought support from multiple therapists and programs that helped for a short period of time, only for me to revert to my old patterns. In time I learned that what I needed to do was connect with myself on a deeper level.
The “Ah-ha” moment for me, was learning from a Reproductive Endocrinologist (fertility Doctor) that I wouldn’t be able to conceive in the current state that my body was in. My hormones were imbalanced and I wasn’t ovulating or cycling for over 3 years. My habits, which started with good intentions, began physically harming my body, fueling my anxiety and deepening my depression.
My infertility journey forced me to slow down and replace intense exercise with more gentle activities like walking and Yoga. I can remember walking into class at a new studio in October 2017. Although it wasn’t my first Yoga class, it was a BIG change from the intense and rigid exercise I was used to. During Shavasana, I remember tears flowing down my face uncontrollably as the instructor asked us, through breath, to let go of anything weighing us down and allow whatever it is we NEED to flow through us with each inhale – and for me this was more love, more compassion, and kindness for myself. Through this practice, I learned how to breathe deeply and listen to my soul and body’s intuitive cues. At first, it was hard to settle my thoughts, but every time I came back to my mat, the easier it was to fall into a deeper state of calm. I continued to let the tears flow in each class, allowing myself to be vulnerable, feel each emotion, release all built-up tension and anxiousness. I learned to shed these layers I was hiding behind, so I could truly start living. After every class, I felt an overwhelming feeling of peace and gratitude. I felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders, allowing me to feel light, free and more open.
I received so much clarity. In order to dig myself out of the hole I was in, I had to stop isolating, feeling sorry for myself and living in a state of sadness. I needed to open myself up to receive, trusting that the Universe was there to guide me.
This practice, along with Meditation, got me through the most challenging time in my life – a bout of depression, infertility/IVF, an eating disorder, and a failed embryo transfer – and brought me more peace, calm, a new outlook on spirituality, my body, and my soul. I was able to get pregnant in December 2018 (and continued practicing with pre-natal Yoga every Sunday), recently celebrated my sweet Daughter Daisy’s 1st birthday, and have been free from my disordered eating patterns for 2 years!
Through all of this, the most valuable lesson I learned is, I HAVE THE POWER TO CHOOSE to remain in a constant state of stress or can choose to open myself up to the beautiful possibilities and abundance the world has to offer. All it takes is waking up each day and CHOOSING to be grateful just for simply being ALIVE. I needed to take action and start doing things that brought me more peace and joy. Slow down, listen, follow my intuitive cues, and trust that I am supported.
When I open myself up to receive, staying authentic to who I truly am, forgiving myself for past mistakes, and focusing on love, I will always be guided.
Yoga taught me this and so much more!
I came up with a million excuses as to why I wasn’t ready for the Yoga Training (time away from my family, financial commitment, fear of being a good instructor since I haven’t taught a class in about 3 years, etc.), but then I sat in Shavasana recently and asked for an answer…. and it was a big fat YES!
So here I am ready to take this leap even with lingering feelings of self-doubt, anxiety, and fear! I know this is going to change my life and I can’t wait to see what 2020 has in store for me <3