They say that people who “convert” to things as adults are more passionate about their chosen thing than people who were born into it.* Well I guess yoga is going to be my thing, because its definitely made a positive improvement in my life, and now I can’t shut up about it.
I hit a pretty rough patch towards the end of last year. I was anxious, lonely, unmotivated, and just generally feeling depressed.** I knew that I needed something to help me: a daily tool that I could use to keep myself focused. I initially thought I would do different 30-day challenges from various workout styles: pilates, zumba, kickboxing, etc. I only picked yoga first because I assumed it was easy***. But I got very lucky early on by stumbling into the Yoga With Adriene videos, and I’ve been hooked ever since.
A few people have asked me if I have lost weight or inches or seen any other physical gains from doing yoga. To which I have to answer…I think so? When I decided to start getting healthier, I refused to measure or weigh myself going in. I knew that if I began looking at numbers, I wouldn’t be able to focus on anything else, because that’s just how my squirrel-brain operates. I would get discouraged that I wasn’t hitting my “targets” as quickly as I liked, and I would give up. It’s happened several times in the past. Instead, I had to force myself to focus on my overall health rather than a numbers-driven goal.****
So the question then becomes, do I feel healthier? To which I can answer, ABSOLUTELY.
Four months later, I’ve noticed a definite improvement in my posture. The simple change of practicing how to sit and stand without hunching has done wonders. There’s less stress on my neck and shoulders, as well as on my lower back, which used to be in constant pain. I feel stronger, and more confident in how to use my body. But more than anything, I’ve noticed that I’m just generally more positive, and better able to deal with the stressful situations. I’m learning how calm down, to breathe and take stock of the the world around me when I feel overwhelmed. Now, it hasn’t been a magic cure-all for anxiety. I still have lots of days where I feel lost or forgotten or sad. But yoga has been an unexpectedly helpful tool in dealing with that, especially given the current state of things.
I’m also really glad that I decided to share this online, and grateful to anyone who participated, even if it was only for a ltitle while! it’s helped me to feel more connected with the people in my life. So thanks to everyone who has been following along!
*For further examples, see born-again religious converts, vegans, and people who keep telling you that you haven’t seen real TV until you’ve watched The Wire.
**And that was before COVID blew every plan I had for the future out of the water.
***I was immediately proven wrong.
****I do not want to suggest that this was easy. It is a daily battle with my obsessive side that wants to keep a log of inches and pounds.