I try to have more patience for things, whether it be with school, work or relationships. Yoga helps me to slow down and know that it’s okay to put myself first.
I first began my yoga journey when I was a senior in high school and a friend of mine kept repeatedly asking me to join her.
I finally caved and practiced on and off for the first couple of years of my journey and was met with open arms at Mind Body Flow Yoga.
At first, my practice was just for the physical aspects – trying to achieve that yoga body you see all over social media.
Growing up in this age of social media was hard.
I spent a good portion of my time obsessing over what I should look like and if I didn’t look like those girls, then something has to be wrong with me. I was trying so hard to reach those perfect poses and always felt defeated when I couldn’t do what I thought was a simple headstand.
But like for many people, yoga eventually found a way to help me on and off the mat.
As I began my first couple of years of college, the stress and anxiety were overwhelming. I never felt like I was smart enough to be in the field I was studying and if my grades weren’t the best then I always felt like I was failing.
I would constantly get severe stomach aches, as the anxiety built up.
At this time, I didn’t enjoy the gym. I always found it intimidating, so I needed a release from the stress.
Before yoga, I had no patience for things in life. Since I had so much on my plate, I always had the next thing to do on my mind. I needed to keep going and if I wasn’t doing something with my time then I felt like I was wasting my whole day away.
Feeling this stress all the time was challenging. I never felt happy with myself and just wanted to be alone all the time.
When I finally started to dive deeper into my practice, that was when I realized it was the release I needed.
I remember one class that I think really made me realize that this is what I needed to help me.
During shavasana, Marina walked in front of each person and made them put out into the universe the thing they hated the most thinking or even saying out loud about themselves.
I remember laying there waiting for my turn, hearing people say things like “I’m not good enough” or “I’m not strong enough.”
When she got to me, I said, “I’m not smart enough,” and for some reason just saying that out loud felt like a relief.
I’m not sure why I ever think that about myself.
I think it’s because I put too much pressure on myself to achieve the best and if things become too hard I just think the worst about myself.
After releasing that into the universe, it has helped me to put it behind me and focus on the positive things in my life, and not the negative.
When Marina asked me to be the featured student, I was shocked.
I wanted to politely say “No thank you.”
I was most scared to write this note.
I felt like I didn’t have a journey to share.
Writing this was hard because it made it real, but it also felt like a strange release I needed.
I now come to my mat to escape from the stress and relax for that one hour a day. I try to have more patience for things, whether it be with school, work or relationships.
Yoga helps me to slow down and know that it’s okay to put myself first.
I now don’t put so much pressure on myself in school.
I work hard and try my best and I know that whatever I do is good enough for me.
Yoga has helped me to let go – to release negative things in my life and be proud of myself.
Some days are always harder than others, but that’s why this is a yoga practice.
I’m thankful that I have this in my life and I learn and grow from it every day.