Yoga has been an extraordinary gift in my healing. Dealing with poor body image and history of an eating disorder can sometimes feel limiting when it comes to exercise. So much of our society's views on working out deal with calories, speed, endurance, competition, and perfection. Yoga is the opposite.
It's about being. Being in the moment and accepting what is. It greatly reduced my anxiety and depression and actually helped to reverse my body dysmorphia and develop a more loving relationship with my body. When surrounded by other yogis in class, it feels empowering rather than competitive. It's a way to come together rather than separate yourself as "the best".
To further my yoga practice I went a step further in the lifestyle. I took up meditation and mindfulness. I color mandalas, practice various breathing techniques, and try to sit in silence for part of each day as a way to connect to the breath.
I can't believe the tremendous effect it has had on my anxiety each day. Stress and emotions do not creep up on me the way they used to. They feel less severe, more in control, and far less scary.
With yoga and the combination of healthy, compassionate plant based eating, I feel the best I have since learning of my diagnoses.
I highly recommend anyone who is curious about how to begin a yoga practice, whether physical or spiritual, to non judgmentally give it a shot! Don't worry about what you're doing right or wrong! Just be thrilled to be on your mat and proud of that accomplishment!