“I have this limiting belief that until I can sit cross-legged, I’m not a real yogi. I’ve convinced myself that because my hips are so tight, they’ll never open up. Recently in a class an instructor explained to me that, your hips and how tight they are correspond to not only how you treat others, but how you treat yourself. It really resonated with me since mine are so unwilling to open up on a physical level.
Even though I feel like I’m a nice person and show compassion towards others, I also keep to myself a lot of the time. In being so reserved, I see that that’s not treating people well because I’m not sharing what I have to offer. In moments like those where I begin to doubt not just my ability to get into a particular pose, but doubt the core of who I am, I simply breathe deeply and exhale those negative thoughts out. Breath has become a really powerful aspect of who I am; my favorite tool yoga has given me.
I had grown up in a broken home where there wasn’t an abundance of love, so from a young age I sought it from other places. My whole life I feel like I’ve tried to be everything for everyone else. My mom had so much anxiety, and it transferred down to me. Now, it’s an everyday battle.
What really stands out to me about yoga, is that when I first started learning about ujjayi breath and implementing it into my everyday life, all of this anxiety in my life changed. Now, I know how to calm myself down. It’s crazy how I used to get frazzled and anxious over things like losing my keys, to the point where I’d want to cry because I was so frustrated. When I started breathing exercises, it changed every single outcome. When I’m in a social situation where I feel nervous or uncomfortable, I can remind myself to focus on my breath. It’s also helped my negative self talk. Even when I’m practicing, judgments and criticisms will creep into my mind and try to distract me from what I’m doing.
Just coming here to Charlotte has added silence and stillness to my life. When I got to Yoga 1, it opened my eyes to what yoga is, and what it can be. I feel like 30 days after practicing asana, something within me just…aligned. I was on autopilot before, and now I’m much more aware of my own thoughts. Baptiste yoga is amazing because it’s a physical meditation. It forces you to focus on your breathing and your thoughts while moving; there’s really no room to be absent. I need that push. I started meditating a long time ago, but nothing ever came of it. Or maybe it did, little by little. But I needed that physical component of it to engage my entire being.
It’s not just what I do in class that’s important. Each time I go I learn new takeaways that I can use off the mat. In that sense, yoga has expanded my whole way of thinking, and now I crave more knowledge. I’m just starting to walk down this road, but all I know is I want more. It’s only been a year since I’ve been practicing, but I can finally say I’m learning how to love myself. I’m on that journey of self love now, because of things like breath. I’m able to recognize and feel negativity as it arises, and then bring myself back to a reality of love and gratitude. I’m excited to see where I’m headed, in a really amazing way.”
Follow LT’s journey on Instagram: @sheisrion
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