Happy Monday, friendships! What a WEEKEND filled with love, support, MAHA (“mother of all A-HA”) moments, and compassion. I am back on the blog train with a revitalized spirit and mind. The creative juices are flowing and it appears this past weekend forced me to face some anxieties head on.
Many of you already know I deal with the on-going battle of depression/anxiety. It has shaped me in so many ways that I’ve lost count, but all the experiences happened for the best. I like to believe in greater forces beyond our own lives. I like to think the universe conspires on your behalf to make things happy for us but only if we are open and receptive to the change. Case and point: Yoga teacher training was scaring the hell out of me and I had so many friends tell me that if I wasn’t nervous there was something wrong. Still, I could not shake the growing anxiety filling my heart and mind and I began to second guess myself. As soon as I started feeling apprehension, I noticed other areas in my life where I was resisting or ignoring certain messages. I was choosing to brush off the opportunities that mattered most to me.
At work, I’ve felt a palpable edginess trying to balance my work/life schedule. Night 1 of teacher training turned into an overwhelming, dare I say it, chore where I started to resent myself for having signed up in the first place. I was mostly frustrated with work which was spilling onto my mat which, in turn, made me less present in my practice. I fell out of poses on purpose and rushed through flowing sequences and ignored proper alignment in an effort to get out of the studio quicker. My body, both in mind and spirit, were agitated and I grew frustrated with my performance both on and off the mat.
To put it bluntly, I was pissed off at myself, pissed off at random strangers, easily irritated by the smallest of tasks, and consequently, my depression and anxiety skyrocketed. I purposely avoided the yoga studio and got back to running again. I needed that extra pent-up energy gone. Too much adrenaline for one person to handle, I knew I would crash and burn at the rate I was going.
That’s the thing with mental health–you’re chugging along at a fine pace when suddenly, there’s a bump in the road, then another, and another. They start to add up. Emotions spiral out of control. Old habits crop up. We fail to see the light at the end of the tunnel even though it exists.
And just like Baron Baptiste‘s quote, the universe begins to work in our favor right up until we have almost given up hope on life ever making sense.
This is the MAHA moment, what one of my truly amazing teachers calls the ultimate A-HA moment. On Friday night, I came home exhausted from the week and with a heavy heart as I thought about the busy weekend ahead. I needed to shut down and disengage for the night, so I retreated to my bed and drifted to sleep. The next morning, I told myself I would try a different way of thinking. I would tell myself I was only capable of doing so much and that it was OK for me to leave things unfinished if my eyes were heavy or I didn’t have the physical strength to carry out a project. I needed to stop feeling guilty about what I could and could not accomplish in a single day. Depressive or not, humans can only exert so much energy before we cave under pressure, leaving absolutely no ability to immerse ourselves in the things we love most. Emotionally, I needed yoga but I was having trouble bringing my physical body to the mat along with the mental capacity to stay present. Too many outside factors were seeping into my practice and I was not getting what I needed because I was only giving so much of myself and my time to yoga. If I truly wanted to complete the next 6 weeks of teacher training, I would need a mindset revamp.
The next two days were indescribable. I’m not exactly sure how to explain what happened in the studio with all 22 of my fellow yogis plus our teachers. But somewhere within the weekend, there was a moment of clarity in which I knew yoga had been and continues to be my saving grace. I looked around the room at each teacher-in-training and saw a reflection of myself. They, too, were probably nervous and filled with uncertainty. They, too, may have questioned their own reasoning for signing up. Maybe some of them also battled depression and anxiety like I did. Whatever it was, we had all made the active choice to hold steady and return to training. It wasn’t until I got up to practice teach the core strengthening series of our sequences learned thus far. I was nervous. I may have blacked out for a second as I thought to myself, “Wait, what am I saying? Is this right? I am responsible for guiding all these yogis in the room. Is this actually happening?” Fight or flight kicked in and I immediately regretted raising my hand to “volunteer as tribute” (ha ha).
But I did it. I made it. Three minutes of my life felt like each second had been multiplied by a year, but it happened. During the feedback portion, I felt elated and rejuvenated. I felt the support of my fellow yogis and saw the huge grins of our teachers as they told us how proud they were of all of us. It was a magical moment that cannot be put into words but just know it was a MAHA moment for me as a took my seat back on my mat and thought, “Yes, this is right. This is the path I’m choosing with purpose and intention.”
The pose begins when you want to get out of it.
And how true this quote is. True growth comes from going to the edge, looking at it, and saying, “I can do this.” And if you believe in yourself enough to power through the moments of doubt, the universe works with you in order for you to get through the tunnel and speed into the light.
Namaste, my beautiful humans.