I Started Taking Yoga Every Day. How Did It Help Me?

featured image via : Popust Plus 

I Started Taking Yoga Every Day. How Did It Help Me?

For those of you familiar with Yoga, you may know there are many different types of Yoga you can take.  For those of you not familiar with these types of yoga, they include  but are  not limited to: Hatha ( a basic slower-moving yoga class), Vinyasa ( a dynamic practice linking breath and movement together ),  Bikram ( a heated yoga in which you typically practice the 26-pose Bikram sequence, definitely a more vigorous practice ), and Hot Yoga * my personal favorite* ( obviously a heated yoga practice which is similar to Bikram yet not restricted to the 26 Bikram sequence).

These practices are some of the most common or popularly practiced types of Yoga.  There are many more including, Kundalini, Yin Yoga, Restorative Yoga etc.  This being said they all focus on different aspects of finding peace and focusing on your breath and bettering of your body.

After researching, and learning the many positive effects yoga can have on your body, and mental health I decided it was time I finally take action, and take my first yoga class.  Luckily, I am a flexible person, with 9 years of background it martial arts training I definitely have become extremely flexible which came to my advantage in my opinion.

Here is how my first three days went.

 

Day 1 :

The first thing I noticed when I walked into that heated room with my mother was the complete silence in the room.  It was intimidating I won’t lie, individuals of all ages stretching, in child’s pose, handstands. The only things going through my mind were, I hope they don’t expect me to be able to do that.  and If it stays this hot the whole time I think I might pass out.  

After 10 minutes of stretching, the class had started and I was excited.  I was attending a hot yoga ” Flow ” class with an AMAZING instructor.  She started us off with a little meditation, then had us go through many poses including: ” Downward Facing Dog” or Adho Mukha Svanasana in Sanskrit, Chair Pose or Utkatasana, Child’s Pose or Balasana, and Crescent Moon Pose or Ashta Chandrasana to name a few.

We ended our night with some more meditation and spent around 5 minutes completely stretching or meditation on our own.  Whichever we felt we needed most.

If I was to summarize my first real yoga class, I’d say it was the best idea I’ve had to take it.  I found myself completely in the moment, at peace, and just relaxed altogether.  As hesitant as I was I am so glad that I took this class.

 

Day 2:

I went to sleep after my yoga class last night, and I felt so at peace.  I woke up feeling great and well rested, and I was looking forward to taking my second class tonight!  I think it’s appropriate I mention, my mom is a yoga fanatic.  She attends yoga class regularly and now I finally understood first hand how beneficial and calming yoga really was.  She always tells me I’m missing out, and it’s super fun and let me tell you she was 100% correct.  I can not explain how much the first class of yoga benefited me.

I took a different class today, Warrior Sculpt in a heated room again with another AMAZING instructor.  Let me be honest with you. This class kicked my butt.  Yoga itself is not a walk in the park, try doing it with weights in 100+ degree weather.  It’s like a soothing yet painful slow death.  All jokes aside, this class was definitely not easy at all but I loved it.  With different workouts and poses to work different parts of your  body, I walked out of that class sweaty, sore, but super happy.  Definitely a class I will return to.

The only thing going through my mind when I went to sleep that night was : I feel great now, I hope I can still walk tomorrow. Might I say, I am attending a 5:00 AM Yoga class tomorrow for my mom’s birthday. Wish us luck.

 

Day 3

It is currently 4:30 AM and I am half asleep filling up both my mom’s and my water bottle.  We are going to heated ” Flow ” yoga at 5:00 AM, and I am super excited and super sore!  Might I add, none of my hoping worked and I am so sore that I can’t even sit down but I don’t mind!

We arrived at the gym, and I was surprised to see class was full with over 25 people!  I never thought anyone would wake up that early on their weekend to attend a yoga class, until I attended my first class.

We started off our class with some meditation, and light music and to my surprise I had accidentally walked into a Flow core session yoga.  5 AM core workout. Not my best idea.  After my mom and I pushed through our core workout, we got into a more mellow/ cool down part of class in which we stretched, and practiced basic yoga poses.

I was extremely happy with this class.  Regardless of the fact I had no clue I was about to get a core workout at 5 AM, this class honestly was a great way to start my day.  I walked out of it refreshed, and ready to take on whatever the day had in store for me.  My mom and I had so much fun taking that class together, and I look forward to continuing yoga with her.

 

Final Thoughts

I am so so happy with my decision to attend yoga classes every day.  This week, I noticed so many different positive changes in my lifestyle and mood.  I felt completely relaxed and at peace with myself and my surroundings.  The many different classes that I took really worked my body, but in such a great way.  No matter how sore I felt, I found myself waking up eager to attend class, and eager to take on the day.

Despite being hesitant to try yoga, and be surrounded by experienced yogi’s after my first class I really understood what everyone meant when they told me yoga is solely for myself.  I did not have to compete with anyone, or try any of the things anyone around me was doing.  I did everything I wanted, and everything I wanted to do.  Just like starting any sport, it takes time to grow and advance.

In this one week, I noticed my levels of anxiety significantly decreasing.  I learned to focus on my breathing and to live in the moment rather than stressing about what is to come.  Aside from this I also noticed I began to become less and less stressed about the little things that always seem to get me tense and stressed out.  Taking 1-2 hours of yoga a day significantly improved my days and feelings this week.

In conclusion, I can honestly  say I will continue to take 1-2 yoga classes every day with my mom, and strongly advise you guys to take yoga at least once or twice a week.  The effects it has on you overall are so rewarding, and you will be so content with the results.

Until next time,

Namaste.

depression.

featured image via Panna Bagoly 

depression.

It’s time to talk about something very serious and something that isn’t talked about as much as it should be.
Depression.
Just that 10 letter word can scare some people and cause them anxiety. It may even instantly bring flashbacks of some dark times. If it doesn’t – I’m truly happy for you, because that means you didn’t have to go through this.
I have GAD (Generalised Anxiety Disorder) ever since I remember existing, and still suffer with it to this day. It doesn’t have a cure and I know I’m going to have to live with this for the rest of my life. One thing that has to be taken into account – and that took me years to realise- is that the fact that I’m going to live with this forever doesn’t necessarily mean that I have to let my disorder define me or my actions. It doesn’t have to take over my life.
If you suffer from anxiety just like me, let me tell you that there’s plenty of ways of getting help. You don’t have to suffer in silence, nor should you. That isn’t healthy and will only make the big monster that is anxiety grow more and more as time goes by.
When we decide to stay in silence, to keep our thoughts to ourselves, to silently cry every night under the duvet… that’s when anxiety decides to call a friend of his. Depression.
I have no doubts that to some this might come as a surprise: the fact that anxiety actually affects people that much and the fact that anxiety walks hand in hand with depression most times.
Suffering from anxiety doesn’t mean you’re always going to be depressed, but if the disorder isn’t treated as it should if the person suffering doesn’t seek for help, that black and chunky monster will most likely make its way into the body and start messing with the mind.
I’ll give my personal experience as an example.
Like I previously said, I’ve lived with my disorder ever since I remember existing, and it has been a terribly hard battle to fight.
My anxiety has made it extremely difficult for me to make new friendships, to speak in front of a crowd, to ask for a drink in a bar… but there was one year when I was 12 years of age when things were different.
I knew that what I was feeling wasn’t just anxiety.
In 2012 I started doubting myself. And when I wasn’t doubting myself, or even actually feeling good about myself one day, when night time approached, I’d always find myself crying in my bedroom and listening to sad songs.
That summer I fell out of some friendships and was struggling a lot with my self-confidence. It came to the point where I looked at myself in the mirror and wanted to cry due to how I looked, my appearance. I looked at all my friends in their swimwear, so confident and beautiful, just to look down at my tummy and wish it wasn’t that big.
The friendships I had slowly fell apart thanks to my “friends” constantly making little remarks about my tastes and sometimes even how I looked or what I wore. They made fun of me, whether I was around or not. It made me feel little in comparison to them, and many were the days and nights when I cried because their words kept playing in my mind like a broken record.
That was when the depression started. It started slowly, with my self doubt, then it escalated to seeing the ones who were once by my side walk past me and not even say a word, or laugh.
This all happened during Summer, that time of the year where you’re supposed to have no worries, to enjoy those three months to the fullest, to have fun… but I wasn’t doing that. I remember that many were the days when after lunch I’d go to my room and cry.
I was sad every single day and rare were the times I could plaster a smile across my face.
My elder sister and mom were extremely preocuppied with my condition and even told me multiple times I should try and see a therapist. But my answer was always no. At 12 years of age, I was one of those that thought “only the crazy or really sick ones need to see a therapist”. It makes me cringe that I actually thought like that. Silly me!
But I did end up going to see a therapist. I only made that decision because one of my sister’s friends had a conversation with me. He told me he knew how I was feeling, because my sister had shared her worries for me with him. That made my heart hurt and that was when I started crying. I still have this episode very present on my mind. I cried for a solid hour, listening to everything our friend had to say and tried to explain what I was feeling. If you have dealt/are dealing with depression, you know how hard it is to explain what you’re going through when sometimes not even you understand.
It was by the end of that conversation that I made up my mind. I was, indeed, going to see a therapist.
As soon as school started in September I started seeing my school’s therapist.
I was there every week for two years. It helped! It really did, and that’s no lie. If you think that talking to a stranger won’t help – you’re wrong. Sometimes talking to someone who doesn’t know a single thing about you is just what you need. You won’t feel judged.
I stopped the therapy sessions because I was better. So much better. My confidence had grown a bit and my anxiety was more controllable. And the depression? It wasn’t there anymore.
I’m trying to be as raw and truthful as I can. So I will say that maybe the decision myself and the therapist made wasn’t the best. I shouldn’t have left Therapy. I should’ve kept going every week, even if I only went to talk to her about my day!
But I didn’t and things were good for a good couple of months! Maybe a year.
But there’s something people need to understand about anxiety and depression: it comes and goes.
And that’s what happened to me. Depression eventually came back, and I was back to crying alone in my room, to doubting myself, comparing my figure to others… But I didn’t go back to Therapy. I dealt with it myself – and that made me grow into a much stronger person.
I should’ve dealt with those two monsters by myself? No, I shouldn’t and I don’t think it is recommendable. But was by my own that I learnt to deal with my anxiety in situations no one was going to be able to help me. It was like I injected some postivity into my brain.
Now, if you’re going through one of these dark phases and haven’t gone and look for help, I don’t want in any way to encourage you to stay that way. Please do seek for help. Talk to someone, whether that is one of your parents, a therapist, a friend… someone you know that’s going to listen and try to understand you. Someone that’s going to be there for you along the way.
Anxiety walks hand in hand with me everyday, and it doesn’t matter if I want it to hold my hand or not, because it’s tied and glued. It won’t leave, but I’ve learnt to deal with it. To control it.
One thing I still have to quite learn to deal with is my depression. It’s the monster that still scares me every time it appears.
If you’re dealing with depression, please don’t let it spread. I can’t stress enough the fact that you should look for a Therapist, seek for help and take care of yourself.
We are all unique in our way (no matter how cheesy that sounds) and we’re all worth it. We were all put into this planet with a purpose and if you haven’t, you’ll eventually find yours.
Depression isn’t just feeling sad. The word is actually thrown around like something with litte significance, when in reality it is something very serious and complicated.
Depression can start with people doubting themselves, to hate the way they look, the way they speak, the way they walk. People think no one cares for them, “no one would miss me if I just disappeared”. People are going through a very delicate and storng pain, and gain pleasure from causing even more hurt to themselves, because they feel like they deserve it. Depression leads to anxiety, to suicide… Depression isn’t a joke and it sure isn’t something to be used as a joke. It’s an illness that just keeps on getting more current in our society and it needs to be taken in count just as seriously as other illnesses.
We have to raise awareness for mental health. People who suffer with any sort of mental health illness have to feel comfortable talking to someone, have to understand that they’re not alone. And in our generation, I think we still have a long way to go for people to feel like that.
If you suffer with depression and have an anxiety disorder/panic attacks or any sort of mental illness I just want you to know that you’re not alone, ok? You’re not. There’s a way out of all this mess and even though it won’t disapeear and will always be a part of you it doesn’t have to define you. It doesn’t define you. Just like my therapist once told me “You are not your disorder”.
No matter how hard it might be to understand this and believe it, everything is going to be fine, eventually. You just have to treat yourself.
Us humans are like plants. We have to keep on watering ourselves in order to keep flourishing and keep on getting healthier and healthier!
I know that my words aren’t going to cure anyone, and that that are some that might feel confused or frustrated because the depression they’re going through isn’t exactly like this. But I hope most of you find some smiliarities in my story and understand that it is possible to get better and that seeking for help is crucial. It’s that click we have to take in order to start the journey that is trying to make that huge black monster get out of our body and mind. It is possible, and you can do it.
I’d love to hear some of your stories and to help in any way that I can.
Feel free to leave a comment down below telling me your story and journey living with anxiety, depression or both. Who knows maybe there’ll be people who read it and identify themselves?
If you relate to any comment, why not reply and spread a little positivity?
I’d love to read your stories and try to contribute with my words as much as I can.
And always remember: you’re not your disorder, you’re not your depression – these things don’t define you. You are a human that needs to be taken care of and that needs to be watered in order to keep on flourishing. You are unique and needed in this world. Stay strong and remember that nothing’s impossible. You’ll fight this battle and kick anxiety/depression in the ass. I believe in you!

The Youth

featured image via Pinterest 

 

Is it okay

that I’ve given up

that I have stopped believing in

Any kind of hope for

us dark-thinking teens?

Is it okay

that I’ve bitten all my nails

again,

That my anxiety is so intimidating

I plan my every move

to please it?

 

Will it all disappear

When the hormones smooth out

and we lock ourselves in cramped college dorms

or become working professionals

with fake families?

It’s hard to believe.

But you don’t really care,

Do you?

you say all we need

Is attention

But we are not getting any

no matter how vulnerable we

make ourselves

no matter how much skin we show

 

no matter how much we scream

all alone in an

Empty bathroom stall

No matter how much

we hope to god

someone at least says hello

 

I can’t peg down this feeling, so I say

I’m tired.

We are the sleepless generation and

“Tired”

Is the excuse of the century

exhaustion has become an emotion

because saying we’re ‘depressed’

is attention-seeking

And, after all

we’re leaning on 3 hours of sleep

Due to the milky insomnia

and why don’t they care

that the youth dreams of a happiness

that we’ll never get

 

because nothing changes

The world is still plastic

(but my mouth still tastes like metal).

And we don’t morph into geniuses

with perfect nails overnight.

maybe I’ll just

Wear pink and cut my hair

and hope it changes me.

Fin.

a n x i e t y attack.

seconds seem like hours
hours seem like seconds
my hands tremble
my hands are numb
my heart aches
my heart hurts
please, make this stop
it doesn’t stop
it won’t stop
this is forever
“this is intertwined with you” my mind shouts
my inner voice shouts at my own head
pleads for this to come to an end
this is unbearable
why is everyone looking at me?
why am i sweating so much?
why is this room so light? someone turn the lights out.
oh my god, i’m going to die!
we’re all going to die someday
i don’t want to die.
someone reaches out to me
grabs my hand,
i freeze.
i look at the person in front of me and i know they’re speaking
i can’t hear anything
my ears are buzzing
i’m yearning for this to come to an end
no one understands
no one knows how this feels
tears stream down my cheeks
the person in front of me reaches out to me with a cup of water
i grab it
half of the liquid pours out the cup into my jeans
a cold feeling
this feels good within the fire my body is in
my hands are still shaking
i grab the pill the person has in their hand and put it in my mouth
i grab the cup and take a sip, shaking
the room isn’t light
my ears aren’t buzzing as much
my hands aren’t shaking as much as i lay in bed
my heart isn’t beating at a thousand miles per second
it isn’t aching
my head’s aching now
my eyes feel heavy
i close them
i let out a deep, shaky breath.
time for my body and mind to rest
tomorrow is another day
my a n x i e t y doesn’t define me
i’m not my illness
tomorrow is going to be a better day…
tomorrow is going to be a better day.

Mental Health Awareness Month – Anxiety.

May is one of the best months of the year. Not just because it’s the month I was born in, not just because it’s when Spring starts… but also because it is Mental Health Awareness Month.

Now, there couldn’t be a better subject for me to write about as my first ever article for TNG Magazine.
As someone that suffers with anxiety – diagnosed with a Generalized Anxiety Disorder – it is very “easy” to speak about something like this.
It makes me very happy that there is a month dedicated to such a fragile, serious and important subject like Mental Health.
Our generation is composed by teenagers who have anxiety, depression, bipolar disorders, schizophrenia… and so much more. But, unfortunately, this isn’t taken in count as it should. People don’t give it the respect it deserves, nor do they pay attention. I’m generalizing of course, because there are people like me that want to make others realize how much of an importance this has in our society and how much it affects us and the lives we want to live.

I just want to tell something to people that don’t understand this illness called Anxiety. I can only speak for this specific topic because it is what I’ve been suffering with the most.

  • Dear teachers, pressuring us, we that suffer with any type of anxiety,  into making oral presentations without previous mention isn’t going to help us overcome our anxiety. Saying “you’re overreacting” isn’t going to help. “Why are you even crying” is only going to make us cry more.
  • Be kind to us. Ask us if we feel comfortable. Try to find a way to make us feel at ease and actually present a work in front of the class – we know there is a solution, and it’ll be way easier to find if you show sympathy.
  • Classmates… if you know there is someone in your class or in school over all that suffers with anxiety, educate yourselves. Don’t keep on asking questions and make us feel suffocated. Make us feel like we have someone we can trust. Ask us if we need something. If we say we don’t, we mean it 99% of the time.

Anxiety isn’t something simple. It does not have a cure and it comes attached to other mental illnesses like depression. Someone who suffers with anxiety for too long and doesn’t seek for help, or feels helpless and stays in their own little comfort zone and bubble will most likely develop a depression.

If you suffer from any sort of mental illness please do speak up. To a teacher (one you know that will understand the situation if you explain it), to your parents, a friend, a therapist…

You’re not crazy for thinking everyone is looking at you when you enter a room or that everyone is pointing out and judging your clothes or how much you’re sweating when you’re in front of the whole class presenting a really cool work you know is actually pretty good and that will give you a good grade. You’re just anxious. You’re feeling anxious. Because you aren’t anxious – anxiety doesn’t define the person you are.

Focus on yourself. Every human has to take care of their selves, of their mind and body, the only difference is that some have to work more on it and really have some battles with their minds to try to find peace of mind.

Trust me, you’ll find it. You’ll find your balance, you’ll overcome most of your fears, you will do great things despite your anxiety.

Think of your anxiety as the ocean. Sometimes the waves are really high and if you want to go for a swim the tides are way too dangerous. What should you do? Should you just let yourself be guided by the tide to the dark side of the ocean?

No. You shall swim against the tide. It isn’t easy, it isn’t going to happen from one day to another. It might take months, it might take years, it might take your whole life. I’m not sugarcoating it.

I’ve been dealing with my Generalized Anxiety Disorder ever since I was in kindergarten (the 10 times I probably stepped foot there) and til I was 13 I was letting the tide guide me. It kept dragging me to a dark place, to somewhere where I was feeling lost and even more out of control. I needed help. I didn’t want to be swallowed by a big wave. I knew I needed help. And I got it.

At 13 years of age I started swimming against the tide. Slowly. The tide was so strong that at the beginning it kept pushing me back to where I was. But then I tried again… and again… and again… and now, at 17, I can say I do know how to swim and that the tide has gotten way shorter and it doesn’t have half the strength it did in the beginning.

Of course sometimes I still feel like the dark side misses me and it keeps shouting my name. Shouting for me to come back and drown in that horrible swirl. But I don’t. I just keep on swimming and swimming til I reach the shore. The shore where all good things are. My family, my friends, my music, my books… the peace of mind I’m finding and exploring.

You are going to live with your anxiety forever, but it isn’t going to have the same weight for the rest of your life – unless you let it. Seek for help. Talk to someone. Speak up. Don’t be afraid. You can do this, you can get better and you will. 

Take advantage of May being the Mental Health Awareness Month and take a step forward. Step out of your comfort zone, try to educate your fellow classmates or family members. Write your feelings and publish it in social media. You’ll be surprised with how many teenagers feel the same way.

Remember to swim against the tide. Remember that you’re not alone… and remember that every month should be a Mental Health Awareness Month.

– ♡