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.

Alternative Nostalgia

3A651474-015C-48D6-BE3A-4A046A25A9CC.jpgLife. We can’t explain it. But we know we’re living in it.

Life. We meet people, we learn. We create memories in it.

Life goes on. We miss the good times, the times where we felt alive. The times where we had no regrets. Where all we were thinking about was how we were feeling in that very moment. The moment was ours, and it was precious.

We miss those moments. Nostalgia. I can say that I have experienced this feeling countless times. I miss people who have come into my life for a reason. But we can’t get those moments back, and can’t be with those we wish to see. But we can remeber, and that’s it. We only have the memory, and the feeling.

This is what photography does for me. I take photos to remember. I want to feel again. I take photos to regain the emotions I have felt from those moments. Every second of everyday there is a new moment to capture. Moments that I can never get back. I can shape the moment into what I want, just by looking into my 18-135mm lens and pressing the photo button with my right index finger, and hearing the camera shutter and click. There. Moment captured. No undoing it.

On Thursday August 3rd, I embarked on another journey to Mexico. I visited Mexico City, Guadalajara, Tequila (to the east of Guadalajara),and Mazatlan.

On the way back from visiting Tequila, I threw on some headphones and reviewed some photos on my camera that I had taken that day on the trip so far.

While listening to Ana Sun by Walk the Moon, I look at the reflection on my camera screen and notice an ambre of oranges, reds, and pinks. I look behind me to see something unexpected and miraculous. I look to find an epiphany of a sunset, and the rays are penetrating through the windows and caressing the faces of the other people in the car with me.

I begin to film and photograph this marvel, and as the beat in the song gets lounder and stronger, a rush of emotion came over me. It’s one of those unexplainable emotions that we as human beings cannot express, or that we cannot understand, a mystery of the universe. But it was good. I felt at ease, and nothing could ruin that moment for me.

Ultimately, what I felt at this moment was an eye opening. I felt grateful for all the blessings I have in my life, and grateful for all the memories I have made and cherished, and all the people that have come into my life, whether of not they were impactful or not. Life is all about learning and growing, and certain people can teach us this.

I am thankful for the bad times, when I have been let down; those experiences have shaped me into a better person and I have learned from them. This is how I express myself through photgraphy. If I can capture something and it sets off a rush of emotion and feeling within someone, that is all the satisfaction an artist needs.

Thank you, and I hope to share more soon 🙂

Check out my work on Instagram: @briana.gif

What You’re Worth

I’m not good with math
Or numbers or change
but here’s an equation
I’ll try to explain
if I start with a positive
and lose any cents
My account becomes negative
make any sense?
I know you don’t get it
Just hear me out
I’ve run out of worth
causing debt and doubt
I don’t take loans
grants or gifts
in the form of cheap thrill
Or fake relationships
so try and keep quiet
don’t fuss or holler
Bc what’s your two cents
Compared to my dollar
You still don’t get it
so let me just say it
I am changing for me
And no opinion can delay it
So in Dollars, cents
pennies or quarters
know your self worth
And stop taking orders
So better yourself
and don’t be ashamed
add up your value
Bc everyone needs change

Al Gore’s New Film Brings “Truth to Power”

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power

Image result for an inconvenient sequel truth to power
Al Gore at Sundance Film Festival. (Photo Courtesy of Getty Images)

A decade after Al Gore’s empowering and eye-opening film and book, An Inconvenient Truth, Former Vice President Gore has brought a new inspiring movie that reminds us of our responsibility to the climate movement. The sequel reviews the changes in both policy and climate, that have shaped the world.

The film exposes the rapid changes that are occurring in the Arctic with a spotlight on the glacial melt in Greenland. Footage shows Gore exploring the quickly melting glacial ice and the colossal chunks of glacier crashing into the ocean. He suggests that due to unusually high temperatures in Greenland, the glaciers are responding. Following the drastic chain of effects that follow sea level rise, the film focuses on flooding events that have ruined cities. After giving the viewer a background on the effects of climate change, Gore calls for the response that is essential to stopping this crisis.

Highlighting Gore’s Climate Reality Leadership Training, the film calls for more activism and involvement to drive the climate movement. In the Leadership Corps program, Al Gore personally trains the potential leaders to encourage change in local community and  to bring the “Truth to Power”. With the program, people can apply to become apart of the Leadership Corps and commit to overcoming the climate crisis.

The coined term “Truth to Power” is now a forceful push in action that stands for change and revolution. Gore proves that through defiance, persistence and charged persuasion, the goals needed to make a difference are achievable. Though faced by many challenges, the climate movement has fought against every opposition and stood strong after every downfall. He brings hope and is determined that we can continue to lead our efforts into the future; despite Trump’s radical agenda. Gore connects the Climate Movement to the many influential movements that have shaped our world such as the Civil Rights Movement, Gay Rights Movement, Women’s Suffrage Movement, and Anti-Apartheid Movement. Each of these oppressed movements were confronted by many threats but continued to develop and achieve ambitious progress.

After a long and burdensome road to ratifying the Paris Agreement, President Trump announced on June 1, 2017 that the United States would be withdrawing from the Paris Agreement. A huge setback to the goals ratified, the withdrawal would ruin the dynamic formed in the agreement and would override the changes endured in other countries. While addressing this announcement, Gore remains hopeful that the strength of the movement is more powerful than the actions of the President.

Closing with the motivating message, “Fight like your world depends on it”, the film leaves viewers with an intense desire to make the changes laid out in the film. Overall the sequel was a perfect combination of recalling the growth of our past while reminding viewers of the obstacles that still lay ahead. The film should be used as proof of the glorious outcomes of unity, determination, and grit.

To join the Climate Reality Project proceed to the project website to bring “Truth to Power”.

Watch the trailer to this inspiring sequel here.

 

Shadow of Courage

At this time, I came with two pictures.

Firstly; I took it at my old high school which is also a primary school too. I immediately went to the courtyard where I could find the pure joy of youth. I didn’t have to take so many steps when I found this little boy, who was so excited, scared, happy and nervous. He was playing hide-and-seek. 
I captured him alone, alone with his feelings and his atmosphere. He was hidden and I didn’t want to take it from him. 
We can also see a tree shadow, an opened and a closed space. Hiding from the other playing kids and from the time (clock shadow) until he has to be a normal student again. When we were in his shoes, we always looked that clock. “How much time we have, feeling this freedom?” The magical freedom without being stressed, controlled, scared, nervous. 
But the boy felt both sides of feelings while he was playing.

And secondly; I finally was in France, Paris. The people immediately caught my attention, there were so many glad kids. I was always looking for a chance to perpetuate this kind of feeling that I want to be a child again. A better child (I’m not talking about my behavior). We didn’t use to play in a public area or went to a park. My mother was working, my brother and I played in our big garden. It was our playground, but I had a private place where can I ‘share’ my childhood. It was difficult for me to play wildly with other strange kiddywinks.
This BRAVE girl with her glasses and trendy roller shows me the opposite of me. The better me.

Failure

It pins you down

Captures you in its grasp and won’t let you go.

You can try as hard as you would like

But nothing you do will help

The voice in your head

Constantly reminding you that you failed

You did not succeed

You’re a failure and a disappointment

Don’t try again

It’s not worth it

Waste of time, space and energy

Give up.

chapter one: the broken girl in the coffee shop

chapter one: the broken girl in the coffee shop

she was not the type of girl to wait around after school just to watch you walk to your locker.

she would not wait around at the coffee shop after your practice just to watch you order your large strawberry flavoured water and yoghurt parfait cup.

she would not give you the answers to yesterday’s homework no matter how important that game or practice was, ” or was it a party this time?” she’d ask in an almost sarcastic tone.

she was a tough one, there was a certain stubbornness to her that you admired.

her light brown eyes had seen some of the darkest days you are yet to experience, but you loved it, you loved how she managed to get through it all.

she was not dying to get to know you, but god knows you would do anything to get to know her better.

the quiet girl who just transferred from california, was that her name? her name!  you don’t even know her name.

you started to stay after school to get a glance of her on her way to her car, backpack half open, hair a mess.  it was cute.  you thought it was cute.

after your practice at the coffee shop you would glance around hoping some day she would be sitting alone reading her favourite book, then you’d approach her right then and there and get her name.

weeks go by, she seems to have disappeared.  you see her occasionally when walking from class to class.

apparently, she has been seeing someone. someone who you know is not any good for her, but as long as she is happy right?

one night in the coffee shop you glance over at the brunette girl with light brown eyes sitting next to someone.

you hear the pain in her words as she opens her mouth, voice trembling, ” we were doing so well”

minutes go by and there she is alone.  wiping the tears off of her rosy cheeks.

you grew angry with yourself, why didn’t you comfort her? why didn’t you go and sit by her? ask her if she was okay?

these thoughts attacked your panicked mind until you got up and walked over.

there you were sitting next to the broken girl in the coffee shop.

no words were exchanged, as she placed her head in the warmth of your embrace.

she doesn’t have her car, so you’ll drive her home.

you won’t ever forget that rainy night or the dark pink and purple sky.

she lives close but you don’t mind taking her.  you hope she feels better, and not alone.

you got up and out of your chair, let her feel her emotions without having to hide them behind her grey tear stained sweatshirt.  drove her home so she’d be safe.  you offered to stay in case she didn’t want to be alone.

little do you know she’ll remember this night forever

mt

 

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!

I’m Scared

featured image via Panna Bagoly

 

I’m Scared 

 

No matter how loud I scream

No one hears me

I plead and I beg

Stop please

But the agony continues

Every move I make

Every word I say

Is wrong.

I try and hide from all of this

4 walls that when I am enclosed in I should feel safe

Not today

Today I feel far from safe

Scared and fearful

Underneath the blankets in the darkness

The tears fall and I want nothing more than for it to stop

Once again

No one can hear me.

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.