How Yoga helped me
"2017 really was like realizing stuff" to me. I can finally and with honesty say I am really happy with my life and whom I have become. It took me long enough anyway to realize things and to finally step into to light. Yet I could have never done this without yoga! I've come from a dark place of self-loathing not being able to accept myself for who I am. In the following I will explain in detail how I was able to overcome my past and find my own happiness, and in the end giving you some of my tips how YOU can achieve this for yourself!
Most of you will already know by now that I've started practicing yoga in 2014 using those DVDs at home. I think that was about that time yoga got very popular so I wanted to give it a shot. Yet I was more focused on the asana part rather than savasana or meditation. My main goal was to have a tight butt and to stay skinny. I am over-flexible so I don't have any problems with bending into a certain position yet I was practicing unsafe living a pretty toxic life style.
I was overdoing asana practice not giving myself enough breaks, used to stick to a very toxic diet, I never gave my body enough time to rest, I stuck to toxic people who actually liked to see me fail so it made them look better. I never really did anything I really liked doing. I was always helping others with their stuff, putting others before myself so I subconsciously was too busy clean up my own mess & because I never was enough in the first place and could be glad that anyone wanted to hang out with me for free. I was always sick and so unhappy all the time but couldn't really tell what actually would make me happy. I was never doing anything for myself. I was always looking up new trends on instagram and lookbook.eu buying a shit-load of stuff I've never worn till this day. I thought that if I started dressing up like those 'public figures' on instagram with their glamourous lives it would make me happy again. After all they seemed pretty happy to me in their pictures living the good life. I thought to myself I could just be a little more like XXX she's so pretty and seems to live the perfect. So I went from one week having black hair to being blonde the next (because my idols changed pretty quick, too). I had lost my intuition not being able to distinguish from what was right and what was wrong for me.
I would have never admitted it back then but I was really loathing myself, for who I was, how I looked like and how I acted. One could say I was a complete mess (and I am not saying this to put me down some more but because to underline the fact that I was coming from a very unhealthy place thinking I was healthy). I hurt the people a lot that actually tried to help me because I couldn't allow myself to see the truth. I pushed them away ending up being mad and heart-broken when they finally gave up on me. I guess it's always easier to blame everything on anyone else - "it's not me, it's you" - than questioning yourself.
In April this year I was diagnosed with endometriosis and thus had a surgery, but I am fully recovered now. Being diagnosed I set my goal to quit 'cheating on life' (=pretending to feel good and be happy on the outside but tremendously unhappy and broken on the inside). I started reading Louise Hay's book 'heal your life' which was a complete game changer to me slowly opening up to the truth. I also started focusing on meditation and savasana more, doing more Yin than Vinyasa. I started going to an amazing Hatha class (unfortunately she doesn't teach anymore). I tried to focus more on mantras and affirmation. One of my all time favorite is, "I trust that life takes me where I need to be", by Rachel Brathen. And I thought to myself when I get through the surgery and everything I will finally start doing something for myself and myself only. That's when I came up with the thought of doing a yoga teacher training. At the beginning I thought I only wanted to do it for myself but then I realized I really LOVE teaching yoga. It is second nature to me. It gives my life a purpose and with teaching yoga I want to help other to find their purpose and whatever it might be.
In the end though I don't think there's a secret recipe to becoming a better version of yourself and finally being happy. For me it was starting to see my darkness, learning to accept and to eventually embrace it. Yoga helped me to live in the moment and acknowledge all my bottled-up emotions coming up. If you need to cry on the mat, cry, it's OK! Let it all out. In a nutshell, yoga helped me:
to just sit with my emotions
to see the truth
to quiet my mind from spinning
to bring me peace inside out
to question myself
to see my mistakes from the past
to see that I am not perfect, but nobody really is
to accept myself
to love myself (but not in an egoistic way)
to find my happiness within myself, realizing I don't need another hair color, new pair of shoes, a new boyfriend, a new pet, a new job…etc in order to finally be happy. I already have all I need within me!
There's a saying that some of the lightest people have been through the darkest. Not saying to take it (the darkness) all in at once though. I took me years to finally see a silver lining in all the soul searching I did. Just start step by step. Below I will list some quick tips how to step out of the darkness and into the light:
start attending a yoga class
start reading self-aid books (I will post some of my favorite books next week)
try to sit still for at least 10 minutes a day either before going to bed or right after getting up. Easiest with headphones on listening to a guided meditation on the simple habit app
start looking at affirmations (like, I am good enough, I deserve to be happy)
try to do at least one thing a day only for YOURSELF -> Be creative (for instance, taking a bath)
talk to people close to you about you wanting to change
slowly eliminate toxic foods, drinks, emotions, things and people
try to think more positive thoughts (track your thoughts, write them down in your notes app)
start a journal
write down 5 things you are grateful for everyday
learn to say NO! (still a tough one for me too)
don't try to force anything -> keep in mind that good things take time!
also there’s a lot of mapping 2018 pdfs out there FOR FREE! -> start planning the new year ahead! -> what will you have to give up in order to get to your highest?
and above all: BE GOOD TO YOURSELF
If you have any questions feel free to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or comment below. I would love to hear from you!
And HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Lots of Love XoXo Caroline