I am quite an anxious and introverted person. I worry more than I should over very little things, and new things and new experiences stress me out like crazy. Of course I embrace who I am, not all the time, but I know that accepting yourself is important, and I try to. So I understand and accept that I am a worry wart and that I keep to myself, but when it becomes unhealthy, that’s when it becomes a problem, and that is something I cannot accept. Over the past school year, I became so stressed that I made some unhealthy decisions that negatively impacted my mind and my body. I became very frustrated with myself, and I thought that by punishing myself, I was being a better person because I figured that I deserved to be punished. I understand that this may be a very vague explanation, but I don’t think I’m in a place where I’m ready to disclose specifics yet. But I ended up telling my room mate one night because I just knew that what I was doing was unhealthy and was something that I regretted afterwards even though it may have felt relieving in the moment. So I told my room mate, and she was just so supportive, and I knew then that it was okay to communicate with others around me and to seek out a support system and that I wasn’t a burden but that people cared about me and that maybe I should too. I remember being told that my loved ones cared about me so much that it made them sad to think I didn’t care about me too and that I didn’t see that I was a good person deserving of more.
So I hit a couple more lows, and then I spoke with my family, who was so supportive and kind, and my dad actually bought me some yoga passes for some classes at a nearby studio to help me with coping with my stress and to find some more inner peace. This is where the more introverted side comes in because it took me this long to finally go, but I did. It’s never too late, ever. So over the past weekend, I went to a class for beginners with one of my cousins because I was too nervous to go alone. I went into the studio nervous for my inflexibility and my lower amounts of strength to be judged, unsure of how calm I would be able to be and how much my mindset could change. Would I really feel different and be able to clear my mind through meditation, or would I feel ashamed of myself and embarrassed to be a newcomer? But I signed up for the class, and I showed up. The hardest part was really actually over. My dad always says by just showing up you have already come incredibly far, so I already felt brave, and maybe that gave me a bit of confidence, so I walked into the studio, and I pretty much lost it again. The people I saw certainly did not look like beginners, so I rolled out my mat, and I sat down, and I felt my palms begin to sweat once more. The two women who had been manning the front desk had been nice, but that felt like an entire different place than that which I was in now. I glanced at my cousin and around at the other students, and I felt a rush of excitement and maybe a bit of regret. I thought, should I really be here? Then the instructor came in, and everything changed.
Our teacher was incredible, and since this was a slower class, she allowed everyone to ask questions, and she constantly reminded us to focus on ourselves and to not compare ourselves to others and that we are all in different places every single day and that that is okay. I honestly felt something I had never felt before. I just felt so proud and calm and peaceful and alone and yet connected to those around me and to the universe. It was incredible. I am so glad that I took this class. It has relaxed me and really helped me to think of where I am and where I want to go. To remember that who I am is wonderful and so is improving. It caused me to constantly try to be more patient, more kind, to listen more and just live better and more deeply, to feel my body and to feel my soul. I have a lot to learn about myself and about the practice of yoga, but I am excited for this new journey that I am so fortunate to be on. I cannot wait to see where this takes me. I have already signed up for my next class.