I didn’t plan to take time off from posting on my blog, it sort of happened organically. I purposely put no expectations on this outlet for myself, and I’m glad I decided on it for this reason.
Sometimes things have a way of happening when you least expect it, or things find you when you aren’t looking for them. The past few months I have unknowingly focused on myself in more depth than I ever have. I’ve been working very hard for years to get my mental health in check and take care of “me”, but I have never felt more comfortable in my skin and mind than I do right now.
As I type this, I hope that maybe it reaches someone who needs it. Someone who is struggling very deeply or even just confused about not feeling “ok”. I don’t quite know the purpose of my blog yet other than the creative side of letting it all out, but if I can help someone along the way, it will make this process that much more meaningful.
A little background for you:
I had always been what I like to call an active lazy kid and teenager. I played most of the sports offered in school, and played tennis and swam all summer growing up. The lazy part of it, is that I never really gave any of these things 100%. I wanted all of the glory but didn’t give it my all to have it. That’s kind of a hard pill to swallow now that I’m a grown woman and realize I could have gone much further in a few sports if I had truly tried harder, but that’s a regret I choose not to dwell on, since that’s not the root of this story. Anyway…. I had a typical body type for a teenage girl but never in incredible shape or had much for muscle.
That being said, as you can imagine my body changed drastically when I was no longer active after high school. The weight slowly creeped up and over a few years I had gained around 60 pounds total. Needless to say, this took a toll on my self-esteem and mental wellbeing.
Although weight gain shouldn’t define you, it certainly changes your mindset. For someone like myself who had never had any weight issues I found this VERY hard to deal with, and looking in the mirror quite honestly made me feel sad.
Fast forward to approximately 6 (ish) years ago, when Tyler and I moved home to live with my parents. I no longer had access to a lot of the fast food and not so healthy options that were a short walk from my desk in the office. Working from home at my parents place meant that if it wasn’t brought into the house, I couldn’t eat it during working hours. Slowly but surely over a few years, I lost all of the weight I had put on.
Fast forward to now, the part where something has changed.
Over the last year or so I have been somewhat consistent at the gym, and eating quite healthy for the most part. I completed a few rounds of the 21 Day Fix with great results, and I have learned to eat in a way where I still enjoy the treats I want, but I’m active enough my body allows it and my weight is not changing. I am proud in my own skin and have been feeling good physically, but still struggling mentally.
This summer I attended a drop in Yoga class instructed by a girl I went to high school with. There are only a few places here in town that do classes but I had only gone to a few here and there, and honestly didn’t enjoy them much. This class was different.
Over the past few years I’ve brought meditation into my life and it’s been great for my anxiety. This yoga class felt very similar to my meditation in my head.. a calming and relaxed state where I didn’t have worries, anxiety, or fear. The random shit that swirls around everyone’s heads on a daily basis disappeared…that class made my mind feel so clear.
The instructor Brittany started hosting outdoor classes throughout the summer and I fell in love with her teaching style and energy, and I attended every chance I had. I had overheard Brittany telling some other people she was looking for a space in town to open a studio in the fall, and I was rooting for her.
On October 1st, Brittany’s studio, Yoga Room Of Essence, opened its doors to the public, and my life changed.
Yep. It’s as cheesy as it sounds. Yoga, and a yoga studio was life changing for me.
Over the past month attending over 15 classes, I feel a shift in my body, mind, and soul. I am so much stronger physically than I think I’ve ever been. My body feels tighter, I feel lighter and leaner, and the most important part is that I can breathe again.
This might sound confusing to people who don’t suffer from anxiety or any sort of panic issues, so let me explain.
Being anxious most of the time, for me, meant that I was always waiting for the next rush of panic. Almost in a constant state of worry, or holding my breath, and being tense. You wouldn’t know this by looking at me because I clearly can PHYSICALLY breathe. But mentally, it’s almost like someone is hugging me really tightly and I can’t REALLY let in that big deep breath and relax.
Since starting yoga at the studio on October 1st, that really tight hug that my anxiety was giving me, is gone. I am saying yes to things I never used to say yes to. I’m feeling more present in everyday life, and enjoying social time more than I have in years. I feel like I’m kicking ass, and taking names, and it’s awesome. I feel like I’ve found that something I love, but I AM giving it 100%, unlike when I was younger. To put it in perspective, I am currently writing this after attending a 6:30am Yoga class… and I am NOT a morning person. 😉
I don’t really know if there’s a lesson here, or if I’m trying to tell you all to do yoga and meditate lol … maybe I’m saying to try new things. Say yes. Push yourself out of your comfort zone, find your edge, and go over it. You never know what kind of life changing magic you’ll find on the other side of it.
Maybe you’ll learn how to breathe again, just like I have.
Xo – Amy
A HUGE thank you to Brittany at Yoga Room Of Essence – You’ve brought a light to this town that clearly people were craving, I hope it’s fulfilling all of your hopes and dreams and then some. You’ve helped me more than I can explain. xo
Yoga Room Of Essence information: