How yoga teacher training helped me heal and find courage

All my life, from a very young age, I’ve been struggling with anxiety.

Later on, with a combination of a difficult childhood and surely a genetic predisposition, I got diagnosed with depression. I was only 15 years old. Then, until today, from time to time, I would fall into that state of being. I called it a state of being, because I would feel it in all my body, and it would even take control of my mind, loosing the ability to think clearly, and to make mundane decisions.

Somehow, it’s like if I get paralyzed, frozen, that the world around me would keep running, but that I am not part of it. It has become a part of me for so long, I often think everyone around me feels exactly like this too, and process their emotions and thoughts the same way I do. When something defines our reality, we tend to normalize it, to forget that it can be any different.

In August 2018, I came back from a year of travelling where I found home in Nicaragua for about 6 months. Over there, I really cut loose and became bitter about our fast pace daily life, our individualism and realized how we live in abundance of material and even relationships we don’t need, how we always crave for more and get tired of all so quickly. When I came back in Canada, nothing would make sense to me.

I felt in huge discordance with every single thing that was around me, finding non sense in my habits and desires and those from the people I love. I tried to close my eyes and I told my self I would make as much money as possible, and start to study again in May 2019, I would try to make a life here.

But you know how things happen – you plan something and life often has its own plans for you. So, in a matter of 2-3 weeks, I got into the worst depression and anxiety I’ve ever had. It was bad. I would spend full days locked up in my bedroom, leaving the light off and the curtain closed, lost a lot of weight. I don’t need to go further in details, but it was not good, I didn’t know it could possibly get to this point.

One morning, I needed a change, a shift. I decided to go to my first Yoga class.

A moderately intense hot yoga class. I think I didn’t only sweat off tons of water, but huge amount of stress, too. I remember the feeling of real peace during the Savasana. It was literally if  finally, I could breath again.

So what happens next, I was in a yoga class about 5 or 6 days out of 7. I made it a religion. I picked up quite quickly as I did a lot of gymnastics during my childhood and teenage years, flexibility somehow got memorized in my cells. Some teachers would come to see me after the class and asked me if I’ve been doing yoga for a long time because I seemed to have a really good comprehension of my body. It felt super great and was confidence boosting.

I was only 2 months into yoga. I started to feel better, a considerable improvement I would say. But, after a while, it became like a routine. I came to a point where I felt my learning was stuck because the teaching would always stay to the same level. I felt I needed more, and I didn’t have enough knowledge to start my own practice. I went less and less often, and the depression took more power over me again .

It was freezing outside and it was hard to pack up my bag, get into my car and drive 30 minutes to go to the yoga studio. One day, I started to search online for a Yoga Teacher Training. It’s like as if I didn’t need to ask any other questions to myself. I just felt it was the right thing to do. And I looked for a school, hours and hours, days and days because I was obsessed with finding a place that would fill all my demands. Then, I remember I found this one school, Gyan Yog Breath, in Rishikesh, the capital city of yoga, in India. That was it, I was sure. It was back in November, and…

I booked a place to start my Yoga Teacher Training on February 1st.

April 2nd, 2019

I am back home since a week now. And yes, from travelling in nearly 20 countries since the last 4 years, I have finally found something I was kinda looking for, there, during my yoga teacher training in India. I don’t think I would be able to put the right words on it, because it is subtle and a very internal process, but it’s there.

I think we could call it a sense of clarity. A sense of clarity about who I am, about my identity. I’ve been roaming around in life, trying to figure out my role and trying to fulfill my family’s wishes about me, trying to follow this normal path defined by the society. But right now, this feeling of resistance inside of me completely vanished.

For the first time, I know I don’t need to prove myself, I know I don’t need to fight back to be considered and accepted. I am, simply, and whatever I am, I am enough. I have let down the anxiety about what important things I should accomplish in this world, and how I should earn money.

I feel like there will be a way for me and I am filled with confidence.

This is what yoga taught me during this month, let all go, let all come. If you are on the path of yoga, you already know that this journey is so much more than performing asanas on your mat. Asanas are just the tip of the iceberg. The magic behind is the big thing.

Being in a group of unique humans, all into self-discovery and personal growth adventure, receiving so much knowledge about yoga, practicing asanas during several hours per day, exploring the power of breathing techniques and meditation, having to wake-up super early and fight against the laziness, working on your responsibility and commitment, being in this incredible spiritual city of Rishikesh, eating delicious nutritious food for your body, and so on, it all built this bubble of strength, positivity and guidance around me.

Yes, life might be unexpected, and I unexpectedly found myself doing a Yoga Teacher Training in February, and there, I have found courage. I’m ready and excited for what’s next.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Naturally born writer, chai lover, professional daydreamer, aspiring photographer and passionate handbalancer, Florence is an artist at soul who recently completed her 200HR Yoga Teacher Training with Gyan Yog Breath in India. There, she found something she has been looking for during the last 4 years of travelling around the world. A sense of clarity that will guide her into her new journey in India.

 

 

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