As you can tell in the photo above, I’ve lost a significant amount of weight in the past year. The person you see smiling in that dress was unhealthy, stressed and out of touch. I wanted to get a bit personal with my own weight-less journey.
At the beginning of last year, I decided to make a change. For years, I had dieted and tried various methods of exercise including running marathons, circuit training, Zumba, you name it. Whenever I would get injured from any of the above, I would turn to yoga. I would do it for a while and then when I was healed, I would go back to other ‘active’ things to keep my weight down. I loved how yoga made me feel, but I never saw it as something that I could do three to four times a week as a way to maintain my health.
Then after buying a new home, dealing with a family illness and feeling emotionally drained, I decided to surrender to yoga. My beautiful teacher, Anay Abreu, showed me how to let go. Instead of trying to speak over the crazies in my head or drown them out, I started to listen to them. I would allow myself to feel the emotions as if watching a tv show without judgement.
The more I practiced, the more I welcomed the silence of meditation and breathing. I realized that I was not my thoughts and just because I was feeling an emotion such as stress or anxiety, didn’t mean that I had to define myself as such. The more I surrendered, the more my body craved healthier food. I recommitted to being a vegetarian and doing it right. Before I was a vegetarian that rarely ate vegetables. I know, go figure.
And then I explored other yoga classes with different teachers and my strength grew on and off the mat. I found myself getting lighter figuratively and literally. I believe that there are no coincidences in life and just as the saying goes ‘when the student is ready the teacher will appear’, I came across an advertisement for yoga teacher training. I meditated on whether or not I should do it and again with the guidance and support of my teachers, I took a leap of faith. I was already on my path of surrender and figured if anything I would be immersed in something I loved.
I wasn’t the strongest student in the class, or the most flexible or the most knowledgeable about yoga but I persisted. I had my moments of doubt and days of feeling insecure but with each week, I broke myself down to the core of my being and accepted exactly who I am. And that is truly what yoga is all about. It’s about going inwards and drowning out the outside noises to reveal your true self and being accepting of what you find. That is when you realize that what you are eating isn’t what the issue is, it’s what’s eating you. What issues/emotions do you push down every day?
I invite you to OM the moment for your mind, body and soul by sitting in a comfortable position with your back against a wall. Close your eyes, tilt your chin slightly into your chest and let your jaw relax. And just breathe. Whatever thoughts that come in to your head, watch them as if they are a movie playing in the distance on a giant screen. Don’t judge them or try to think better, happier thoughts. Just sit with them. Doing this each day allows you to let go of those nagging thoughts because they effect you less.
You are not your thoughts. You are so much better.
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