I get up most mornings at 5am to practice yoga. However, yoga wasn't always about peace and understanding for me.
When I began my yoga practice - about 4 years ago - I never imagined it would bring me to this place in my life. Yoga was originally about flexibility and being able to do handstands. I was all about the look of yoga and couldn't understand the spiritual side that so many people said they found with yoga.
About a year ago, I found myself needing an outlet for additional stress in my life. Yoga came back into my life in a big way. I had practiced on my own for a while, but I began to seek professional support in my practice. This was about the time I really started to understand how important yoga could be towards my healing.
I have dealt with anxiety and depression for a number of years. Different seasons of my life have been scattered with different variations of these illnesses. It was not until very recently that I found comfort in writing and talking about my illnesses.
A few months ago, I was in the midst of a really dark period of life. My doctor had become concerned with our current treatment plan. I had lowered my anxiety pill dosage and was no longer seeking help from my therapist. I thought I was doing the right thing, but my life was slowly crumbling around me. I didn't know how to regain control.
My doctor wanted to put me back on stronger pills. The specific pills that he was suggesting have made me feel lost and spacey in the past. I knew I wanted to try something else first - even if it was out of desperation.
I began to meditate and force myself to let go of constant control. I still struggle with the control thing, as well as many other underlying issues. But I work on it daily. I also began the practice of waking up at 5am and getting on my yoga mat.
My best friend made the official call, as he had for so long. Going back to therapy was no longer an option - it was a requirement.
I will be the first person to admit that every person is different. Different treatment options work for different people. However, I give so much credit to yoga for saving my life. Yoga, therapy, good friends, and those little white pills that I tried to ignore for so long.
My life is far from perfect, and it probably always will be. Depression is ugly and it requires so many avenues of hope in order to be managed. But if you find something that works, stick with it. This life is worth living and you are worth so much more than the negative thoughts.