PTSD

AB | 5:58

Listen to Story

"I had some very intense, irrational fears"

PTSD Yoga Trauma Anxiety Panic Attacks Depression

Story Transcript

So I have had two super low points in the past few years, and both of those times I really relied on yoga to get me out of them, which really was never something that I thought I would do. Growing up, I never really had an interest in yoga or working out at all. I played some sports here and there, but, you know, I didn't really think it would be like a lifelong thing, or I would get into it as much as I did, or as I still am. But I got into it in college. In my Freshman year, I went through a very traumatic experience, and I was experiencing some really serious PTSD issues, so bad, that I left the school. I tried to go on like a work study program for a semester, but then when I came back like everything was just 10 times worse. Like I was failing classes, I had some very intense, irrational fears. Like that everyone had a gun in their back pocket or we were going to get nuked. It was really ridiculous. I was having a lot of anxiety and a lot of depression a lot of fear and having just panic attacks, really regularly. And my roommate one night, not related at all, she was like, I have this free week of yoga. Do you want to come with me? And I said, sure. okay.

So I went with her and I was exhausted, like it wasn't an enjoyable experience. But something in me was like, oh my God I have to keep doing this! And you know, the thing that kept me going back like, okay, we have a whole week free. I gotta use the whole week. But then at the end of the week, I was like, this is actually making me feel okay. There's a very specific yoga pose, it's called half pigeon. And what teachers have told me is that we carry all of our stress in our hips. And when you do the half pigeon, it releases all of the tension in your hips. And it can cause a very emotional reaction. And like the first few times I did it, I cried. And I even do it sometimes now and I cry. It's a really intense pose, but I think that pose–it's super uncomfortable–but I think that pose made me think, okay, I have to keep going back. I have to keep doing this. This is making me feel better. So I kept going back for months and months and months and it really just, like, helped me gain my self-worth back. It just really turned my life around.

I would go every night for the candlelight session and then I would go to bed after, and I was starting to sleep again, which was really nice. I just felt a lot better and it first gave me, like an escape, kind of from myself and my poor mental state. But then, it improved it and I started learning to be a lot kinder to myself, which was really great. But then I moved and I stopped doing it for a little bit. Everything just got too intense and I got to a very low point again, lower than the one before. So at that point, I was like, all right, I know what I have to do and I got super into it again. I would go every single day for about two years, but I feel like every journey is a little bit different. With that time, at first it would be like, just kind of saving myself, I guess. Like the meditation really helped with that. Again it does give you a kind of self-worth, it gives you a routine, it gives you a certain level of discipline. But then I remember that time I really got into yoga, it was even more of an exercise in being kind to myself, because I was better at this point and I found myself getting super frustrated with myself because I couldn't do some of the poses as well as I wanted to. And, you know, that's life,.You can't do all of the things that you want to do, all the time. And so that was a really good lesson in just being kind and understanding with myself and not comparing myself with others, that was huge. When I first started, I compared myself to every single person in the class all the time.

So, it is an exercise of being kind yourself. And you know, just accepting yourself and not comparing yourself to others. And the meditation is great. And the physical benefit is great. And ever since those years, I mean, I've been practicing for five or six years now, and it doesn't matter how long I don't do it. It doesn't matter how far away I get. I always come back with the mat. And every time I do, I realize okay, I'm okay. I'm good. So it's a really great way to, if you are working through something, it's a great way to work on mental health concepts in a controlled environment. I'm regularly very hard on myself. And yoga is a fantastic way to work on changing my mindset in a very controlled safe place, which is one of the things that I love about it right now. Like I said, every journey is different. And I think that is my journey with it, right now. Yeah, Yoga is great. 10 out of 10, would recommend!

X