My yogic path started sort of accidentally – I needed to kill an hour before the dining hall opened for dinner one night. I was a second semester senior with my thesis well behind me and the final semester’s classes comfortably under my belt.
I was an athlete all my life and in college for two years, but after retiring my soccer cleats, I was burned out from all things related to workouts. I was struggling to manage my symptoms from an auto immune disease, Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism – like chronic fatigue, all-over-body soreness, and crippling stomach aches that would put me to bed at 8pm. I struggled to get though my day with classes alone; there was no extra energy for runs or trips to the gym.
That day I had a lot on my mind – a recent break up, struggles with friends and worries about how post-college life would pan out – and yoga just seemed like something fun I could do by myself and escape.
And. I. struggled. through. that. class. I was wobbling and toppling all over the place, I couldn’t touch my toes and the next day I was so sore, I can’t believe I ever went back.
But I kept going to that weekly free college yoga class – for the rest of the semester. I even started doing yoga on my own – with a mat I bought at the dollar store, in my dorm hall’s billiards room and a yoga video I found on YouTube.
It was months before I realized what was going on. I kept doing yoga because it made me feel good, but it took a while to put together what was actually happening. Yoga had a way of bringing me out of my head and into the present, but that feeling didn’t stay on the mat.
The more I rolled out that $1 mat, the more those thoughts camping out in my head started to seem less paralyzing and more detachable. I didn’t have to fall mercy to my worries – giving that worry any credit with my thoughts was stopping me from taking the action needed towards solving it – like getting over a goon, reconnecting with old friends and branching out into new friendships – and finally pressing “send” on a job application (and then 50 m
ore applications after that).
That started in February of 2013 – and, three years later, I’m still rolling out my (now $80) mat almost everyday, and I’m laughing at myself thinking about how a bunch of thoughts that seemed so real and so important and so paralyzing are totally meaningless to me now. Since, three years later – I have an awesome job, awesome new and old friendships and an awesome guy that all came around once I brought myself out of my head and into the present.