Have you ever caught yourself in that dreaded feeling that something is wrong with you? Immediately I start to think, who can help me? Who has the answer? Who can I reach out to at this time? Someone please just fix me!
Then I remind myself you are powerful, you need to make the change, blah blah blah. As much as we try to change the internal dialogue its not that quick flip of a switch.
Last week I felt so low and lost (thank you November blues), and of course all of these feelings were compounded by a recent move and lack of routine in my life. I decided it was time to get back to my yoga mat. And you may be thinking “duh you’re a yoga teacher aren’t you on your mat everyday”? Sure, I am, but that is for someone else. When us teachers are “doing the class with you” we aren’t present for ourselves. I too must schedule time with my mat.
As I stepped up to the mat (for myself) after weeks of not moving my body, tears started to pile up. Sounds crazy but I instantly found a release (cue child’s pose).
Our yoga practice is our tool to slow down, to create space, and get those creative juices flowing again. So yes, maybe Yoga is the answer! This is not a blog to preach to you to do more yoga, nah. But I ask you this, what is your “Yoga” what is that hobby, activity, or space where you feel a big weight lifted off of your shoulders? Sounds simple but the answer is usually to slow down and take a moment to listen to your heart.
We get it, summer is full of possibilities. The sun is shining and well we’ve been in lockdown for what feels like a lifetime. From cottages to camping, to days at the beach it feels like theres just not enough time to squeeze it ALL in. Its easy to loose sight of our own self care needs.
Heres what we’ve learned:
- Start with 15 mins. Whatever self care practice you’re missing whether its going to bed earlier / waking up earlier, sitting down to read a book, drawing, picking up the guitar. Start small before adding more to your to do list.
- If it feels heavy don’t do it! The last thing you need is Self Care to feel like another chore, ugh, kinda defeats the purpose doesn’t it? Ask yourself when you make time for something does this feel “light” or “heavy”
- Go on a date with yourself! Schedule your Self Care time in your calendar, I get it we said don’t add more to your to do list, but if you treat time with yourself like you would with a friend than you may be less apt to cancel. You wouldn’t cancel last minute on your friend or not show up for an important appointment would you? So don’t cancel time with yourself either!
- Have Fun!! Find the joy in giving back to yourself
Some questions to leave you with:
- What does self care look like for you? Is it more time in nature, picking up that book on your never ending reading list, or getting back to your yoga practice?
- What is your “why” behind each self care act? To feel more relaxed, to show up for your family, to be a better version of yourself, ALL OF THE ABOVE?
Don’t wait til September or the new year, start now, cause you’re worth it!
When I first embarked on my journey to self love I became obsessed with Self Help Books. Lessons on How to be the best version of yourself, take nothing personally, and even books on how to change your relationship with money.
I remember reading a quote in one of the books at the time (of course the title escapes me as I write this blog) that has stayed with me ever since.
“If you’re the smartest person in the room you’re in the wrong room” wow just mind blowing when I read this.
I’ve always had an excitement for learning, I love peopling and consider myself a social butterfly. In my early twenties I would go to parties by myself because I just felt like I couldn’t rely on friends or the avid “I’m just not feeling up to it” or worst ghosting not replying to my text after making plans. Call me crazy but I love meeting new people! It lights me up, so when I came across this saying “if you’re the smartest person in the room you’re in the wrong room” obviously you start to take inventory of who you are spending your time with.
Now this goes hand in hand with the famous quote, “you become the 5 people you spend most of your time with” and of course we can love our family, but they all tend to drive us a little cray, am I right?
Out of eagerness I became a YES person, said yes to concerts, community events, house parties, (all before pandemic life of course) I even yes to running my first Tough Mudder because well why not? All of these “yeses” were for the sake of meeting new people and learning!
It truly is about getting out of the comfort zone. I know some of you reading this post may be saying to yourself I’m an introvert I can’t do that, and I get it, the fear is real. What if I get rejected, what if these new people don’t like me, what if I say something wrong, all of these “what ifs”. Nothing grows from a comfort zone, its like exposure therapy you must try and try again.
So here’s what I took away. The more I put myself out there and was open to vulnerability the more I grew. Even family members noticed my moods change and my vocabulary too. So I leave you with some self inquiry:
Who is in this room with you?
Who are you? The social butterfly, the observer, the class clown you name it if you wish.
What lights you up?
What scares you?
NOW do that thing, you know the fear, yeah that one…face the fear and do it anyways!
Happy Pride month!
Let me take a moment to reintroduce myself. I’m Sarah, the founder and yoga teacher here at Anahata Yoga from the Heart. Some of you may know my story that I’ve struggled with anxiety and depression for most of my life, and that struggle is WHY I opened Anahata Yoga 2.5 years ago. The idea sparked during my time at the Mental Health Day program at RVH here in Barrie. I checked myself into the hospital after my 3rd battle of depression seeking help to understand why I felt this way. During this program I started practicing yoga regularly to help ease my stress and anxiety. When I’m passionate about something I start to tell ALL my friends and family (and pressure them to join in too haha). I told my peers in the mental health program how much yoga was helping me in addition to our group, and the majority response was “I can’t afford yoga” or “I’m off work right now due to my mental health”. Mind Blowing! How can anyone get better if therapies and self care practises are so expensive? I didn’t see it as expensive or unattainable at that time in my early 20’s when I had the luxury of living at home rent free, and my only expense aka entertainment fund was going to yoga. That sparked the idea of affordable yoga for ALL and is why we have our Pay it Forward Program at Anahata!
For the longest time I blamed or labelled my anxiety and depression on my work and being an overachiever, “Coming Out” was a HUGE factor on my mental health. And even though my family and friends were accepting of my sexuality there was still that unlinking fear of judgement. I lost friends when I “came out”, and for a period of time I was in denial of my sexuality and was too busy “people pleasing” that I never spoke up about the societal pressures that were impacting my anxiety. I’m a believer you can love whoever you want, and I’m so grateful to know that our yoga community is accepting and understanding.
Fast forward 10 years later after “coming out” as bisexual (if you need to label it) to my family and friends, I am happier than EVER. I love the person I am, and I feel EMPOWERED (finally) as a community leader and entrepreneur to share my story. But it didn’t happen overnight. Years of self-help books, yoga, mediation, chanting, trips of finding myself have all shaped the person I am NOW.
I want to thank my yoga community for loving me just the way I am. I only “publicly” came out a year ago. I’ve never felt more comfortable in my skin.
June is pride month and as your friend I want to remind you to keep being kind, practice non judgement (yoga!) and open that big heart of yours. Be authentically YOU.
Founder & Yoga teacher Anahata Yoga from the Heart
Waking up anxious is the worst feeling! And as someone that has struggled with mental health for years I know how frustrating and impactful it can be Let’s why I’ve created this new online series called Habits, 3 week investment series to get you on the track to life long habits! Recording of each class will be available if you can’t make the schedule time or decide to hit snooze Learn more and sign up here
View the video in our Facebook Community
Are you feeling tired and frustrated with all the recent changes ? 😷
Do you find it challenging to stay committed to your yoga practice? 🧘🏿♀️
Are you one to press snooze in the morning because why bother when our kitchen is now our desk? ⏰
We hear you!
It takes 21 days to create a Habit that’s why we’ve created this NEW 3 week investment Series called Habits. 3 weeks of sunrise yoga, mindfulness and meditation weekdays at 7:00 am and live guest speakers on topics of Healthy Living Saturdays at 12:00 pm
Starts Saturday May 1st – 22nd
It’s a juggling act trying to wear all the hats that comes with running a business: yoga teacher, entrepreneur, community leader, manager, accountant, maintenance (yours truly gets to shovel the snow on those winter days), confidant, friend, partner, daughter and of course dog mom 🐶
When I’m not teaching you can find me writing emails at 4 am (sorry in advance I make sure to schedule them for 8am 🙈), my brain is constantly going with new ideas while trying to stay in survival mode during these times.
I’m grateful for my team of 8 beautiful souls for all their dedication to our community, without them we wouldn’t be able to bring you the variety of classes on the schedule and keeping serving mental health and wellness in Simcoe County🥰
Thank you Becca, Cindi, Michelle, Erica, Regan, Jenna, Chelsea, and Giselle for your dedication and kindness. Thank you for being my earth angels 👼 thank you for showing up for this community
Please note Anahata Yoga is not a therapist or mental health expert we are advocates of mental health through the practice of yoga.
Yup we said it, the dreaded word, the lets not talk about it…Panic Attacks.
It has been a year and the word of the year well beside Covid-19 has been “uncertainty”.
So many changes, so many ups and downs. And for some it may be the first time they have questioned their mental health or even felt that other dreaded word “anxiety”.
I’ve been struggling with my own mental health specifically anxiety and depression for over 10 years. And yes I do believe my yoga helps me manage it these days but you just never know when a panic attack is going to sneak right up on you. For me its that feeling in the chest where you can’t breathe, and its not the good kind “I’m so in love I can’t breath” its the “I want to run away so quickly but I can’t, cause I feel like there’s a 1000 bricks on my chest” kind of not breathing. OH YES. I’ve been there, it is not fun, and even worst the added nausea in my stomach when I can’t tell if I want to throw up or need to eat kind of anxiety. Have you felt like this before?
I remember my first panic attack about 10 years ago, I lost control of my breath and I was so stressed about a recording session I had booked (at the time pursuing a music career). I’ve never felt nervous before, but I had scheduled myself to work with a new producer who I only met once. Something in my gut told me I shouldn’t go. My brother found me pacing around in our basement back and forth, I built a up such a sweat and was almost in tears. Intuitively he just grabbed me and gave me a hug, I started to cry. I really couldn’t explain what had just happened. I thought there must be something wrong with me.
Sometimes there isn’t an explanation for it. And that’s the frustrating part family and friends can ask “but why” “what brought it on” and sometimes the honest answer is “I DON’T KNOW”
Why do we always have to have the answer? Well I’ve been teaching myself these days its ok not to know WHY, It’s ok to say “I don’t know” and its ok to not always have to explain ourselves. As our yoga practice teaches us, meet yourself where you’re at.
Anxiety looks different for everyone. For my partner its in her chest, for me its in my stomach depending on the day. Please listen to your body slow down, take a breath and remind yourself it’s ok, step away to a time that made you feel GOOD.
I’m thankful for this body
I give myself permission to not be 100 % all the time
I give myself permission to rest
Be Gentle with yourself.