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