Yoga and Mental Health
Do you know how many times I have heard the Jane Fonda name? Ugh, how annoying!!!!! My mom would always talk about this lady, and how at 40 years old she looked like she was 20. “So, what? I would tell myself. I am only 12, why would I be worried about looking younger! Oh, I sure hated the speech. Well, the message was, yoga helps you stay younger and can improve your quality of life, your relationship with the world, and your internal relationship. This was the message I didn’t get until, fast-forward, 2014. My relationship with yoga really started at a very young age. I despised yoga and was very afraid I was going to be forced to do yoga, just like I was forced to do Basketball. Yes, Basketball. So, picture me about 4 feet 7inches tall playing basketball with kids that were 5’5-5’7 at around the age of 7-8. Yes, that is my story, little me seating on the bench, because what else was there to do. I HATED it. Yet, my mom insisted this was the only way for me to grow, she also had me doing gymnastics and swimming. Gymnastics, I really loved, swimming was scary, yet I enjoyed the water. So, bottom line, I was always a very active kid, plus I often fought to defend myself.
So, fighting was really my favorite sport, ha ha ha ha ha. See, I am the only girl in a family of 5 children, I was the 4th child, and a girl. So, I needed to develop the skills to defend myself, because if you ask me, I was bullied a lot. But if you ask my siblings the bully was me.
Anyhow, this blog is about, yoga and mental health. See, now I can say I really grew up loving all kinds of activities that allowed my body to move, I didn’t think that was the case when I was a child. Yet, I am so grateful for my mom, and her insistence in making sure I was always active in some way, shape, or form. Thank you, mom! Back to yoga, I did try yoga a couple of times as I got older, yet I just never understood what the point was, to me it was boring, and I never went inward, as a matter of fact I was all out checking everyone and their ability to do these poses, which I too needed to do regardless of how difficult they were. After a class, although I can admit now, I did feel relaxed, I also felt mad because I had wasted a full hour of my life doing what I considered silly movements, and Savasana, oh boy! Why am I being told to lie down, to breathe, to close my eyes, and to relax.
Relax, no ma’am! I was agitated in my thoughts thinking why I am here, there is so much I can be doing. So, as I continued to get older, I would go to yoga here and there, just to be able to tell my mom I was doing yoga.
So, fast forward to today, I have become my mom. I am skipping my epiphany moment, when I heard the true calling of yoga, and this is when my life completely changed. So to not make this blog super long, I have come to love yoga, but I am talking about the yoga that really allows you to go inward, the one that teaches you to detach, the one that helps you really connect to humanity in a way that I could not put into words, the one that offers a space for you to be in union with you and to love you and accept you just the way you are, while at the same time that it encourages you and supports you to find bliss in life, relationship, and the things you do. Yoga has been a tool in my journey to becoming the person I am today, and if you want to know more about parts of who I am, read my bio and if you want to know all about me, email me with your questions. I am an open book, and there are the good, the bad and the ugly parts of everyone. Yoga in fact is the tool I utilized to go inward, the tool that helps me with my mental health because it allows me to quiet the mind, it emphasizes the mind-body connection, and it encourages self-reflection and self-acceptance. It has helped me increase self-confidence, it has taught me dicipline in my learnig, and it has enhanced my emotional well-being.
Then there are all these other benefits to Yoga,
Flexibility and Joint Health
Improved Concentration and Focus
Enhanced Energy and Vitality
I might sound like my mom now, but friend, give yoga a try! You might not love it at first, but you might. Here are my recommendations to you, if you choose to try yoga, try it with an open mind and humble heart. There are teachers, and then there are teachers, yoga is so much more than the asana (the poses), yoga is also not just something you do, is something you embody, yoga is not a religion, is a way of life. TRY IT!
Written by Rosmer Mena
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