My first encounter with Yoga was at the Bookstore, I was around 15 years old and had bought a lovely purple Hatha Yoga book called Yoga, The Perfect Companion written by Michele Picozzi. I used to sit in my bedroom in the evening after school, where I drew little stickfigures and eagerly tried all those funny and new positions which I now know are called Asanas.
I have always been interested in all kind of esoteric and holistic branches, everything from Meditation, Acupressure, Aromatheraphy, Ayurveda and Astrology amongst more. I wanted to delve more into the mysteries of life and that is where it all started. Lately I have been thinking a lot about when I was in my teen years and what kind of interests I had which paved the path to finally correlating with where I am today.
I`ve always been searching for the deeper meaning of life.
I`ve always been searching for what the deeper meaning of life is. Especially who I was and who I needed to become. So this is where it lead me, I’m currently enrolled in a Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training in Stockholm. I’m on my second year of training, and Oh Boy! Let me tell you it has been a rollercoaster. Especially in confronting who I am and everything in between of who I am going to be. There were times where I completely felt like giving up. I`ve had my struggles of dealing with Social Anxiety and Depression which actually led me to Yoga in the first place. I’ve worked hard on getting better, literally with all my blood, sweat and tears. When I get panick attacks I do feel like the world gets smaller and smaller and I’m suddenly left separated from the outside world. I know exactly when they come, since they leave me feeling like a little child again, vulnerable and utterly terrified.
What a Panick Attack Feels Like
In my Kundalini Yoga class we are around 20-30 students in a fairly large room. I remember one day when we were talking about the Chakras and we were going to have a Roleplay and personify the chakras in groups of four. At first I went with the flow, we were talking about our assignment. I wasn’t afraid but suddenly the feeling of anxiety surfaced and I just couldn’t breathe, I actually remember I said .. What If I just was quiet, I can try to personify a chakra that is out of balance. That`s okay the group said, one even said they would do it with me. The anxious feeling didnt settle and I was left with rambling thoughts and played out the roleplay in my minds theater. At the same time I felt separated from everything around me, the dialogue right in front of me turned to background noise. When I suddenly heard my own voice say, I have anxiety and I don’t feel comfortable at all right now. The response was laughter from one of the four participants in the group. I choked up right then and there, I was so shocked to be met with my own fear of being ridiculed, that I ran out of the class bursting with tears. After discussing with myself and some people who came to look for me asking me what had happened. I said to myself thinking thoughts like, “Why should I even bother continue Yoga? Now that you have made such a fool out of yourself. Everyone will laugh at you anyways”. I let those thoughts continue in the back of my mind as I kept battling with my own inner war. Then I said something remarkable. That even caught my attention.
Just breathe and open the door to the class.
So that’s exactly what I did. I opened the door and got it back in. What exactly made me go back in? Well I actually don’t know. But if I did`nt open the door I would never have found out. What I learnt is that you should never give up on your dreams. Even if the situation is uncomfortable, you can turn it around. Sometimes even dreams give you challenges that you have to overcome, to evolve as a human being. That was one of my roadblocks that I felt I mastered that day. People may laugh at a mental disorder without actually having any experience of how saddening it can be. So please be kind the next time you see someone, hurt by your ignorance.
Did You Know …
- Did you know that Anxiety Disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S? Affecting 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older, or 18.1% of the population every year?
Source: ADAA / Anxiety And Depression Association of America.
I’m very proud of myself taking the leap to participate more actively in my own life. I`m not a prisoner of my own mind anymore. Having come this far, starting Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training, I feel more empowered than ever. I have gone back and forth with this in my mind, “When will I ever be ready? Ready to tell people my story?” Well, the Time is Now.
That’s basically the only time we have, a series of Now’s. We are masters of living in the past and in the future that we completely forget about this very moment is where change happens. I have always wanted to help those who suffer, since I`ve been suffering most of my life myself.
Yoga, My Best Friend & My Perfect Companion
With Yoga as my best friend and My Perfect Companion, I have found resources within myself that helps me deal with my battles. I’m finally beginning to see that there is light at the end of the tunnel. I have dreams of a brighter future where I can live freely with Yoga as a reminder of how beautiful life can be and how empowering it is to live fully in the present moment.
The Power of Affirmations
I now understand the value of affirmations and mentally vibrate positive thoughts. Speaking kindly to yourself is actually not as hard as it seems. Even though we all have negative thoughts about yourself, we can shift our awareness and make a change for the better. This quote describes the importance of having a healthy mind and a happy outlook on life.
I`m not afraid anymore to tell people and let them know that I have a Mental Illness. I have finally come to an agreement with myself after years of battle. I am ready and I am here. I`m not afraid anymore. Being vulnerable and opening my heart to face the truth which I fought for years to keep silent made me strong.
How else would I be able to grow if I didnt have any roadblocks in front of me?
If you too are suffering from any Mental Illness I advice you to talk to someone professional, or at least find some comfort that there is a way out. Even if the world seems darker than it has ever been, even if months turn to years with dealing with depression, there is hope in the end. The light is truly within you. I wish everyone Loving-kindness, which is what Metta Yoga is all about. Freedom from suffering and compassion and universal loving-kindness for everyone.
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Thanks for reading and Enjoy Your Gift of Loving-Kindness!
Tiaga Nihal Kaur,