My first encounter with Yoga was at the Bookstore, I was around 15 years old and had bought a lovely purple colored Hatha Yoga book called Yoga, The Perfect Companion written by Michele Picozzi. Btw, I still have it. I used to sit in my bedroom in the evening after school, where I drew little stick figures and eagerly tried all those funny and new positions which I now know are called Asanas.
I have always been interested in all kinds of esoteric and holistic branches, everything from Meditation, Acupressure, Aromatherapy, Ayurveda and Astrology amongst more. I wanted to delve more into the deeper meaning of life and that is where it all started. Most of the subjects that I have had an interest in as a young girl, we went through in my Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training. I have never in my whole life felt more in synch. Lately, I have been thinking a lot about when I was in my teens and what kind of interests I had, which has 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 in my second year of training, and Oh Boy! Let me tell you, it has been a rollercoaster of surprises. Both the good, bad and the ugly. Especially in confronting who I am and everything in between of who I am to become. There were times where I completely felt like giving up. I had got my diagnosis on GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder) and depression but I didn’t want to define myself with it, it was too limiting in my life. I wanted something different. I needed change. A life filled with possibilities, joy and self-worth and less limitation. I finally understood that it was I that could change the path of my own fate. Even though it took me years to believe in myself and to eventually start to dream about how I could accomplish living a life that mattered. I used to think that luck only happened to rich people, but I certainly feel I am wealthy in mind, body, and spirit. I have a wonderful and the most supportive man in my life that is my pride and joy, and now recently he became my fiancee. I have finished my Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training exams and my life is developing into the lotus which I always have wanted. I am blessed to have found companionship in Yoga, for she is truly lighting up my life and each moment is the unwrapping of newfound gifts.
Mental Health Awareness & Yogic Technologhs I have mentioned earlier in several of my posts, my goal is to serve YOU as a Kundalini Yoga Teacher and help people who are suffering, so they too can feel and grow within themselves the self-worth, self-mastery, and self-love they are missing in life. YOU are the ONLY one that can change YOU! I know it’s frightening to acknowledge that, but it’s certainly the law of manifestation in work. What we think we actually become.
You are the only one that can change you.
I have struggled with Social Anxiety and Depression for many years now, but I have come to terms with it and accepted the fact that I get panic attacks, and have all these feelings that are attached to being diagnosed with GAD. To speak openly about topics like this has always frightened me but through meditation and yoga, I have had an inner revolution that paved a new path of thinking for me. I could ask myself this simple question; “How would it feel if I was silent about my mental health? What difference would I have been making in my life? For myself and for others?” I tell myself all the time that I am good enough to spread the message of mental health, due to my long experience and how we can integrate yoga with well-being, because its a proven fact! I am very blessed to have Yoga as my companion, my best friend, and my confidante. I’ve worked so hard on getting better, literally with all my thoughts, sweat and tears, I have tried it all, self-help books, affirmations, journaling, and Yoga.
Anxiety and Depression Association of America
Did you know that Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) affects 15 million adults or 6.8% of the U.S. population? SAD is equally common among men and women and typically begins around age 13. According to a 2007 ADAA survey, 36% of people with social anxiety disorder report experiencing symptoms for 10 or more years before seeking help.
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) affects 6,8 million adults or 3.1% of the U.S. population, yet only 43.2% are receiving treatment. Women are twice as likely to be affected as men. GAD often co-occurs with major depression.
And the proven fact that you can help yourself with Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR).
- Compassion and Lovingkindness Meditation – Harvard Review of Psychiatry
- Increase Positive Emotions With 7 Weeks of Lovingkindness Meditation – NCBI
- Lovingkindness Meditation Decreases Migraines – NCBI
- Lovingkindness Meditation Strengthens Your Capacity for Empathy – ScienceDirect
- Mindfulness Meditation May Help Treat Anxiety Disorders – Forbes
- Quiet Your Inner Critic – NCBI
What a Panic Attack Feels Like
Here is my personal story of having a panic attack. 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 and present it to the whole class at large in the end. At first, I went with the flow, we were just talking about our assignment and about what the chakras symbolized. I wasn’t afraid then, but all of a sudden just as a lightning bolt everything changed. I kept having thoughts of insecurity. All of which was irrational, but it felt extremely real. I felt I started to suffocate on my non-existent breath. 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 the throat chakra (vishudda) that is out of balance”. That`s okay the group said, one even said they would do it with me. The anxious feeling didn’t pass and I was left with rambling thoughts and as Buddhist call it; “A Monkey Mind”. I played out the roleplay in the theater of my mind. 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 into 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 to 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 right back in. What exactly made me go back in? Well, I actually don’t know. But if I didn’t open the door I would never have found out. What I learned is that you should never give up on your dreams. Even if the situation is uncomfortable, you can turn it around to something more positive. 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 disabling it can be. So please be kind the next time you see someone, hurt by your ignorance. Make sure you are kind, loving and respectful. If we all made up a mindset of creating lasting happiness, loving-kindness, and compassion the world would be a much better place.
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 Nows. We are masters of living in the past and in the future that we have completely forgotten about this very moment, where change can happen. 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, you just have to do it. Even though we all have negative thoughts about ourselves, we can shift our awareness and make a change for the better, right? 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, because I have stopped defining myself with it. 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 staying open to the heart to face the truth, which I fought for years to keep silent, now has 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 advise you to talk to someone professional, or at least find some comfort that there is a way through. Even if the world seems darker than it has ever been, even if months turn to years 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.
Treat yourself with one of my most downloaded resources of self-love.
Free Self-Love Worksheet!
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Thanks for reading and Enjoy Your Gift of Loving-Kindness!
Tiaga Nihal Kaur,