A friend and I often joke about how yoga can’t really ‘cure’ our idiosyncrasies — like being a neat freak or a germ-a-phobe. When we inevitably catch ourselves falling into our ‘patterns’ we’ll just say to each other, “All the yoga in the world…” meaning that no matter how much yoga or meditation you do, you are still you. Yoga isn’t like a genie in a bottle that pops out and transforms you into a totally different person, but rather helps you fully embrace who you are — proverbial warts and all.
Hi, I’m Lisa. I’m a control freak. There I’ve said it. They say the first step is admitting it. In all seriousness, I’m one of those people who likes to have an organized desk, a clean home, and a mapped out to do list. Before yoga (we’ll call it BY), deviation from the list or an unmade bed would evoke feelings of tension. If I’d mapped out a very specific schedule of things I wanted to accomplish and something usurped my plans, I would freak out a little inside. But Life isn’t neat and tidy or predictable. If I was interrupted to attend an unannounced meeting, I might get a little perturbed, but resisting what IS was only hurting me. And, that’s what I’ve come to recognize since I’ve integrated yoga and meditation in my life.
Now, I roll with the punches more, but more importantly, if I notice myself becoming irritated, I recognize it, try to become curious about why I’m feeling it, and accept that I’m feeling it. Life is unpredictable, and the more you try to control it, the more it seems unwieldy. Sometimes today’s task list becomes tomorrow’s task list.
I used to struggle with anxiety and panic attacks so badly I’d have to take medication everyday. Did yoga cure me? Not necessarily. It’s not a magic bullet, but I’ve learned to recognize anxiety symptoms for what they are, accept them and move on. And, they have definitely decreased in frequency and intensity. Fear is something that we all live with, and each day, mine falls further into the background rather than take over my foreground.
I am who I am, and everyday, yoga helps me surrender a little more into my true nature. As the saying goes from Jon Kabat-Zinn, “you can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf.” If your anxiety, fear, irritation, sadness, [insert hangup here] swells, ride it out to shore.
– Your Charmingly Crazed Yogi