When I was in high school, I was introduced to yoga for the first time, through a leadership workshop. Mostly, it was about breathing, and slowing down, in an effort to clear the mind. Over the years, I have used those few breathing exercises regularly, and they have often helped when I felt overwhelmed.
With my resolution to be healthier in 2012, I did something I never thought I'd do: I joined a gym. Well, technically, it's a community center, but it's a very fitness-focused place. I've spent time on the treadmill and the stationary bike, trying to boost my endurance, tired of feeling breathless when I walk. I've splashed in the pool with my son, teaching him that water is not something to fear (which is a feat, considering that I am terrified of drowning). I have spent hours, already, warming in the hot tub, and playing with Miles in the children's area.
Better still, I have started taking yoga classes, something I have wanted to do since that first introduction in high school.
I love the focus on balance. On clearing your mind, and focusing only on making the body work better. There are poses that stretch my muscles, and poses that build strength. Mostly, though, yoga is about balance - physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. There are no extreme views. No shouting drill sergeant. No shame or judgement. Only a quiet, relaxed movement toward balance.
As I struggle with my anxiety again, I find myself turning again and again to the ideas that first attracted me to yoga. Peace. Confidence. Non-judgement. Balance.
And I know that it will come, if I can find the strength to work for it.