Thursday, February 12, 2015

I Love Yoga

I'm having a good week, although a good week doesn't necessarily mean that it's stress free. Good things are happening with the blog, I'm making lovely connection with people, and I have some potential yoga teaching opportunities.

I stopped teaching yoga this past August, which was when I started getting really sick. I've taught four yoga classes since that time. I've found that I'm more grounded and a better yoga teacher than I was before the manic and depressive episodes happened. People have mentioned to me the difference that they see in me. I just seem to be, and I think that's a good thing. I kind of like who I am. There are plenty of days where I beat myself because I think I've done something horribly wrong, but beneath the ungrounded thinking is a grounded, assertive, and self-confident woman. Yoga gives me the opportunity to express that side of myself.

Before I started practicing yoga, I was almost never present in my body. My reality was highly distorted as if I were real, but everything around me took on a dreamlike quality. It was an unsettling way to live. That state of being is called derealization which is a form of dissociating. In the state of derealization nothing feels real, except for you. Dissociation usually arises out of some kind of trauma. Although I'm not sure what my trauma was, I just know that I became an expert at cutting myself off from my experience of life at a very young age.

Yoga helps put my awareness in my body; it helps me to be here now. I needed to know that I was going to the same place every day, the yoga studio, and feeling the hardwood floors beneath my feet. A few months after I started yoga, I quit dissociating. Yoga helped clear me of a lifelong habit. It gave and still gives me a feeling of the world being real and safe.

I've made many wonderful and hopefully life long friendships through practicing yoga. My yoga mat has become my life preserver, and my dearest friend.

Several places give free community yoga classes and, if you can't do that, you can find some excellent yoga videos online.

If you have bipolar disorder be aware of any contraindications with yoga. There are certain breathing techniques that we can't do. They tend to be techniques that stoke a lot of energy in the body and can make us manic. My teacher knows about my condition so she watches out for me. If I'm taking from a teacher who doesn't know I'm bipolar and she cues that kind of breath work, I simply shake my head no, and whisper that I can't.

If you have questions feel free to email me at:

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