“Feel your feet planted firmly into your mat. As you sink lower in Warrior Two, feel the earth supporting you, gently pressing against your foot. Now, let your body fall forward–I know, it’s scary, but learning to trust your body will allow you to trust others more fully. Your body knows what to do. You know what to do. Feel your body weight shift forward and know that it’s okay to fall. Just stand right back up and try again.”
As you can probably guess, the person speaking the words above was my yoga instructor. I recently joined a hot yoga studio near my university, and it has quite literally changed my life. In the one week that I have been regularly participating in hot yoga, my entire mindset and feelings toward myself and others has changed. These are 3 reasons why hot yoga is essential in my recovery, and why you might like to find something similar for your own wellbeing…
- I am learning to trust– to trust my body, my mind, and the world around me. The dark doesn’t seem so scary anymore. Strangers aren’t automatically suspicious. My friends have my best interests at heart. I have all the tools inside that I need to succeed. When I fall, I can get up again and try a little harder. Failure has no meaning in my life because I trust that I can– and will– fly.
- I have a fresh take on recovery. I had become lax in taking care of my physical and emotional needs until yoga refreshed my outlook on recovery. Now, I cook yummy meals for myself every day. I try new foods in the grocery store and at restaurants. I challenge myself to do something a little scary (but not dangerous) so I can push the limits of my comfort zone. I seek support when I need it and offer my own support to others when they need me. Recovery is about balance, and I have found my footing.
- My body is respected. I listen to my body now more than I ever have before. I take breaks in yoga class and go back to child’s pose when my body has had enough. I fuel my body with food that makes it feel nourished and strong. I make sure to get enough sleep each night and schedule time to curl up in blankets and watch my favorite shows. My body has become my friend. Thank you, yoga, for teaching me the importance of truly loving my body.
Hot yoga is intense and is not safe for everyone. I encourage you to talk to your doctor to find out what your body is capable of doing and to find an outlet that allows your body to feel complete. Whether you are in recovery or if you have never had an eating disorder, self-care is something we all need to get better at. I promise you that taking the time to get connected with your soul and treating your body with love will lead you to a new place– one where you will find peace and true joy.