My Coping Mechanism – Yoga For Mental Health

bec thompson - rebalance pilates and yoga

Thirty years ago, if you had have told me I would be using Yoga as a way to work through stress, anxiety, pain – basically a way to manage my emotions, I would have laughed in your face.  Fast forward to today and you will see me mindfully breathing & dropping into downward dog to manage my emotions as quick as I used to skull a Strongbow!

You see, I am what you would call a ‘wear your heart on your sleeve’ type of girl.   

The kind that cries when she hears beautiful music, holds her heart when she sees a gorgeous sunset, gets goosebumps when she hears stories of triumph, I am emotionally charged and feel everything which is both a blessing and a curse. A blessing because I connect easily with people, I am empathetic, I am thoughtful, I am loyal and live with passion, yet I am also sometimes too feeling, too sensitive, too passionate and this drains the living heck out of me.

Over the years my coping mechanisms with these highs and lows (a label for some might be depression and anxiety) have changed from food and alcohol in my late teens and 20s, to prescription medication in my 30s to now… in my 40s I have finally found Yoga.

Now, when I say found Yoga, I really mean found.  I have dabbled with my Yoga since I was 17, firstly starting because that’s what Mum did, to taking a class every now and then because I was trying to be a super-chill, vegan eating, stereotypical “Yogi”, to then participating in a class because I wanted a super hot, bendy-body, to taking Yoga when I became a Mum as I was told it would help with my anxiety and Post natal Depression.   My true appreciation for Yoga came at this point…when I became a Mum. It was no longer about trying to look a certain way, to slot into a certain stereotype, it was more about spending time with myself, for myself.  I realised that after the hour had finished I felt like me again, I could stop the whirling of my brain (mind you this took some time to wrangle and still does!), and I could just be. It was a space for me to set my emotions aside and move with breath, leaving me, I felt, better equipped to deal with life.

The changes, at first, were slight and would really only last for about 30 minutes after the class, and then I would land back into a pile of poop…literally.

Changing nappies, feeding kids and the general hum-drum of being a busy working Mum, but one thing I knew was that it was good for me, so I practiced, I encouraged myself to use the breathing techniques I used in class when I was emotionally charged, I was kind to myself and  I would meditate (arrgghhhh that is a whole other story!!)

But….I am pleased to report it worked…it works!

It is about just making a start and letting go of preconceived ideas of what Yoga is or isn’t and what you have to be or not be to take a Yoga class.  One thing I am disheartened by as a Yoga Teacher, is when I encourage students to come to a class, and they respond with;

“I am not flexible”

“I am too active for that”

“oh no, I can’t shut my mind off”

Ahhhh, yes and your point is???  

Yoga can address these things, Yoga doesn’t care if you can’t touch your toes, can’t sit still, can’t think of anything else other than what’s for dinner tonight when told to hold your mind steady..these are some reasons why Yoga might be helpful.

So please, if you have dabbled, or even thought of dipping your toes into the delicious word of Yoga, come and take a class and start to feel the benefits, physically, emotionally and mentally.

Do you want to learn pilates so it can help with your travel experiences? Call or email us to find the right class and location for you. Joining the Rebalance Family means more than just a workout. We care about your wellbeing and have a supportive environment.  We prioritise your wellbeing and provide a sanctuary for you to come and relax.  Workout.  But workout with purpose with us!

Written by Rebecca Thomspon, Co-Owner Rocklea and Capalaba

Rebecca Thompson - Rebalance Pilates and Yoga
By | 2018-06-13T00:07:16+00:00 June 12th, 2018|Mind, Yoga|0 Comments

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