A Single Key First Step…
I know what you were thinking as you read the first part of the title of this piece. You are thinking, this is another yoga-saved-me-from—cancer, heartbreak, gingivitis or just fill in the blank______. While I can attest to the healing powers of yoga (it helped heal a back injury in record time) and health benefits (I am stronger and fitter than I have ever been), I would not say yoga is the one and only answer to all problems. I can also attest how challenging yourself and stepping outside your comfort zone can help growth of esteem for self and how that growth can come from yoga practice; but there are so many paths to healing and growth that I would count it as only one part of the whole.
I have dabbled in yoga off and on for many years as a way to stay in shape, but when I walked into a local yoga studio four years ago while in the midst of suffering from a deep depression, I was desperate for something other than a workout. I felt like a collapsed house of cards. I knew I was headed for a breakdown and was searching for some sort of relief.
After signing up for my first class, I almost cried from joy. But I have had the same effect from consequent steps to internal healing. Like the night I walked out of my first graduate school class, or the day I flew to North Carolina to attend a writing conference given by one of my favorite authors. I actually did cry the night I read a passage on grace and it finally registered in my heart what mercy really meant and I finally could forgive myself for past mistakes. And more recently, the day I signed up to go on my first yoga retreat. Something I have dreamed of for a long time. These were just a few important steps in a long journey of healing and building new self-worth.
I recently read a book called The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. It is a study of human behavior, in particular, the forming and breaking of habits. In order to change your life, break a bad habit or pattern in your life; it all came down to a process that could take years. But in order for the process to even begin, a person had to first focus on one pattern, what is called the “keystone habit.” Once an individual did this one step, they were able to reprogram other routines in his or her life as well. I believe yoga was my keystone habit. Yoga didn’t save my life, but taking the first step to heal myself did.
When you drop fear and open yourself up to all possibilities, you invite in all sorts of miracles.
(It took four years but I finally learned crow.)
Lisa Moak lives in Arlington Texas with her youngest son, husband, two dogs and a fat cat. She works in marketing and advertising, but secretly yearns to do something else, anything else, but mainly write and play music. She recently received her master’s from Texas Christian University she so considers herself a horned frog. Lisa is currently looking for her next challenge and thinks a trip to Alaska might be it.
Assistant Ed: Charlene Taylor
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