Back in high school, I struggled to find confidence and acceptance for myself and turned to eating disorders. I worked out far too much and even did yoga, but I did not understand much about the ancient practice. Feeling inadequate for 8 years, I battled bulimia on and off.
I was never neglected or abused in my early life, but my eating disorder and distorted body image shadowed much of my teenage and early 20s years. Looking back, so many of my memories are tainted with this darkness. I ran away when friends got too close, scared they’d learn my secret and take away my addiction. I’d let go a few times, only to turn back when things got hard, I lost control of something, I felt too “fat,” or I became depressed. When I started dating my now husband about 9 years ago, I slowly began to truly see myself and gradually let go of my harmful behavior.
For a while, I was still in fear of exercise, scared that I would overdo it again and fall down a treacherous path. That’s when I found yoga, again. I gently began asana practices at home and saw my mind and life transform. I started practicing daily, almost 10 years ago, and my life shifted. My issues with eating were in the past; I craved the movement because it made me FEEL good; I threw myself into philosophy; and I read and talked about yoga as much as possible. I did a teacher training and see it as one of the very best things I did for myself. Balance and health were becoming present in my life, instead of fear, thinness, and restriction. Life should be enjoyed!
With yoga, I have rediscovered myself. I have learned how to accept myself, when to sit with my breath, when to let go, and when to slow down. My practice helped me stay flexible and balanced during pregnancy, calmer in stressful times, and compassionate in recovery from eating disorders. Although I am not perfect and still have internal struggles, negative thoughts about my physical image is not one of them. I never think about returning to disordered eating; I’m always thinking of HEALTH.
I am so grateful for the peace and kindness the yoga practice has given me. I appreciate the patience of friends and family through my struggles – whether they were aware or not – how God provides answers in yoga, and the power of the practice itself.
I now share my appreciation, admiration, and love for yoga through teaching and publishing my ebook: Healing Yoga.
Always learning from life and moving forward,