Katherine Ashley shares her personal journey with yoga, how what started out as a physical challenge soon developed into something richer and more healing that she ever thought possible. 

I never thought I’d be the ‘yoga type’. I’d always played competitive sports where you played in a ‘team’ and you wanted to ‘win’. I wasn’t ‘flexible’. I couldn’t touch my toes. I thought yoga was for ‘other people’ who were ‘into that sort of thing’. But after countless injuries and years spent struggling with anxiety and depression, the mat is where I found myself.Yoga Community

The beginning was hard. Downward dog wasn’t easy. I got frustrated when I couldn’t do all the poses. My muscles hurt. My thoughts would race in ­­­Shavasana.­­­ A head stand was impossible. But somewhere along the way it got easier. Downward dog became a little bit easier. My muscles didn’t hurt so much. The poses became more natural. I could actually touch my toes for the first time in my life. My thoughts became quieter. I started to feel less anxious and sad. I was sleeping better and not waking with that churning stomach every morning. And suddenly life didn’t seem so bad. I started to think that maybe this was what had been missing from my life.

So I started to turn up more, to try more classes, to challenge myself. And i started to feel even better. I felt lighter, my body felt stronger, my mind was more positive. And so I kept doing it. I committed myself to the mat. I pushed myself and sweated like a madwoman. I relaxed and started to accept my limitations. And then bit by bit I started to let go – let go of trying to control everything and just accept things for the way they were.

And then I started to heal – physically, emotionally and spiritually. I started to peel back all those layers that had been holding me back. I started to connect again, to express myself and ask others for help. I finally sought therapy for my anxiety and depression, I stopped taking medication, I ate better, I slept better, I lost weight. So today i find myself on the mat again. To learn, to focus, to relax.

Because every ones journey is so rich and so unique we would love to hear yours. You can share anonymously or with full author credit  knowing your story will be warmly received, will ring with truth for some and will inspire others to greater possibilities. 
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