Yoga Saved My Life, Maybe It Can Save Yours Too

Yoga Saved My Life, Maybe It Can Save Yours Too

A great exercise for the mind, body, and soul.
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All I have to say is that there is nothing I know better than these words to be true: yoga is a life saver. Literally.

I’ve always been the type that exercised and played sports, so, basically, I never once gave yoga a try because “I stretch before I actually work out anyway," which later I found out I was not even stretching correctly and yoga is so much more than that.

I was 18 years old the first time I tried yoga. What brought me there was a car accident and a really stiff back. It had been about three months after the accident, so I had gotten used to the aches and pains in my back and that had become my new normal.

Secondly was my anxiety, my panic attacks. I remember the fear I would get any time I had even a little anxiety due to the fear that a panic attack would be short to follow: mind racing, pacing, feeling like I was suffocating. I had three panic attacks and it’d been a year since my last one anyway but just the thought of them drove my anxiety up a wall.

I told my doctor about it and she said I should try yoga. Of course, nobody besides my parents and close friends knew, but it was very real to me.

It’s been five years since I’ve even had anxiety, let alone a panic attack.

So I show up to the studio; the instructor asks if it’s anyone’s first time doing yoga and if anyone has any injuries. I shyly raise my hand and am the only person there who’s never done yoga. I don’t even think about telling her about my back since I’ve gotten so used to the pain that I just thought this was how my back always felt.

After my first yoga class, I was hooked. After two days the soreness from the class subsided and my back felt amazing. I was addicted to that feeling of not having aches and pains, so I made a pretty consistent schedule and went often. Soon, my back felt back to its actual normal, and I hadn’t even thought about my anxiety.

One of the best lines I heard was “If you know how to breathe, it won’t matter if you’re in church or on a plane skydiving,” telling us the key is to control our breath.

This really helped shape my mindset that I can gain back control over my mind and body. Of course, I’m not saying “yoga cures anxiety and stiff backs,” but it definitely helps build a foundation and gives you tools to aid you (although I definitely think it healed my back).

I stuck consistently with yoga for about eight months before I stopped showing up to classes because I thought I was “healed." That is, until my back went back to its tightness and stiffness and I learned that no, yoga is definitely a journey and our bodies are not meant to be so tight. I also learned that how our bodies feel is often a reflection of what is going on inside of us.

Basically, creating this new relationship with the ground beneath me and having the inspiration of my instructors, as well as the friends whom I dragged to class with me, all helped in healing a very worried soul. I can honestly say when I leave a yoga class is when I feel best because not only is your mind so at ease, but your body is too, regardless of the sweat and soreness.

I guess I just have to say thank you, yoga, and namaste.

Cover Image Credit: Avrielle Suleiman

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50 Things To Be Happy About

It's the little things in life.
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It is always easier to pick out the negatives in life. We tend to dwell on them and drown out the happy moments. I asked a friend to tell me something that made them happy. They sarcastically laughed at my question then thought about it for a minute. Nothing. But they could easily come up with things that made them unhappy. Then I read them my list, and they were smiling and laughing in agreement the whole time. There are so many more things to be happy and laugh about than we realize. After all- it's the little things in life that can mean the most! Here are 50 things that make me happy. What are your 50?

  1. The first warm day of the year
  2. Laughing so hard your abs ache
  3. Freshly washed sheets
  4. Looking through old pictures
  5. The smell of a coffee shop
  6. Eating cookie dough
  7. Reading a bible verse that perfectly fits your current situation
  8. Seeing someone open a gift you got them
  9. Eating birthday cake
  10. A shower after a long day
  11. Marking something off your to-do list
  12. Drinking ice cold water on a really hot day
  13. Dressing up for no reason
  14. Breakfast food
  15. Being able to lay in bed in the morning
  16. Finding something you love at the store
  17. And it’s on sale
  18. Cute elderly couples
  19. When a stranger compliments you
  20. Getting butterflies in your stomach
  21. Taking a nap
  22. Cooking something delicious
  23. Being lost for words
  24. Receiving a birthday card in the mail
  25. And there's money in it
  26. Finally cleaning your room
  27. Realizing how fortunate you are
  28. Waking up from a nightmare and realizing it wasn't real
  29. Fresh fruit
  30. Walking barefoot in the grass
  31. Singing along to a song in the car
  32. Sunrises
  33. Sunsets
  34. Freshly baked cookies with a glass of milk
  35. Summertime cookouts
  36. Feeling pretty
  37. Looking forward to something
  38. Lemonade
  39. Comfortable silences
  40. Waking up in the middle of the night and realizing you have more time to sleep
  41. Surviving another school year
  42. The cold side of the pillow
  43. The smell of popcorn
  44. Remembering something funny that happened
  45. Laughing to yourself about it
  46. Feeling weird about laughing to yourself
  47. Printed photographs
  48. Wearing a new outfit
  49. The sound of an ice cream truck
  50. Feeling confident
Cover Image Credit: Tumblr

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10 Ways To Keep Your Workout Motivation According To A Personal Trainer

"ALEXA play 'Work Bitch' by Britney Spears."

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Keeping your motivation for working out is one of the number one reasons why I think people fail to achieve their fitness goals.

Now I am no "fitness guru" by any means, and I have lost my motivation many times and worked back up.

No one is perfect when it comes to working out, and everyone can have different methods that are successful but from what I have seen, and talking to a few personal trainers, these are some of the best ways to keep your motivation and not lose track of your goals.

If you stick to these 10 ways, you will definitely have a better mindset when it comes to working out, and that will help you push yourself hard because you know that you are capable of much more than you think!

That is the last piece of advice I will leave you with, you are so much more capable of than you think. I recall so many times in the gym, I've thought I was gonna just collapse or crumble cause I was so tired, but time and time again I persevere and finish a set, and see that I can really push myself to the limits, and this is when I've seen the best results.

1. Talk about your goals.

You have to speak your goals into existence. Also speaking about them to others can help hold you accountable and you are working so hard for them, don't give up and let what you accomplished so far go to waste!

2. Get a consistent workout buddy.

This is something that I have found helps me out a lot, my roommate Jordan and I are always checking in on each other to make sure that we've worked out!

3. Want better for yourself, not to impress someone else.

This is also very important, if you have fitness goals solely to impress someone else, you will never be satisfied, or never feel like enough.

4. Want it more than you say.

You really have to want your fitness goals more than you are saying. If you have this goal that is driving you constantly in the back of your mind, your motivation will keep coming from within.

5. Have a scheduled workout plan.

If you have a workout plan that a professional or yourself has constructed, it gives you something to follow and not break. Having a plan for yourself will help keep yourself on track.

6. Take pictures every week!

Seems cheesy, but taking photos of yourself every week can hold you accountable but more importantly, you are able to see results, big or small, if you aren't seeing them in person, you'll be able to tell through the photos.

7. Know what your plan is before you go to the gym.

You should know what your plan is before you go to the gym, try not to just wing it. If you are winging it, who knows if you are really pushing yourself and constantly challenging yourself every gym session.

8. Try your best to maintain a healthy diet during the week.

This can be difficult of course, meal prepping is someting that can always helps! BUT if you don't have time to meal prep, then just go to the grocery store and buy a bunch of healthy snacks to eat throughout the day to keep your motabalism working. Get foods to fuel your body so all your hard workouts don't go to waste!

9. Stick to a plan, it'll be hard at first, but it only gets easier.

Once you get into the swing of things, get into a routine, you'll get used to it. And then you will truly enjoy it, feel great, and have more energy!

10. Surround yourself with others that also have the same goals as you.

As cliche as it is, you do pick up the traits of the people you surround yourself with. If you surround yourself with overachievers, hard workers, who have the same fitness goals as you, you'll all work hard together and encourage each other along the way!

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