(a chapter from Telling Ed No! by Cheryl Kerrigan©)

health club

While I was in treatment, I participated in yoga classes every week to learn how to relax and connect my mind and body. I really took to it. In fact, yoga had such a positive and calming effect on me that after I left Walden I decided to add it to my recovery plan and enroll in regular classes.

As my practice of yoga deepened, I discovered many benefits.  Deep breathing and quieting my mind allowed me to disconnect from negative thoughts. Controlling my breath during the poses provided a calmness and serenity that carried over into my life, because when I felt calm, my mind was open to new, healthy possibilities. With the daily practice of yoga and the breath, my soul felt centered, nourished, and refreshed.

Yoga also helped me to experience a strength inside my physical body that I never knew existed before. As a result, I began to feel, appreciate, and respect what I once despised. I never thought I would be able to feel positively about my body, but yoga helped me get there.

Yoga soon became a favorite recovery tool. Depending on the situation I was facing, I did deep breathing, a yoga posture, or a meditation, any of which helped me through difficult moments of anxiety, stress, doubt, or fear. Centering myself when I was having a tough time connected me to an inner wisdom and strength from which I could gain a healthy perspective.

Yoga is a great way to calm down, improve your relationship with your body, and take a break from the hectic rituals of everyday life. It draws you into a quiet place where just you and the Universe exist. Your mind, body, heart, and soul become one.

Reflections

Yoga is a calming practice that helps relieve anxiety and fear. When you are faced with difficult situations and Ed is talking to you, what can you do to calm yourself down? Listen to music, do yoga, breathe deeply? Write down five ways to calm yourself, find stability, and be in the present moment.

With health, hope and strength,

Cheryl