Meet My Therapist: Her Name is Yoga

And she is a savior.

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Recently, my life has kind of been in an upheaval of change. Most of the changes, mind you, have been incredibly positive:

  • I graduated from medical school
  • I moved up the east coast from North Carolina to Pennsylvania
  • I traveled abroad
  • I am learning how to balance being back in an area with family and old friends close
  • I am finally “out in the real world” – no more being a full-time student living off of loan disbursements
  • I’m training for my fourth marathon
  • And finally, I made a huge professional change when I realized that the traditional road a physician takes upon graduating medical school is not the path for me and does not make me happy.

I am now following my dreams & opening my own holistic health coaching & fitness practice where I guide clients to increase their energy, decrease their stress, banish their cravings, lose weight & tone up, and enhance their inner health & beauty (thereby reducing their risk of illness) in a personalized, natural, whole foods focused, non-pharmaceutical manner. It is exhilarating! But it’s a huge change, and I’d be lying if I told you it wasn’t a tad scary to turn your back on a sure thing and instead follow your gut (or heart, or whatever you want to call it) & build your own niche in society.

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Anyway, there’s been a lot of good life “adjustments” recently. I am/was in need of some stability, reflection, and stress relief. And I don’t know about you, but my root nature is an anxious, Type A, “I want all the details figured out, and I want a solid back-up plan & then a back-up plan to the back-up plan, and it better all make realistic sense or else I’m going to be worried” woman. I also like to figure everything out myself, including figuring out the “whys” of my own emotions, feelings, and personality traits, and I believe that this fact about me is why the traditional therapy route I tried at one point in the past didn’t stick. Yoga didn’t really stick at first either. But I noticed that I was able develop a sense of calm, of serenity, and of almost complete non-stress at the end of a session (whether in my living room or a studio) that I never experienced anywhere else. I need that, and I’m grabbing tight and running with it now. In a business development talk I attended recently, the lecturer told us to “just say ‘yes'” to whatever opportunity comes my way, so I’m saying yes: yes to becoming a yogini and yes to taking my therapy to the mat. Yoga allows me to come as I am, in whatever form, energy level, mindset, and level of physical ability I have that day. While I’m with her “in session,” I can even keep my thoughts, feelings, and worries to myself if want, or if I’m comfortable, I can release them into the world if. I don’t even need to talk if I don’t want to – I can simply step inside, unroll my mat, curl into child’s pose, and just be. At the same time, I feel a sense of something larger and a part of a loving community with the chant of every “ohm” and the coordinated movement of every flow. There is no feeling of judgment, and I feel free to go as far as I want to go with any pose, stretch, or thought. I can push myself to “my edge” and beyond, or I can relax back into comfort.

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Yoga gives me a sense of connection to my innermost self by giving me a space to be alone with my thoughts. She guides me to be conscious of both my breathing and my body in space. Furthermore, she brings awareness to my tense shoulders, rigid neck, or stiff lower back, displaying where I’m pocketing my worries & stress & allowing me to drop them on the mat. Yoga lets me know that it’s okay not to hang on. It’s okay to be calm. It’s okay to be present and not worry about the future. It’s okay to love myself for who I am right now. I leave with serenity and bliss and an easy smile on my face. Ready to take on my day with compassion and confidence. Every time. I can’t ask much more of a therapist. I think I’ll keep coming.

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Have you tried yoga? If so, what do you like most about your practice? If not, what’s holding you back? How do you bring yourself back to center from the fluxes and stresses in your life? Do you like to talk it out or figure it out yourself? I’d love to hear from you.

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