seven days of gratitude: day six

after two weeks i am able to move my body once again!
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last night i danced gleefully, shaking and moving as if to rejoice.

tonsil surgery is no joke!

today though, i am most thankful for yoga. our journey has been revealing, healing, challenging, beautiful and messy.

i discovered yoga as a very confused twenty year old. though i did not know it at the time, i was inching my way toward an eating and exercise disorder. initially i waded through yoga videos with the intent of burning more calories, of losing more fat, of shaping and toning what i disliked. i spent late nights sweating to compensate for what i considered to be a food heavy day.

eventually my rational surfaced, altering me to what, internally, i knew all along: my exercise habit was hurting me. my eating habits were destroying me. one morning i woke up determined to find the girl i lost. i stopped going to the gym cold turkey. i gritted my teeth as i watched runners breeze past me on the sidewalks. i averted my eyes whenever any woman clad in spandex walked by.

i sought refuge and healing in yoga. on my mat i dove to the depths of what drove my disorders. my insecurities, my pains, my history stated to unravel with my breath. for a time i felt well. i felt healthy as i climbed back into life, as i once again gained feeling within my body, mind, and heart. the more i practiced, the more free i felt. parts of my body continued to open and parts of my darkness found illumination. pieces of the disorder lingered, but i was confident i was defeating them.

the funny thing about thinking you have it all together is when you realize you absolutely do not. in february of 2011 i allowed a failed relationship to shatter my heart so completely i lost the will to try and fight back against the many demons still swimming in my mind. whatever foundation i believed myself to have turned out to be hollow and easily collapsible. i had no real foundation to stand on. i fell apart. i disintegrated into a non-person. yoga stopped save for few attempts. my body seized up enough to discourage me. i lost strength, i lost flexibility. lethargy took over. i binged and purged to ease the pain. i gained sixty pounds in one year, cried until i ran out of tears, and hurt my self so monumentally i assumed the darkness would never lift. i lost friends, i lost confidence, i lost all the goodness i built. all i felt was utter failure and never ending numbness.

if you ask me now how i ended up where i am today i cannot quite tell you. some days i wonder how i am still alive. despite the depth of my depression i never lost the sliver of peaceful sanity that is the true essence within us all. i worked hard in therapy. i read a mountain of books about depression and eating disorders. i wrote, endlessly, in journals and on the blogosphere. that spark, that light, refused to let me give up hope entirely. slowly and painfully i rebuilt some semblance of balance.

and at the end of the tunnel i heard the call for yoga sound again, fiercely and relentlessly. though it never truly faded out its urgency was remarkably present. i knew yoga would come back, eventually. i never lost sight of it, even when i lost my practice.

after a nearly two year break from a consistent practice i took the plunge i wanted to take since attending my first class and signed up for yoga teacher training. what has transpired since foraging through the training experience is indescribable. in three short months i learned more about myself and my life than i did in three years of therapy. i found my voice, my purpose, my challenge and my self.

i am now back on my mat consistently, diligently, and with an eating-disorder free attitude. my mat in my sacred place. it is where i learn, where i heal, where i open, and where i am free. without yoga there is a lack in my life. there is a tightness. i am thrilled and ecstatic to see where this journey continues to lead me.

yoga saved me from myself. it found me when i was lost. it soothed me when i was frantic. it broke me open and cleaned me out. yoga is one of the reasons i am alive and well today.

for that, i am forever grateful.

namaste

z

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This entry was published on March 23, 2014 at 4:17 pm. It’s filed under Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

2 thoughts on “seven days of gratitude: day six

  1. Katie on said:

    Zoe,
    I’ve been reading your blog in bits and spurts for a long time. I feel like since close to the beginning maybe. I teared up reading this. I feel like you are finally seeing what a beautiful, amazing person you are – that I’ve seen all along, but it makes me SOOO flippin happy to see that you see it now too. :)

    • aw, thank you katie! i love that you’ve been reading since the beginning! it’s been a long journey. thank you for your kind words <3

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