This month we're sharing insights and highlights of self-love - the most important thing you can learn in your practice. Understand your wealth and use it to love everything you can to the fullest extent. The following is a post from Yogalifer Caitlin, who shares some insight on how self-love and her yoga practice helped her with anxiety.
The Wealth Inside
8 or so years ago, after getting a new job at lululemon, I went to my first yoga class. I knew right away I had found something special. I don’t want to say I “suffer from anxiety” but I have anxiety and that is a fact. Since starting my practice, it no longer has ME. At that time in my life it was almost unmanageable.
I was experiencing a total loss of control, daily panic attacks, and a deterioration in my personal relationships.
I was able to remain somewhat peachy on the outside, but the internal core of my soul was crumbling. I learned quickly that the peachier you are externally, the more you compromise yourself internally. Looking back it seems so logical, but isn’t that always the case.
It was interesting, I took the job at lululemon on a complete whim. This was a serendipitous sign in my life that things really do unfold the way you need them to. I had never even been in the store before, nor had I practiced yoga. I am so thankful my boyfriend took extra long at Foosh that day, driving me to wander into this new stretchy-pant place.
Cut to a few months into practicing… the thing that kept me coming back was the knowledge that there was a quiet place within me that offered me a source of control and patience with myself I had never quite been able to harness. I guess you could simply say it offered me SOURCE. I absolutely felt the desire to transcend my human condition, which spawned later to my dharma of transcending the collective human condition.
I found that even when I was off my mat I could slip into this place and enjoy my inner sanctuary.
I knew that this was too important to me to not share. I set the goal that I would be a certified yoga instructor by the time I was 25 and on May 22, 2011, I completed my first 200-hour teacher training (I turned 26 on May 23 of that year! Goal crushed with one day to spare!).
As yoga has become a huge part of my life, it is most certainly a deeply-rooted impulse to honour why i'm here. I absolutely fall off course, have the occasional panic attack and most certainly have bad days, but I know deep down that the place I first fell in love with – that sanctuary in my heart – exists. As a teacher, I go on, perhaps endlessly, about the value and importance of self-love. For me, my inner space guides me through anxiety; it’s my crux and I own it and accept it. I don’t expect everyone in my class to resonate with the story behind my words, but there is a sense of connection that comes when words truly come from the experience of the human condition. Teaching people to find ways to love themselves is at the core of my existence because I was taught also.
And really, love is the most healing medicine one can be offered.