When I first wrote a blog a while back about how we feel about ourselves when we look in a mirror, I never expected I would write a Part 2, but there were a couple of moments that compelled me to write a follow up after another reflective time I experienced at yoga recently.
Again like the blog before, I felt the need to do some yoga after feeling a bit down and disjointed. So, I scrambled around in the bottom of my wardrobe for some appropriate gear, got in the car and started to drive, switching on the radio to break the silence as I headed to the yoga studio. I began to listen to BBC Radio London.
They were talking about what people do to feel happy when things are not going right in your life, in other words;
What’s your go-to when you need a pep-up? Some people drink, some people eat and some people go to the gym or do other things to get to that go-to.
When I go to the gym it helps a lot to get to a kind of go-to, but when I really need to feel seriously clicked into a good mood, nothing for me beats a spot of hot yoga.
It’s taken a while for me to realise that this is my go-to. But going always helps to give my mind the mental gym it so needs and is almost instant in lifting my mood and spirits.
This is also what happened while looking in the mirror in the yoga studio. I felt awesome and strong, as if I’d found a new type of religion. It felt comforting, soothing and enlightening. Almost like an epiphany type of experience.
I could see a reflection of myself who was someone totally different to the person I saw in the mirror a while back. This time I happily found myself smiling when I fell out of postures and when I struggled to do anything, I dug deep inside to find a strength I never knew I had.
Falling out of postures and the difficulty I have been encountering with this recently in yoga has really tested my resilience of late, but in this session I didn’t stress too much. I rested when I needed to and for the first time in ages it felt absolutely fine just to do that.
With over a year of doing Hot Bikram yoga under my belt, I’m at the stage where at times the sessions feels like I’ve hit the proverbial wall. Indeed my mojo often keeps parking itself in despondent city.
But during this session I kept on telling myself, ‘You can do this’.
Then it happened … The click I needed got me to the end of the class without too much stress or calamity. In other words; the serotonin levels kicked in and the good vibes began to flow.
Afterwards my yoga teacher applauded and hugged me and was in extreme praise of how hard I had worked. It all felt amazing! https://bebrainfit.com/mental-health-benefits-yoga
Perhaps I’m exaggerating when I compare yoga to a type of religion, but I’m glad I had a bit more of fulfilling time than my mother’s experiences at the local church she attended recently, the one that she goes to on a regular basis.
Unfortunately she didn’t feel remotely near to any of the feelings I’ve just described. This is despite going here for over ten years, saying hello to people and adapting a friendly and open approach when there. She still rarely finds they are reciprocal in her approach. Indeed after the service, she left feeling isolated, lonely and sad at a time when she was hoping divine intervention would have lifted her mood.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that whatever makes you happy, do it. Whatever your ‘go-to‘ is, use it to help you get through the down times.
However, if your go–to doesn’t work every time, try something else as well. You need a back up. My mother has discovered that she uses going for regular walks as her back up go-to when she needs a mood lift.
I’m also encouraging her to get up go and find a new church for her go-to. The current one she attends is quite clearly failing in its doctrine of welcoming everyone with kindness and love.
So enjoy your journey to happiness and wherever you may find it, get going to your go–to fast!