I am a survivor of sexual abuse. My name is @shannon_dievendorf, this is my #yogasavedmylife story 

I don’t remember ever being comfortable in my body & in my own skin. I learned to dissociate at an early age. It helped me survive . As I got into my tween years I discovered alcohol & drugs. Another way to escape my mind & my body. I have spent a lifetime trading one addiction for another. Pills. Meth. Alcohol. I spent a lifetime destroying my body . I lived my life hitting bottom after bottom. I spent a lot of time in hospitals, psych wards, detox facilities, treatment centers & even jail . On November 12, 2013, that all began to change. I surrendered. I could no longer live this way. It was killing me and something had to change. I surrendered to my therapists recommendations to give up alcohol & find a healthier coping mechanism . Her recommendations were yoga & meditation. I was terrified but I trusted her. I surrendered. I surrendered to a meditation cushion in that treatment center . I sat with myself for what seemed like an eternity. I wanted to jump out of my skin. I sat for two minutes that day. That’s all I could manage. The treatment center offered yoga. I made myself go . I could hear my therapist’s voice telling me I needed yoga. I wish I could say I instantly fell in love, but I didn’t. I hated yoga. It made me cry & I had no idea why. I felt like a freak and some days I stayed in child’s pose for most of the hour long class. But I kept doing it. I kept at it after I got home from the treatment center. I still hated it. But I went . Little by little I learned how to breathe. Breathing is one of those things that everyone else could easily do. Breathing was a struggle for me. But I kept going. I kept breathing. I began to be a little ok in my skin. SLOWLY the magic started happening for me and I DID fall in love with yoga . Yoga taught me to be ok with myself. Eventually, yoga taught me to love myself. Yoga really did save my life. Today I teach yoga. I own a studio. Yoga heals & I love nothing more than to watch someone come to their mat to heal the same way I have. I’m still healing. It’s a process. ❤️ .