"My little sister killed herself following a fight with her boyfriend when I was halfway through a 200-hour yoga teacher training. She was twenty-five, and her death was incredibly shocking. We were very close—my inner peace and sense of trust were completely shattered after she died. I struggled with panic attacks, PTSD, and depression
It was being deeply immersed in the study of yoga and the community I found, that gave me the strength to pull myself out of the black hole. The mat was the one place where bad thoughts weren’t allowed. The practice of yoga provided me with weapons to fight the panic attacks and a place to go when I needed peace and stillness. It connected me back to the expansiveness of life
In a yoga class a few weeks after my sister died, I felt a panic attack coming on as I stretched out in pigeon pose. I couldn’t escape the ugly thoughts, the flashbacks, the jolts of electricity coursing through my body. I started to get up to leave. Then the instructor’s voice said: “Breathe. Imagine a color. Pull that energy in. Let it clean you. Let it connect you back to you” .
When I breathed in, my body filled with light blue. I felt it flow through my veins and clean out the gunk I carried. I was taken back to my core self and reminded of the power that existed there. I was not my painful, chaotic thoughts. I could separate myself by connecting with my breath, which took me to my true self, which was part of something greater
I believe we have the power to heal ourselves, and that yoga can be a critical tool in the process. Yoga reminds that we are all connected. The practice pulls us out of our own isolated universes. It connects us to ourselves, to each other, to the world, to love. It reminds us that our pain is not ours alone, but part of this mysterious, magical cycle of life 🙏 Mary"