My name is Laura @breathebesidemeyoga and #yogasavedmylife

People self harm for many different reasons, and it’s often assumed that it’s ‘attention seeking’. But what not many people know is that self harm used to be a harmful meditative practice for me, a very unhealthy way of calming that overwhelming rage rushing through me

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I had rituals around it. Set processes. A discipline. Control. And it was that ‘process’ and the ‘focus’ that enabled me to calm my mind, in the most damaging way, and shift my focus. And it took me years to understand why. To understand that I was hurting myself, not just my body, but my mind. And that there was another way, a healthy way, to achieve that stillness of thoughts

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Through extending my yoga practice, during my teacher training, I began to find new ways to bring that focus, that mindfulness, that release. I discovered new ways of bringing a stillness to the thoughts. New healthier ways of silencing those demons

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Yoga for me, now, is so much more than asana, the physical practice. Yoga, for me, is a holistic experience; it’s the mind, the body, the breath and the self. It requires discipline, rituals, processes. And when those overwhelming waves begin to rise within, I know I can take it to my mat, connect to my breath, to my practice, and find my way through to still waters again

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And what’s more, yoga has given me back an identity. An identity beyond that which I thought I was limited to. It opened up my world and provided me with a community, an extended family. A purpose. It set me on a path

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Yoga has taught me new ways. Better ways. For that I will always be grateful 🙏"

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