Yoga saved my life. I live fully as myself, whether anyone else likes me or not

"Yoga saved my life, which I realize sounds over dramatic" . Meet the amazing Dawn Downes @belleoftheblog from Tennessee, sharing her story to 'inspire others who might  be feeling as she once did'. These are her words ❤ "When I revisited yoga this summer after a 1 year hiatus, I did it because I needed something to quiet the paralysing, angry voice in my head telling me that no one would ever love me

I felt anchored by the weight of believing that voice,  things other people said, making me feel worthless. Breaking that inertia felt impossible. Hating myself and my life one especially dark night, I decided to find my thing that would allow me to pour all that negative energy into healing

So I pulled out my yoga mat: I haven't looked back since . The sad and broken voice in my head eased Another voice emerged & rather than telling me I shouldn't bother getting out of bed because my life had no meaning, told me to get my ass on the mat: told the inner critic STFU. For the first time in ages I chose joy over wallowing in pain. As I continued a daily yoga practice, I felt calmer & a sense of pride in my effort I stopped hating my body. I began to see & appreciate its strength & beauty as yoga transformed body & perspective . At 47, I now accept my body, appreciate its ability to change and strengthen & see its beauty, despite its flaws Yoga philosophy stresses that comparison has no place in our  practice & I've stopped comparing myself to other women

It builds physical & inner strength as you discover resources within you did not previously recognize, awakens parts of your being you'd repressed. You connect with your true self and rediscover the joy of loving your self & living authentically Yoga saved my life. I live fully as myself, whether anyone else likes me or not🙏 I feel a part of a tribe that sees truth, light,  wonder and humanity in one another I feel loved, at peace, joyful, & I'm living authentically for me & not in service of emulating an ideal dictated by someone else Every day is now an opportunity to breathe & feel my way through the darkness  into the light one asana at a time"