•DAY 60• Yoga is only real if it changes people.

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My life can really be separated into 2 parts – before and after developing a daily yoga practice.

Prior to a daily practice, I was plagued by intense episodes of anger. The overwhelming power of my emotions terrified me. Since I couldn’t control my environment, or myself, I turned to common self-destructive behaviors. I cycled between binge eating and starving myself, I exercised to the point of exhaustion, and I worked myself until I was literally sick. I was exhausted and longed for some sense of peace.

In December of 2017 I made a promise to myself: I committed to practicing some form of vinyasa, hatha, or meditation every day. I have since kept that promise for over 14 months.

In the beginning, it was difficult. I was sitting with my emotions for the first time, and it was painful. Eventually, I started to see emotions for what they are - travelers, flowing through me. I found compassion for myself, and others. I learned to identify when I was looking for external validation and I recognized that it would never bring me happiness. Best of all, I could really “see” people for the first time in my life. Prior to a daily yoga practice, other’s actions were always an affront, because I was seeing them through the lens of my own insecurities, but now I have more clarity in situations with others. As a result, my relationships have deepened.

For me, yoga isn’t about just doing a handstand, it’s showing up for yourself, every day, showering yourself in love and compassion, forgiving yourself, and letting yourself heal. Sometimes that happens by facing your fears in an inversion, and sometimes that happens by just letting yourself cry at the end of class in savasana.

Namaste.

-Crystal