• Tue, Jan 21 - 1:00 pm ET

Dread Journal: Doing Yoga Every Day Dramatically Improved My Anxiety

forgetting sarah marshall

As part of my new years resolutions for basket cases, I decided to do yoga twice a week. Yoga helps me keep an even keel and succeeds where other holistic or natural treatments fail, and I’ve seriously been slacking. Since I spent the first week of January doing exactly no yoga, I got it in my head to do yoga everyday for one week to kind of shock my system into self care. Here’s my diary of the week I spent doing yoga everyday (ish).

Day 1
Was about to do yoga, drank wine instead. The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Day 2
I may be the first person in the history of the world who is too anxious to go to a yoga class with the intention of becoming less anxious. I decided since obviously everyone at a class would be judging my physical fitness, I should do a few practice sessions at home to get back in shape. Most reasonable experts would tell you that a two day crash course in yoga isn’t really enough to change your body in any way, but I have never been one to listen to reason.

I found a 30 minute Youtube yoga for anxiety session, thinking that 30 minutes would be a nice, easy way to get back into things. Unfortunately, I realized I didn’t have my yoga mat, so I used a towel which slipped out from under me no less than four times. I tried to focus on my breathing and finding some sense of balance, but I was much more out of shape than I thought and it turned out to be much more physically challenging. As much as I tried to keep my breaths consistent and deep, I mostly panted or held my breath out of fear that I would fall. It wasn’t the best start, but afterwards I did feel a sense of relaxed calm, even though I kept beating myself up for struggling through it so much.

Day 3
I repeated the same 30 minute Youtube session from the day before, and while I still struggled physically because I have the arm strength of a newborn T-Rex, I noticed that I was able to turn my brain off for small periods, which is a major victory. I only fell over once, too. Tomorrow, I’m going to a class.

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  • Kaitlin Reilly

    This makes me want to try yoga (again!) I’ve always found the quiet to be slightly uncomfortable, but maybe I have to work harder at it…

  • WTheend28

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  • rhodge

    I’m stuck on day one like it’s groundhogs day!! Seriously, tho, it’s a great way to unwind, and a better form of exercise than you’d initially think. Congrats, and stick with it!
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  • nina

    hey, good article and i appreciate how personal it is. you let us in to your head, to your vulnerabilities…and i appreciate it. stay strong :)

  • Rachel

    For what it’s worth, I actually think you’re amazingly strong. Yes, anxiety makes us feel weak– bu also, you have this thing which is not your fault that can make it immensely difficult to function. But function you do. You work, you have friends, you do yoga, you leave the house, damn it. Is that stuff scary? Hell yes. But you do it. You face fear every day and at least in some way kick its ass. At least part of its ass. Living with anxiety is one small act of courage after another, and sometimes the small ones don’t seem small at all. We do it or we break. And sometimes we do break, but we put ourselves together again and do our best. You’re not weak. You, madame, are a warrior.