Monday, December 26, 2011

Yoga Saved Me.

I first discovered yoga many years ago as an undergrad in college, but at the time it didn't stick.  It wasn't fast enough for me and the thought of looking inside my mind in any real way was utterly petrifying.

We again met up many years later when I was looking to try something new to find relief from the stress of teaching.  I had never tried Bikram yoga and thought I would give it a go.  What did I have to lose?  Even if I didn't like it I figured the calorie torching aspect of it would be a positive and ED loved that!

That was the start of what was to be a journey inside, at first a glimpse that something still wasn't right.  I was forced to face myself when I entered that hot little room and I didn't like what I saw.  At first it was just the exterior, but my rational mind knew that wasn't really it.

The truth was much deeper than that.

Within 3 months of starting a regular practice I turned a corner.  I left my job and entered a full-time day treatment program.  Yoga had offered me a safe way to start to look inside and begin to discover myself.

Without yoga I don't' know that I would have ever come to that point of really being ready to recover.  I would still be in the vicious cycle that had persisted for 14-years.

Yoga is now my life and my passion.  I no longer practice Bikram yoga and wouldn't recommend that style to those in recovery, but I practice and teach almost daily and am working towards becoming a yoga therapist to work with those with eating disorders.

Yoga offers a new way to see the world; a safe place to be Hannah and to be strong and healthy.  It fills the space of sickness and the tunnel vision of eating disorders.  I can see beyond myself and know that no matter what I am more than my body, than food, than any number.

Have you unrolled your mat yet?


  1. Hannah, I have MUCH of the same story… I have never felt so "strong" in my life than I have on the mat. From someone who has done cross country, nine-million push-ups during my training days, etc… there is not a strength to match the one I feel while doing yoga. It is one of my long-term goals to go through yoga teacher training so I can share that same strength with those who need it most. Thank you for this reminder this morning, I am so glad you have the courage to look within yourself, it's one of the bravest things I have ever tried to accomplish.

  2. Thanks so much C-Girl! Yoga really is amazing! Here is to your recovery!

  3. I've actually been doing the bikram poses (only NOT in a studio, rather on my own)... I'm saving the studio classes for when my weight is up a bit.

    It's helped me be mindful, because (as you know!) the bikram poses require concentration and balance... so I definitely relate to this.


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