Life is beautiful, but that’s not to say it’s easy.
There are many external factors in the world that can contribute to suffering in this lifetime, and sometimes we can’t change these factors; sometimes, the only thing we can do is have the power to stay positive. This ability and willpower to stay positive can be quite helpful in overcoming the internal obstacles of living-- these internal factors include mindset, mindfulness, and barriers we have set up for ourselves, whether it was through the influence of another external factor or not.
Some barriers manifest in the mind and hold us as prisoners to our anxieties. In my experience, these types of barriers have become so harmful when left unchecked because to me, they represented a deeper level of insecurity that limited me from allowing myself to try new things. I knew that these barriers were all man-made and in my head. Sometimes, that fact just made me feel guilty and weak when I couldn’t overcome them. Existing in that negativity was rough, but it really propelled me to search for a better mindset and a healthy setting to start to learn to break through these barriers of my little comfort zone. This is when I started to practice yoga.
I had never even attempted to practice yoga before last year. After much nervous contemplation, I finally decided to pay Bloom Yoga a visit (and of course, to take advantage of their “first class is free” deal). I was so nervous driving up to the studio for my first yoga class. I sat in my car for a solid seven minutes just thinking and re-thinking to myself “Am I actually doing this? Exposing myself to something new, challenging, and intimidating in this room full of strangers? Are my yoga pants too green? My mat too bright? My toenails too long?” The restlessness of my anxiety was exhausting, but after a few long minutes, I managed to get out of my car and find my way to the studio doors.
My anxieties were contradicted as I entered the building and found a studio full of smiling faces. Seasoned yogis and first-timers alike were chatting, stretching, and meditating in the calm atmosphere. I was beyond relieved-- I was ecstatic to finally realize that I had nothing to fear. The instructor was patient and concise in their teachings. What I loved the most is that they offered corrections and comments in the most modest way. Not a “you’re doing it wrong” way, but a “hmm, try it like this” way. I learned so much about practicing yoga in that first class and felt so accepted; I felt like the community of teacher and students alike truly cared to foster my growth by having a positive energy and kindling a real community.
Starting to practice yoga as an adult has helped me learn how to break some of my mental barriers and overcome negative thinking. Being completely secure of myself will be a long and arduous process, but as of now I have learned how to release my inhibitions of self consciousness when it comes to trying something new. I remember my first dolphin pose and crow pose. Hell, even my first downward facing dog felt weird-- I was shaky, nervous, and uncomfortable. I was definitely self conscious navigating my body and channeling my mind like that for the first time (in a room full of yogis I had never met before, I was terrified) but for a moment, I really did relish in getting out of my comfort zone, because I think that’s where we really start to grow as people.
The world hosts countless new things for us all to explore constantly if we wanted to. There are times where one might feel best within their comfort zone; having that sense of familiarity and security is in my experience, essential for good mental health. I also believe that getting out of that comfort zone at least every once in a while is essential to really immerse oneself in the world.
Did you know that new-comers get their first class FREE at Bloom Yoga? Whether you are a first-time yogi barely breaking the boundaries of your comfort zone or a seasoned yogi with years of experience, Bloom Yoga would like the chance to share this wonderful community with you!
Hailing from East County San Diego, Kaleen Moran (she/her) is an English major at Cuyamaca College and a young yoga enthusiast. Her free time is spent out in nature, whether her feet are on the trail, nose is in a book, or notebook and pen are in her hands. She finds solace in mountain tops, her dogs and cat, books and poetry, good vegetarian food, and the loving embraces of her family and friends.
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