Relieving Stress by Honoring Self and Body

With a strong push from both my medical doctor and psychiatrist, I decided to take a few yoga classes. My struggle with OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), specifically over the last two years, demanded that I find a positive outlet for my stress as some of my habits were not so positive or healthy. Additionally, my physical health was struggling from the weight of the mental disorder.
I struggled with low energy levels, low self-confidence, and low self-respect. I gorged myself with food thinking it will help me feel better. Not my proudest moments, but nonetheless a part of my journey. In turn, I gained weight which caused the spiral of low self-confidence and respect to continue downward.
Ready to give up, I decided to take my doctors’ advice and try some yoga classes to help out with the mental part of the disorder. I naturally found the restorative and stress relief classes benefited me the most.
During the practice, you are forced to slow down and stay in poses for an extended amount of time. Staying in those poses and remaining still helps your body slow down and ultimately relax.
After a yoga practice, I feel peace and calmness (a rare feeling for me). The weight of the day vanishes away, and both my body and spirit are rejuvenated. The beauty of yoga in general is to honor your body and the way it feels. If it hurts, then don’t push too hard. Instead, allow it to speak to you, a hard lesson for me to learn.
I have always refused to except that my body is not normal (Spinal Bifida and moderate scoliosis), but over the past 10 years, I have been forced to learn that my body has limits. Learning to listen to my body has been an important lesson. Through yoga, I have a much closer bond with my body and honor its needs in my everyday life.
Yoga also allows me to focus on the moment and accept my current self. My self-confidence is very low and always has been. I am extremely hard on myself (especially with the OCD), but in practice, the instructors remind me to allow myself to be who I am in the moment with no judgment. This part of the practice has not fully made it into my everyday life, but I hope that I can continue to incorporate it.
With yoga, I am not 100% healed. I still struggle daily, but yoga has provided me a few techniques to better deal with my down moments. Actually, this blog post is being written in a pretty dark time, but self-reflection is something I learned from yoga and it helps me to accept this time.
I hope this helps anyone else who is struggling with whatever it may be. I tell my husband that I  am a work-in-progress. I am always striving to be a better person and my best self. No matter our struggles, we should also be striving to improve upon ourselves.
Feel free to share your stories.


  1. Honor where you're at! A great philosophy no matter where you may be or what situation. Everything and everyone is a work in progress. – Pat


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