Yoga and Recovery
I remember years ago in recovery, looking around and noticing that those in recovery around me, didn’t look like me. I was in a bigger body. I assumed I wasn’t doing recovery right since my body was bigger.
Flash forward to about three years ago. When I looked around, I noticed most people I knew who were in recovery swore by yoga in their recovery process. I assumed I wasn’t doing recovery right because I don’t like yoga.
Before I continue, there is nothing wrong with the size and shape of anyone’s body, especially in recovery. There is nothing wrong with yoga or anything else that helps in recovery.
From 2010-2019, any time I stepped foot into a yoga class, I lasted no more than seven minutes. It ended with me bursting into tears and walking out of the studio in shame each time. First of all, yoga is intimidating to me. Secondly, I can’t do it “right”. Finally, it’s so slow and I’m annoyed or too fast and I can’t keep up. For those yogi’s out there, I know, that’s not what it is about. I’ve been told.
The way I react to yoga is frustrating to me. I want to be like everyone else with their cute mats, fun strappy sports bras (that don’t come in my size), and patterned yoga pants (sizing is getting better). I want to speak the language of poses. I want to feel comfortable going to classes with my friends. I want this zen to help me in my recovery.
I believed back in the day, not liking yoga meant I couldn’t fully recover because I couldn’t slow down and be in my body. This year, I tried yoga in the privacy of my home. I got strong. I learned the names of the poses. I slowed down. I was in my body. I hated every minute of it and did it anyway because I thought yoga was the secret sauce to a different dimension of recovery. I was afraid I was missing out. Turns out, I wasn’t listening to my body because I was pushing myself through something that didn’t feel good, I didn’t like, and I didn’t want to do. Turns out for me, yoga isn’t my secret sauce.
I’m learning more about honoring myself with the things I enjoy. My recovery doesn’t need to or have to look the same as others, even if the “thing” is extremely popular. Hiking through the mountains and being in nature slows me down and challenges me to be in my body. I can feel the strength of my legs helping me up the mountain. I smell the fresh mountain air. I smell the pines. I feel the cool breeze in the early mornings as I begin my hike. I’m full of joy when I reach the summit and take it all in with my eyes. It’s here, at the top of the mountain, where I feel holistically integrated and like me!
My encouragement is that you find what works for you in whatever space of recovery you are in. Yoga might be super helpful! Go for it! It may or may not be hiking and nature. That’s ok too. Find what you like and makes you feel most like the authentic you!
Also, for my Colorado friends, it’s ok to live here and not enjoy hiking, skiing, and doing outdoorsy stuff. We have the power to participate in what we want to participant in each day. Go find what that is for you!