Yesterday I went to a yoga class after an almost three year hiatus, and I am already feeling the benefits.

Stress and anxiety are things that pretty much every person deals with from time to time, and it's never a fun experience. I will be the first to admit that I am a very stressed out person, and a lot of that has to do with my anxiety disorder. It's something that I've struggled with since I was very young, and has only become worse with age. I realize that there are some incredibly helpful medications out there that many people I know and love take on a daily basis, but I've never felt like the medication route was right for me. I like to look for ways to manage my anxiety on my own, which can be very tricky sometimes. That's where yoga comes in.

A few years ago, one of my best friends suggested that I come to her yoga studio and try out a class with her. I was open to it, but I was a little nervous at first. I had no idea what I was doing and I was scared of making an idiot of myself. Those fears quickly subsided when I realized that yoga is all about reflection and getting in touch with YOURSELF. Nobody is making fun of you, nobody is judging your poses; everybody is focused on bettering themselves.

I originally tried yoga solely for the exercise, but I ended up loving it for other reasons. I find it very difficult to let things go and put things out of my mind, but somehow, during yoga, nothing else seems to matter. Not only am I fully comfortable in my own skin, but I am at peace with my never-resting brain, as well. Plus, yoga offers a physical challenge that I really enjoy. Until last night, I had forgotten how tricky it was! My body is super sore today, but it's the good kind of sore!

For anybody, man or woman, that struggles with constant stress, anxiety, and/or depression, maybe give yoga a try. It's not for everyone, but it's definitely worth a shot! There are a ton of yoga studios here in Cedar Rapids that offer all sorts of classes for all different experience levels. Go in with a good attitude and a willingness to learn, and it really could help you in ways you never expected.

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