It was during my own recovery from anorexia nervosa that I found Yoga. I wasn't aware of how it was going to help me at the time. In August 2014, after going to different therapists and doctors because I was feeling deeply depressed, unable to let go of the control I had created around my weight, food intake and exercising, my family chose to send me to a mental health children's hospital. I was 18 years old, I stayed there as an in-patient for 4 months. I was only allowed visits once a week, I had a room alone, no phones or computers were allowed, I was forced to sit with myself and my sickness. I do not know if this is the best way to treat someone with severe depression and an eating disorder but it worked for me.
My mother has always been into meditation and yoga but it had never appealed to me before. Since I had tried everything and I was desperate to start feeling something again I decided to give it a go and started practicing in my hospital room, under strict supervision of course. Every time I unrolled my mat, I was faced with the same challenge; I had to choose to be gentle with myself instead of giving in to my overexercising addiction. This is when I realised I was the only one who could save me. Just like I was the only one who could kill me. It was about making the decision every day, every minute, every meal, to choose ME over my sickness. Tough one. To this day, I still have to make that decision every time I am faced with a trigger.
“Every time I unrolled my mat, I was faced with the same challenge; I had to choose to be gentle with myself instead of giving in to my overexercising addiction."
I soon realised what doctors were saying was indeed true; as my body got healthier, my mind got clearer and my willpower stronger. It was a revelation; if I actually took good care of my body, fed it well and moved it just enough, it would allow me to experience life in its most beautiful way. I learned to be grateful for every emotion, whether good or bad, because 'no feelings' is a dark place where I never want to go back to. I regained trust in my body's ability to support me. I understood that a healthy body cannot work without a healthy mind and a healthy mind cannot work without a healthy body.
Today I chose my mission to be supporting those with depression, anxiety and eating disorders or anyone who feels disconnected to their body; who feels their body and their mind to be the enemy. I want to help people regain trust in their body's ability to move, feel and create. It is not an easy journey but as my favourite saying says:
"The only way out is always through."
I created "self-acceptance yoga" to help those who, like me, suffer from eating disorders, from feeling disconnected and uncomfortable in their bodies. Learn more about Self-Acceptance Yoga and how I can help you here.