Depression, Yoga & Some Perspective Gained

As a person who naturally sways toward a ‘melancholic’ state of mind (at a time it was depression or anxiety - I’m not big into labels these days), but whatever you want to call it….I am a person who has historically struggled at times. That is not so much of an issue for me these days. If my twenties taught me nothing else; they taught me who I am. I am a person who needs to take one day at a time and no matter how well things are going, I can still always have down days and I often do. Instead of feeling like I’ve fallen behind somewhat, nowadays I embrace these days when they happen. I know now that if I have a low day like this, there will generally be 5 good days in its place. Like everything of this life, it is transient and will not last forever. It is balance and I’m ok with that.

For me, some form of structure tends to work well. Mind you, not too much, as I hate to be tied down to anything for too long. My mind is constantly wandering, so staying put for too long is not ever an option for me. My practice on the mat has taught me a great deal about reigning in my overactive mind in everyday life, as well as to be present. My impatience hasn’t escaped me quite yet but I’ve made a vast improvement, I don’t while my days away thinking about where my next move is taking me. The grass is always greener mentality is dangerous for me, it takes me out of the present moment and into an unreachable fantasy land. I’d like to enjoy the grass I’m sitting on, so that when I move along I’m not pining over it - a classic ‘me’ move…I’m working on putting that tendency to bed.

Coming back to the mat for me is a form of structure. Probably the only habitual one I keep as I’m pretty unorganised (again, I’m learning) and my week to week can change vastly. I’ve learned so much about myself which I didn’t instinctively know. It’s been like going to a psychiatrist for the last few years. I’ve learned all of my bad habits and deep rooted issues, as well as where they have come from and why I behave the way I do. This has helped me endlessly in my general understanding of who I am. I think the process is ongoing, I am still uncovering layers from week to week. The more I learn myself, the more I know what I want and more importantly, what I don’t want.

I have never really finished anything I’ve began. That innate wanderlust in me has never allowed it; which is probably why Yoga works so well for me. The practice never ends - it only evolves.

I’ve heard teachers say, ‘the practice doesn’t get easier, you just get stronger.’ I suppose that can be an analogy for depression/anxiety. It never really goes away. But if you know yourself deeply, knowing what triggers you and what soothes your soul, knowing that it comes and goes - like everything in nature, then you can overcome the low points.

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