Last January, when I first started attending yoga classes, I was depressed and felt like I was going nowhere in life. I was stressed out at work, I couldn't face my parents and my finances were very bad. I'd just been discharged from my bankruptcy filing, and I was drinking and partying a lot.
One night at a nightclub, I suddenly felt lonely in a crowded room. I even felt lonely around my so-called friends. The next day I picked up the Bible and read a few verses. I asked God for help and forgiveness.
Then I picked up a yoga book I purchased a few years ago. I attempted some of the exercises and thought to myself, "This seems really cool." That's when I looked for a class in the phone book.
When I attended the first class, I suddenly realized my life would never be the same again and it could only go up. Over the next few months, I made a commitment to myself to practice yoga at home when time would permit. I help manage a restaurant and have to put in long hours. I also made the commitment to go to at least one yoga class a week.
I gave up the bottle for good last May. I then started spending more quality time with my parents. I put together a budget I'm comfortable with, and my finances have improved greatly. A lot of things started to happen quicker than my cynical self could ever imagine. With my quality of life improving, a lot of stress had been taken off my shoulders, allowing me to focus better at work. My job has just seemed to get easier and I'm more relaxed, less moody and get more accomplished.
I've also been motivated to do more things to broaden my horizons. I have always taken an interest in ballet but never had the motivation to ever sign up for a class. In about three weeks, when the fall dance season starts, I'll be attending my first ballet class at age 30. I'm ecstatic.
Yoga has opened up a whole new world to me. Being a quiet, shy person by nature, which I've now learned to accept and embrace, I thank yoga for letting me believe in myself and live again.
DIANE UTASKI can be contacted by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.