I'm going to be completely honest here, so please be gentle!
I have suffered with anxiety on and off for years, with a sprinkling of OCD and postnatal depression thrown in for good measure. On good days I struggle to remember why I get anxious, it always seems so trivial... but on bad days it's difficult to see a way out. Yoga is my way out, I know that, but when the anxiety has a good grip it takes a lot to get myself on to that mat. There are days when I really have to force myself, and I actively avoid it. I tell myself that there are far more important things to be done, like house work or catching up on emails. But in reality there is nothing more important than self care.
Yoga is my happy place; it not only keeps my body healthy, it keeps my mind and spirit healthy too. As a wife, mother, daughter, friend, there are so many roles and responsibilities that I take on, and so many people I feel the need to take care of. So much of the time I forget that wise saying - 'you cannot pour from an empty cup'. When I feel like I'm failing in my roles and the anxiety is taking a hold, 100% of the time it is because I have forgotten to take care of me.
It is all too easy to dismiss yourself as not being important, or not worthy of time out for just you. Especially as a mother, the guilt that comes with taking a little 'me time' away from your children can sometimes be overwhelming. But it is so important to take that time, to care for yourself, to love yourself. Not only for your benefit, but for the benefit of those around you. This is why I get on my mat, even when I don't feel like it. Because as soon as I do, I feel whole again. I feel re-balanced, refreshed and able to give more to those I love. Yoga is my happy place, and it has saved me emotionally, physically and spiritually more times than I can count.
YogaBellies Teacher - Worcestershire