Banana Bread, Dogs, and Yoga, Oh My!
Hello fellow readers! I’m Sofia and I’m a graphic designer from Australia currently living in Dallas, Texas. If you told me in the beginning of the year that I would have a new hairy co-worker and I’ll make banana bread at least twice a week, I would say you’re ridiculous. But that’s my reality now as I type this blog post from the comfort of my home eating banana bread with my dog sleeping at my feet.
Ever since I was 6 years-old, I played tennis and it was a routine up till I finished college in 2016. Since then, I looked to weight training at the gym to keep a steady exercise routine. From Monday to Friday I would focus on a muscle group at the gym after work despite how I felt because you know, I’m a hard ass. However, due to the COVID-19 situation and to ensure everyone practices safe-distancing, the gyms were closed. I now had no routine and it was a bit scary for me. However, I realized how much I was focusing on how I looked instead of focusing on how exercising made me feel.
It’s a really stressful time for me. I am thousands of miles away from my family in Australia and my visa status stresses me out. I needed a coping mechanism other than binge watching 90 Day Fiancé (which surprisingly was stressful because it’s about visas). My husband suggested an app called Down Dog which was giving yoga classes for free for the next couple months. I thought to myself, why does my husband want me to stretch for 45 minutes? It wasn't until I did one class and realized what the big fuss was about.
Yoga was a lot more mentally demanding than I realized. You’re holding a lot of stretches and poses that you usually don’t do for long periods of time. It’s almost like you learn to be comfortable being uncomfortable and trusting that you will be okay after the long pose/stretch. Yoga also allows you to focus on controlling your breathing which is a great technique to have at times you feel anxious. All the stretches, poses, and breathing techniques were exactly what I needed. Nothing is comfortable about this new lifestyle COVID-19 has presented to us all and learning to be comfortable in the uncomfortable moments can help us adapt and have a healthier mindset. I really want to keep focusing on my yoga practice and positive mindset so it eventually becomes autonomous and carries out to all aspects of my life.
I’ve been doing yoga consistently for 2 months now and I honestly feel like I changed mentally. I used to get fired up about things out of my control and easily irritated when I couldn’t do my graphic designing quick enough and perfect enough. But right now, I’m a bit more relaxed and feel like I’m getting comfortable with adapting to my surroundings. I also don’t feel as physically tired as I did when I was weight training. I’m not playing a sport anymore so I don’t have to force myself to lift heavy things when the heaviest thing I lifted today was 5 pounds of cheese from Costco into the fridge.
Don’t get it twisted, this isn’t a cult post saying that yoga is the answer to everything (JOIN US) but it’s weird that it took a global pandemic for me to slow down and focus on improving my mental health. I just hope that this blog post can help inspire people to find their ~zen~ and focus on strengthening their mental health.