Inner Reflections
May 27, 2024

The Power to Live

Most of us don’t come to yoga and meditation because our lives are going exceptionally well. We’re often brought to the mat because of a sudden crisis, and while this isn’t universally true, I’ve found that it’s a rare person who comes to yoga when life is at its best. 

My crisis came as a college student facing the sudden onset of anxiety. These panic attacks would arise at unpredictable moments leaving me with the feeling that I would faint, throw up, or both. Eventually, I wanted to leave my apartment less and less, afraid that one of these attacks would happen in public and I would have nowhere safe to care for myself. Finally, out of desperation, I called my mom.

During that call to my mom, I explained how I felt the anxiety was a symptom of something within me that was asking to be seen. We came up with a plan: go to acupuncture, start meditating again, and begin going to yoga. 

I had never been an athlete. Growing up I was small and afraid of discomfort. I lacked a growth mindset and I was completely disconnected from nature and my body. Looking back, this disconnect was likely the main source of my anxiety. I had spent so much time numbing and avoiding what I was feeling with school work, paid work, substance abuse and socializing and it was all finally catching up with me. The idea of going to a yoga class literally terrified me. I imagined it would be like a dance class and I would be the idiot in the corner who knew none of the steps and was holding everyone back making a fool of myself. But I showed up anyway. 

When I arrived at that first class, I unrolled my brand-new sticky mat. It made this horrible sound that filled the room literally announcing me as a total newcomer. I cowered in the corner waiting for class to begin, making myself as small as possible. The class was the perfect mixture of strength and spirit. I felt challenged and supported, overwhelmed and yet fully accepted. I watched in awe as people from all walks of life navigated poses such as chaturanga with grace as I collapsed to the floor in a sweaty heap. When the class finally came to an end, Savasana was bliss. I felt light and finally free. 

Yoga was not love at first sight for me, but I kept going back. Even if I went weeks or months without attending a class, something inside of me eventually drew me back to my mat. My anxiety dissipated and my life began to drastically change. How I spoke to myself, how I wanted to spend my time, how I wanted to eat and nourish my body, what was important to me in my relationships, the work I wanted to do, and my values all began to shift and they initiated key questions that forever altered the course of my life. 

I created The Power to Live, a new program comprised of 30 daily talks with actionable tools to take off your mat and into your life, because maybe the worst of your crisis has passed, maybe you’ve fallen in love with yoga, and now you’re wondering, “why is this practice so dramatically changing my life?” What is it about yoga that is so powerful? How is it that a seemingly simple practice can be having such an important impact on your soul? 

Over the 30 days of this program, we will venture to answer some of these questions, talking about the aspects of yoga practice, yoga philosophy, research and science that demonstrate why yoga is so powerful. This program is simply an offering, a consolidation of the practices, teachings, and tools that forever transformed my life and my greatest hope is that by sharing them with you, you too experience the power to live. 

Ready to start this powerful journey with Lauren? Check out her new program, “The Power to Live,” streaming exclusively on IDM TV.

By Lauren