How Yoga Saved My Life (and Sanity)

Updated: Nov 12, 2018

Hi! I’m Alison, Al, or Ali and I have been practicing yoga for 13 years. I still can’t do a handstand without my friend (the wall), but that doesn’t matter because the things my yoga practice have done for me are immeasurable. Over the years, my love for yoga, and its many forms, have grown and changed, went silent, went over the top, and made me broke (thanks Lululemon and CorePower apparel shop), ALL.THE.THINGS…..

I’ve used my yoga practice to maintain fitness or weight, sometimes to ease my mind, for naps in savasana, and at times for a home when my home was less than ideal place for me. I’ve talked until I’ve been blue in the face to my friends and family about why they should do yoga too. I would say things to them like: “the music is so calming”, “you will build confidence”, “you will meet new people”, and "the yoga pants make your booty look good", but with all this blabber if you are anything like me, you might find that yoga distinctly changes or even saves your life (if I’m being dramatic, as I tend to be :). Let me be clear: Yoga can help you through any major life change, good or bad. Yoga is able to give you the fearlessness (abhaya) and self love that you need to move toward becoming the best version of yourself. Let me count the ways yoga can help:

Confidence. Built from our work on the core. Discover that public speaking or meeting new people isn’t that scary.

Courage. Try something new off or on the mat or maybe gain the strength to cope with a chronic illness, anxiety, depression, infertility, or loss of a loved one or pet.

Comfy Clothes. No more jeans because OUCH! How cute are yoga pants with a sweater and boots?

Less booze and unhealthy food choices. To relax, breathing techniques and/or mantras work better than booze. I was quite the Wino and still like to indulge here and there, but I no longer drink to relieve anxiety.

Trust. In the universe and your individual journey. A consistent yoga practice can help you let go of anger about the past and fears about the unknown future

Friends, confidants, business connections. Yoga has introduced me to an entirely new network of friends and yoga is always more fun with a buddy. I have gotten jobs, found my therapy practice rental space, sold a condo,

Chicago Street Yoga Photography with Stephanie G

and traveled the world with people I’ve met through yoga. Who would have known?!

I could go on and on, but I’ll let you experience it for yourself and hopefully you will want to make your own list. Come check out a class with the yoga crew at Pulling Down the Moon or Zen Yoga Garage. All of us instructors have our individual styles of this ancient practice and we will help you keep your calm (and have a little FUN) during whatever journey you may be on.

Alison Lautz, LCSW, RYT

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