As I pass my one-year anniversary of being depression-free, I see no better time to introduce myself and show how yoga has changed my life. My name is Sarah Humphries, I live in Corinth with my wonderful husband, hilarious daughter and adorable kitty. My interest in yoga began when I was in high school but I was too afraid to reach out and try something new. Since then, yoga seemed like the kind of thing I could enjoy, but was ever out of reach.
Then, in May of 2013 my life gloriously changed forever. My daughter was born and everything I thought I knew about myself and my day-to-day life was completely upended. I found myself swimming among the joys and fatigue of new motherhood, and somewhere deep down I was drowning. Though my daughter was the brightest thing in my life, I struggled to feel joy. I became frustrated at the smallest things, hopeless at my seeming incapacity to succeed at mommyhood. I was exhausted and frustrated with myself for not being the blissful new mom I wanted to be. My identity was completely shrouded by everything I wanted to be but wasn’t.
One day, during a nap that was hard-fought but successful, I decided to try yoga. I couldn’t physically go anywhere since my babe was asleep, but the internet is a plethora of information, and I thought ‘Surely there is something out there I can try.”
In my living room I began my journey, feeling inadequate at times (cheers to planks!), but day-by-day seeing the changes grow in my body and mind. Yoga helped me feel empowered, not hopeless, and through the routine of yoga, I was able to identify that I was not a terrible, inadequate mom, but I was suffering from post-partum depression.
In the spring of 2015, I had a friend (hi, Kelly!) who was passionate about yoga and loved the teachers at Inspire challenge me to go and try it out, especially since the first class is free. I was completely nervous about the entire idea. I felt tons of insecurities about trying a new thing, especially in front of strangers. But I kept thinking about it, seeing free classes approach as the Denton studio neared its opening date and my excuses became less and less legitimate. As I practiced at home I realized I couldn’t let my fear overrule my dreams. My journey isn’t over, and neither is anyone else’s. June of this year I finally tried a slow flow class on Saturday. It was hot, full of other people, and I struggled to finish. But then it was over, and I had done it! Other people had seen me practice, I had totally struggled, and yet I felt great!
Fear is an unworthy barrier to joy.
From the beginning, yoga has been a practice that challenges my perfectionism. I cannot arrive to class expecting to be a success. The teachers at Inspire have helped me grow physically and encouraged me to practice from my heart, not my ego. These days I practice at Inspire several times a week. I set myself up in the front of class so that I focus only on my practice and not what I fear others might think. I’m the girl who falls in class when trying something new, because the safe road isn’t enough. I sometimes practice in a sports bra, not because I’ve got the perfect body, but because class is hot and life is too short to listen to my own body shaming thoughts. Flexibility of body means nothing without a caring heart. Wherever my life goes, I plan to continue to practice yoga. I’m thankful for it’s impact on my life and for the community at Inspire Yoga who continually challenge me to be authentic, not perfect. Strength is in the trying, not the doing.
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