Yoga is NOT the Cure

It is not that we don’t know how to do these things. It’s just that, there is nothing easy about this.

There is a pattern that has been going on for years now. This pattern has shown that different sources want to give a person steps on how to rid yourself of anxiety and depression. These steps can list things like take yoga classes, drink plenty of water, eat healthy, etc. While yes, incorporating a routine that is beneficial for your body helps with your mental health; but this false positive viewpoint that anxiety and depression can be “cured” from a how-to guide you find on google is bullshit. While I am sure the intentions of this information are good, they are all missing a major step.

Here is the thing, people can exercise daily, meditate in the morning., and eat nothing but Kale. But if we do not get to the root of why we are looking for ways to feel better about ourselves, we are not doing the real work. There is no for sure way to stop anxiety or depression from happening. Anxiety is an emotion that can be good or bad. As humans, we will always be anxious one way or another dealing with different situations. You can either be anxious from fear or anxious from excitement. You can react to your anxiety by allowing it to be an obstacle for you or a motivator to chase after your dreams. It really depends on the person. But just like with anything else, too much of something can cause another condition to appear; making it harder to maintain. When we practice self-care and gripping a better control of negative emotions, we can not leave out the uncomfortable parts.

Self-Care

When we talk about self-care, we must understand that self-care is not a one size fits all. When it comes to letting go of past trauma and pain, you have to know what works for you at that particular time. For example, I understand the benefit of being still and controlling my breathing in different positions, but I am not a fan of yoga. Sure, it helps me rest my body for a minute, but yoga is not answering any of the questions I have for the people who put me down. Yoga is not giving me clarity on why I feel the world is against me. And when it gets to that point, I want to hit something. I have the right to be allowed to hit something and so kickboxing is the way to gofer my self-care. Self-care can look like many things and it can include all types of temporary feel goods. But, at the same time, when you are determined to be better mentally, the core work of crying and being open about your pain is essential. Everything else are just buffers to get you back focused to your main goal when your mind disagrees with you. When you start to depend on “how-tos and easy steps” to get over complex matters, you further suppress things you have not gotten over. This leads to long-term effects of lack of vulnerability and a life of denial. You start to distract yourself from unpacking how you view yourself versus how you think the world views you.

Don’t go for easy, go for effective

Lets think about this. If there are simple easy steps to stop anxiety and depression, why are there so many people still looking for answers of why they are so angry or sad? Or why are there more people, especially in the millennial generation, who have admitted to be suffering from depression at a higher rate than generations before us? Why are companies now adding wellness rooms in offices and mental health days in your benefits packages, if this was as simple as getting over a cold? Exactly. From my experience, yoga is not the answer. Let us not get so caught up in trendy activities that paint this picture that life will be completely be okay if you do it. There is still a lot of self reflection, purpose finding, genuine forgiveness, and self accountability that are all a part of self care that needs to be discussed more. It is way more effective.

Depression is bigger than sadness. You can exercise everyday and still feel like you should never have gotten out of bed. You can eat the right foods but still feel like your body is shutting down. You can get your eight hours every night and still feel like you have not slept in days. You can do all the meditation you want and still feel you have zero control over your inner peace. The major key in all of this among other beneficial techniques to create a wellness lifestyle is being comfortable with being uncomfortable. You need to be vulnerable about the things you have convinced yourself to be silence about and reflect on past negative experiences. It will help dissect why you are still hurting after all these years. Without that, you just haven’t done the hard work yet. Once you do the hard work, things will bring a better perspective on who you are and why you are.

Kiara Byrd