Prana.

The bad days will always exist. They may not be as frequent, but they’re there. They tend to creep up at night or early in the morning when the world is still quiet—when I don’t have much noise to distract me from them. It’s been a long road learning how to deal with them; how to not let them suffocate me.

I became a bit of a yogi, and I only use that word now as a result of how it transformed me. I had practiced yoga in high school and college, but I was competitive. I always had to be the most flexible or try the most advanced poses. I never listened to my breath, nor my body for that matter. When my anxiety became more prevalent, I returned to the practice after discussing the benefits with my counselor…only this time I was alone. I didn’t have anyone that I needed to be “better” than. I had my mat on the floor of my bedroom, fully prepared to go into those poses like they were nothing, and I struggled. Suddenly, it was another thing to be angry about; another thing to remind me I wasn’t enough anymore.

I collapsed. I fell into child’s pose: I let my hands stretch out before me. I let my ribs expand along my thighs at every inhale. I let my eyes go blind to any imperfection they were focusing on. And then it hit me—this wave of release that felt like it knocked the wind out of me for a moment and I allowed myself to cry out all the tension. There was this soft rhythm that came with it; every inhale became a little deeper, every exhale a little louder.

I practiced more regularly after that. Sometimes my mat is stained with tears after savasana; sometimes I stay there all night. It has become a sacred time to me: I pray, I meditate, but the greatest thing I’ve started to do is forgive. For so long I had to prove to myself that I was good enough—I had to be the best, I had to seem perfect. You see, the thing is…I’m not perfect. I never will be, nor do I want to be, but I am enough. I am enough and, even through those bad days, I’m still okay.

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