Anxiety and Yoga:
I often joke about my anxiety, as humour and laughter has always been a great release tool for me, as is the case for many people. However, as much as I joke about my anxiety and nervous nature, at times it has been extremely consuming – something which I do not talk about often. It’s not that I’m ashamed (thankfully the negative stigma associated with mental health has been greatly lifted), it’s just that I try very hard to be super positive so I don’t like to focus on what can be a very dark place for me.
Why am I writing and sharing this? As I write this article it is January 22 – yesterday, Monday, January 21st was “Blue Monday”, considered to be the saddest day of the year. Next week, January 30th, is Bell’s Let’s Talk day – bringing advocacy and awareness to mental health.
I have been very fortunate and blessed with the most supportive family and amazing friends. However, I recognize that many people do not always have the support they need. That’s what is so amazing about organizations like CAMH;
“CAMH is leading the charge to break down stigma and discover the causes and cures for mental illness in Canada and around the world…as Canada’s largest mental health teaching hospital, CAMH sets the standards for care, research, education and leading social change.” (www.camh.ca).
I believe so strongly that mental health and physical health are intrinsically connected. Therefore, MODALIFE is beginning a charity partnership with CAMH to give back and support mental health awareness (stay tuned for more!).
My anxiety truly began in high school. This was also the time I started going to the gym regularly and practicing Pilates and Yoga. I began to realize that being physically active helped decrease my anxiety. As it was a time where I could be focused on what was happening physically in my body, so that my mind had the opportunity to “turn off” my whirlwind of anxious thoughts. Being able to step away from this mindset, would allow my mind to reset and see things from a different perspective.
When I opened MODALIFE in September 2017, I was determined to make MODALIFE a place where clients could feel like they were stepping into a relaxing oasis. A place where they could come for an hour and put any negativity aside, focus on themselves and give their mind a vacation for an hour. I chose the name “MODA” because it means “great joy” in Sanskrit – the exact feeling I want each and everyone of my clients to experience with MODALIFE.
Early 2017 was an extremely trying time for me, as well as my family – one of those years that the expression “when it rains, it pours” was VERY accurate. A few months prior to opening MODALIFE, I was in an extremely anxious and dark place, but the best way for me to escape from my own thoughts was going to the gym or attending classes. I would literally attend two back to back classes and then put my headphones on and run on the treadmill for two miles. Although I would be able to “teach” myself a lot of what I was doing in these classes, I found that by getting out and listening to others’ instructions allowed me to zone out. All I needed to do during this time was listen to what someone else was saying – someone who was assisting me with my health and to make me feel better. I also found comfort that I could be somewhere surrounded by people, but not one person knew what had happened in my life or what I was going through. I could feel like my normal self when for most of the day I felt like a ghost of myself. It brought me back to a good reality, but allowed me to escape from the negative reality.
When I was given the opportunity to open my own studio, I jumped at the idea. I wanted to combine my passions of beauty, health and wellness, underpinned by the idea of making people feel happy and good about themselves – even if just for an hour! One of the nicest compliments I can receive is when a client tells me that they leave the studio feeling positive.
So in the spirit of Mental Health Awareness day, please consider supporting and donating:
BELL LET’S TALK https://letstalk.bell.ca/en/