Hi, my name is Erin and I’m an addict . . . When I first tried it I wasn’t even sure that I liked it. I only did it once a week, and most of the time I fell asleep at the end. Then I started seeking it out more often, but only when I needed to relax a little, you know? Life was crazy and I needed something to take the edge off. I figured I could stop whenever I wanted, and I never did it alone or first thing in the morning. Then it became more of a regular thing. I started to really like the way it made me feel. I was happy when I was doing it, and the good feeling would linger for a while after. But by the next day it faded and I needed another fix. Now things have escalated. Sometimes I wake up before my alarm goes off just to do it. I would rather go home early to do it, rather than stay up late partying. Sometimes I do it in my car, at the store, even at work. I changed jobs just so I could fit more of it in! I find myself chanting my mantra at the mall, striking poses at dinner parties, practicing breathing exercises while stuck in traffic. I need it just to get through the day, sometimes more than once a day! Occasionally I try to replace it with other things like drinking wine, gossiping with friends, or shopping, but they just don’t give me the same feeling. These pursuits seem empty and ineffective, compared to what I really crave. And the thing is, I’m not alone. I found places where I can go to meet others like me. We talk about our obsession; sometimes we even practice it together! People I love have started to notice changes in me. They say I seem calm, content, even blissful. It’s affecting my relationships too. I get along with people better, I rarely argue anymore. And when things just get to be too much and I stress out or blow up, I take a deep breath and it takes me right back to myself again. At this point I don’t think I can ever quit, and you know what? I don’t want to. The 8-limbed path of yoga and meditation is one that I will follow for the rest of my life.
August 15, 2013