How Yoga Gave Me Anxiety

Ok I’m exaggerating slightly.

But my panic attack was induced by something related to yoga.

When I started doing yoga a few years agI I just wanted to do what my friend did (it was a headstand) because it looked cool. However as I grew in my practice I realised that it was good for my soul. Whenever I got on the mat, I felt a calm that I had not experienced elsewhere. I felt beautiful, strong and at peace whenever I did yoga. And when I came to that realisation I immediately realised that I wanted to share that experience with others.

Well to cut a story short: I began teaching people in the park and it was amazing. The appreciation and the dedication I saw on their faces was remarkable. That made me realise that I wanted to make this whole thing official: I wanted to become a registered yoga teacher.

Let me state this now: yoga teacher training is bloody EXPENSIVE! 200hr teacher training can go for about USD 1500. That does not include travel, accommodation and any other expenses you might incur. And teacher training was never held in Namibia; the closest country for teacher training was South Africa and only at specific times in specific cities.

So imagine my delight when I discovered that yoga teacher training was coming to Namibia. On top of that, a full bursary was being offered to one individual?

I apologise. I’m writing in past tense when the training is yet to happened and the bursary is still up for grabs. The organisers made the concept of winning the bursary very easy. One simply needs to get as many likes as possible to get an interview and stand a chance to win the bursary.

Simple right!

Entry to the competition is very simple.

  1. You post a picture of yourself with your name and mantra.
  2. You share your picture with all your Facebook contacts and ask them to like the picture
  3. Everyone gets one vote every 24 hours
  4. When the competition ends on April 24th, the top four in Windhoek, Cape Town, Johannesburg and Pretoria will be interviewed and one person in each city will walk away with the bursary.

So how exactly did that give me anxiety?

People who joined the challenge after me had and continue to have 4 times the amount of likes/votes on their pictures. It’s as though this competition has placed a mirror in front of me and I don’t like what I see. I see a girl that’s lonely and alone; a girl that’s unable to make friends or make an impact in the world. I have always felt weird and out of place, and this challenge seemed to highlight that fact.

Why are people not voting for me? Do people know that I exist? Am I simply that person that exists to only help others realise their dreams? Why is it that I believe I don’t deserve the best?

I tried to answer these questions but they only left me feeling more isolated and afraid. I was back to being that little girl who was never wanted by her father. I was back to being reminded that I’m that odd girl that no one seems to want to be associated with. My psychologist says that my brain is very good at playing tricks on me and what I thin isn’t actual reality. However can I truly say I’m socially acceptable or tolerable if I have an inability to connect with people.

I wish I could explain to people how alone I feel everyday. I wish I could show people how that isolation grows everyday, and how much I crave for human interaction. I fear that for the rest of my life I’ll be looked at as this mistake that everyone wishes to ignore; the crazy girl that didn’t know how to speak to people.

I’m scared and afraid and unable to fully articulate how much I’m hurting because of this (self inflicted) isolation.