About a year and a half ago, I moved across the country to San Diego. I only knew one person and booked the ticket 10 days before I left. I had fantasized about moving for about a year and a half before I actually did it. While I don’t regret it for a moment, it naturally created a lot of stress in my life.
After staying with my friend for a week, I found another place to stay for a few weeks until I found a more permanent place. That permanent place took six months to materialize, and in the meantime, I slipped back into every one of my worst default tendencies when it came to relationships. For me, my most stressful relationship habits include me emotionally taking care of people and having very poor boundaries.
I ended up living with a woman and her boyfriend, who fought constantly. As someone who is really energetically sensitive, this was extremely difficult for me. But because I was in a new place with literally no friends, I wanted to be liked. Seriously, parts of my personality that had been dormant for years went into overdrive. I didn’t want to speak my truth because I was afraid I wouldn’t be liked, which also would mean I didn’t have a place to stay. So, subconsciously, to avoid that from happening…I did what had always granted me love and acceptance growing up: taking care of people emotionally, letting them vent, and sacrificing my needs for theirs. I thought it’d only be temporary, but as time went by and finding a place wasn’t happening, I started struggling more and more. That’s when I turned to yoga.
I started going to yoga (mostly mellow classes) every single day, sometimes up to three times a day. It was my way to get out of the house and it was perfect for dealing with all the stress that was in my life from my living circumstances and work. Although I didn’t realize it at the time, I was using yoga as a bandaid instead of setting healthy boundaries in my life. My studio was my sanctuary. A place where I could ground myself and get away from it all. But because I wasn’t dealing with the core root of what was causing my stress (poor energetic and personal boundaries), no amount of yoga was going to solve my problems. It just slapped a big old bandaid on them to make them more tolerable. As a result, I wasn’t hitting the pain point that I apparently required to be motivated enough to set boundaries.
The stress of not having healthy boundaries ended up wreaking complete havoc on my body, causing major health issues (my muscles started catabolizing and I completely crashed). If I wasn’t using yoga as a bandaid to manage my stress, I would have probably set boundaries sooner because I wouldn’t have had a choice not to.
Don’t get me wrong, yoga is an amazing addition to life. I still do it every single day! It has helped me immensely with healing my adrenal fatigue. But if you are overdoing yoga to cope with issues in your life, it may be having a bandaid effect that is keeping you from making the changes required to live an authentically balanced and healthy life. I have found that you can’t have a fully healthy body if you are constantly stressed, no matter what you are eating and how much exercise you are doing.
Now, over to you…are you using yoga (or some other healthy lifestyle activity) as a bandaid? What are the real issues you need to work on in your personal and professional life? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below :)