After all of the ritual abuse that I went through (which happened in group settings) and all the trauma I went through in AA, I’m really terrified of group settings, and really of people in general. I prefer to stay home to do things like exercise. I do yoga at home with an app called Gaia.com, where I pay a monthly membership and have access to a bunch of yoga videos. Currently I’ve been doing the power yoga series by Rodney Yee, which is a level 2 yoga. It’s only 20 minutes long though. Although I can do power yoga for that amount of time, though, my overall stamina for yoga is low.
About a month ago a flyer showed up on my door. A local studio is/was having a yoga series for chronic pain. I was hesitant to go, though, because it is two hours long, which is beyond the time that I can usually do for yoga.
So I called up the instructor and she said that the first hour is lecture and discussion, followed by 45 minutes of yoga. I told her that I have Chronic Active Epstein Barr Viral Syndrome and can only do about 20-30 minutes of yoga at a time. She told me that I can always stop at any time if I get tired. So I signed up for the class.
What I didn’t realize is how terrified I would be in a group setting. When I got there and sat down, my heart was racing so much that I felt like I was going to have a heart attack. I was just so full of fear. And, I had a lot of worries. What if someone from AA shows up and tries to tell me to go back? Of course I would say no but that would trigger my PTSD. What is there are religious or spiritual references, or references that are 12 step in nature? Anything like that triggers my PTSD badly too, so I was worried.
In the end, though, it all went well. There was no religious/spiritual bent to it, which was refreshing to me. I’ve rarely in my life been in group settings outside of school or work that did not have some sort of religion or spirituality to them, and most of these groups have been cults. So it was really nice to me to be in a group of people where wellness was the focus rather than that. Plus, I can’t be around anything religious anyways. Also, I didn’t hear any 12 step terminology, so that was good. The yoga was quite easy, too, and was mostly guided meditations. Still, it was hard for me to lay still because of my ADHD. I fidgeted a few times and couldn’t keep my eyes closed. After the class, I did tell the instructor that I have ADHD and she said that this kind of practice is actually quite good for that, even though it was hard for me in some ways in comparison to more aerobic practices.
The people there seemed nice, too. The class is a four week series so hopefully I’ll make some friends. Still, I’m pretty sure that I was the youngest person there at 37.
I might try out a general yoga class at that studio later this week. If I do, I’ll tell the instructor ahead of time that I have health conditions and likely won’t make it through the total class (it’s an hour and fifteen minutes). Still, I want to try. The last time I went to a yoga studio (it was a hot yoga studio) I made it about 25 minutes or so. I was more out of shape then, though, then I am now.
I’m very proud of myself for doing this. It’s a big step for me. It’s also really good for me to get involved in something positive and non-religious. I’m glad that I’m doing this yoga series.
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