I was stressed out. More than I’d ever been.
It was 2004 and I was a sales and marketing director at a fancy golf club. I had a lot of responsibility and worked very long days where I was required to be “on.” There were a lot of internal and external pressures to perform above and beyond.
Sometimes in the middle of the night, I would wake up staring at the blinking red light on my Blackberry that meant I had a new email. I couldn’t help but check it. When I did, my mind would go crazy and I couldn’t fall back asleep.
As time went by I was becoming more and more tired and stressed. I felt like no matter how hard I worked or how much I achieved, it was never enough.
I knew I needed to do something to calm my mind and reduce my stress. I also knew that it was me who needed to take full responsibility for what I did and how I felt.
For Christmas that year, my aunt gave me an audio CD with 20 minutes of morning and evening yoga with meditation. I had heard about the emotional, mental and physical benefits from these practices, so I decided to give them a try.
When I practiced after work, I was able to transition from a stressful day into a relaxing evening at home. It helped me let go of my thoughts related to work and really be present in my personal life.
When I practiced in the morning, I noticed my communication at work improved. My energy was more grounded and peaceful. I felt more positive and I wasn’t taking things personally or reacting to other people nearly as much.
Overall, I became a much happier person. And nothing had changed on the outside — these changes came from within because of my practice.
I was hooked. For the next three years, I practiced this audio CD with yoga instructors Rodney Yee and Patricia Walden just about every day.
And I have been practicing yoga and meditation ever since.