Finding Balance Through Yoga, Not the “Supposed To’s” of Life

By: Jenelle Seamands

I began my yoga journey at a time when I was beyond stressed out- physically, mentally, and emotionally.

I was an employer’s dream. I truly believed the path to success meant long hours and ensuring everything was taken care of- you name it, I did it. I worked diligently and became really good at figuring out who I was “supposed” to be, what I was “supposed” to do according to societal expectations. You work hard and you’ll be rewarded, the more work the greater the reward, and I took that pretty literally. So I kept working, and working, and working. Because work=success and success=happiness. (Who me? “Type A”? Naah… ☺).

Needless to say, in an effort to keep everything organized, I lost track of myself. I was really confused and scared. So I decided to try yoga, because those yogis always look so relaxed. Over time, things gradually started to shift in me. I didn’t feel as stressed out, I became aware of things I was habitually doing for so long without even realizing it (like never really taking a full breath, the kind from deep down in your belly). And man it felt good. It all just started to feel so good, even when I was sore. I started to realize it wasn’t a certain idea of success that I was chasing all those years, it was a feeling.

We spend so much time being influenced by external stimuli that as we’re connecting to all our devices, we’re disconnecting from ourselves. Yoga reinforces that inner connection. That’s why you see people close their eyes when they do yoga, they’re recharging their soul.

And I’ll tell you a secret about yoga. It doesn’t have to be hard. You don’t have to be flexible or perfect to do it. You just need to be authentic. Yes it can get uncomfortable, but so can life. You learn to find comfort in uncomfortable situations, first on the mat and then slowly but surely, off the mat. You develop the tools you can use throughout your life that you never had to reach for because you discover you had them inside the whole time. And that’s true success to me.