Student Spotlight - Pine Rivers Yoga - Brisbane, Australia

Student Spotlight

Hannah (reprinted from our Facebook page)

This is Hannah.... Thank you Hannah for sharing your story...
We come to Yoga for many reasons... Take a couple of minutes to read about Hannah's touching and courageous journey.

Hi Im Hannah, 21, and I'm doing my yoga teacher training...sometimes I have to pinch myself to make sure I'm not dreaming. I only had my very first yoga experience a little over a year ago. It was a yoga therapy session with Ruth at Pine Rivers Yoga. It took about 10 minutes on the mat and I was hooked. It was the first time I can ever remember being present in my body and not wanting to escape or distract myself. At the time I was an inpatient at a mental health clinic and had been for the past 16 months full time. I had chronic depression, anxiety, PTSD, extreme tendencies toward self harm, an eating disorder and had attempted suicide more than once. Medications didn't work, Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT/electric shock) didn't work and I spent most of my time as a zombie on very strong sedatives as an attempt to keep me under control. 2 months after starting yoga and practising in my hospital room and in the hallways I was discharged and have not been back as an inpatient since.
From the first time on the mat and even since starting the teacher training course just 6 months after that, I have come so far. I owe a lot of that to regular practice and a new framework for viewing the world and myself in it - my true Self which is separate from my sometime irate and dominating mind and my body which is so flawed. It has been a crazy journey, and very exciting but not easy in any way. There have been many ups and downs, lots of tears, days I didn't want to get out of bed, fears, doubts, frustrations, etc. And I wouldn't say I've reached the other side yet, but I'm getting pretty close.
Without yoga as a catalyst and invaluable tool in my recovery I would possibly not be alive and certainly not in this head space. That is what motivates me to continue for myself. To then be able to share it with others is just as rewarding. The highlight of almost every week is assisting in class at a retirement village where we make light of hearing aids, creaky joints, and bodies that wont listen, but we have a good time and laugh a lot and at at the end of the class there are more smiles on faces, spines that are a little straighter, heads a little more lifted and chests a little more open and I chuckle to myself every time that 96 year old Margaret lifts her knees up to her chest while others, much younger, struggle to reach their own knees. I want to be like Margaret when I'm her age. Full of life and flexible.