Author: Eryl McCaffrey
It’s been a long and winding road to get to where I am today: a happy and healthy yoga teacher and wellness writer. I was told as a young teen that there was something wrong with my brain and the only way to fix it was with medication. This seemed far too easy and short-term for me, even at that age. I knew there would always be the truth hiding behind layers of medication. The truth was and still is that I have all that I need within myself to be happy, peaceful and powerful. I did not have a severe chemical imbalance thankfully, and knew I could heal myself from the inside out. How? I didn’t know that part (yet) but I made a commitment to staying open to new ideas and practices.
I had practiced yoga as a young teen with my dad’s old yoga handbook from the 70’s but didn’t make it a regular part of my life until a few years ago. I came back from a volunteer trip to Costa Rica feeling inspired, yet lost and found my feet at a yoga studio in Oakville called Power Yoga Canada. It was challenging, but I felt alive for the first time in years! All of my pent-up frustration and pain seemingly poured out of my body in sweat and onto my mat for good. It wasn’t long before I became addicted to yoga. Soon enough, I was healing from the inside out and I could finally pat myself on the back for trusting that I could find a natural way to brighten my mind.
Yoga has been there for me through thick and thin, miles beyond the capabilities of a doctor recommended pill. My mat was by my side ready to catch me through break-ups, deaths, weight gains and losses, career changes, moves, depression and anxiety. When I thought I had nothing to live for, I lived for the promise of that hot room and my moving body. The rewarding path in life is not the easy one. It’s the one you know you must follow in your heart, but fear to do so. On the true path you’ll want to quit, take the easy way out, give in, give up and hide. You won’t though, because beyond the frustration and suffering is transformation of your mind, body and soul!
I’m now teaching yoga and writing about health and wellness and I couldn’t be happier! It took some trials and tribulations to get here, but boy am I glad I listened to my intuition. I understand some people have chemical imbalances and require medical treatment, I don’t mean to disprove the fact that some people do require medication. I simply want to share my experience that fighting anxiety and depression through fitness proved to be better than a flimsy Band-Aid of a prescription over my wounds.
Many studies show that exercise has better long term effects on mental health than anti-depressant medication. This Harvard published article, covers a follow up study that showed those who exercised over taking anti-depressants were less likely to relapse into sever depression.
Look deeper, listen to your heart and trust that you already have all that you need inside yourself to feel the way you want to feel and be the way you want to be!
**Neither Eryl nor anyone at HealthSouls.com is a doctor or medical specialist. If you want to learn more about exercise vs. medication, click here. Before making any decisions, please contact your doctor or health specialist**
About the Author: Eryl McCaffrey is a Yoga Teacher and Freelance Writer from Toronto, Ontario. She says yoga wakes her up physically and mentally and allows her to step into authenticity and power! Eryl’s especially passionate about using yoga to heal mental health and body image issues.