Ann Marie Elliott: I know I can do great things
Our students all possess a unique story on how this practice has impacted their life. Each has their own reason for walking through the doors at The Hot Room. They have all experienced some form of transformation from this practice. During the month of October, we will be sharing several student and staff stories to acknowledge their transformations. Get ready to be inspired and read on about Ann Marie's transformation at The Hot Room:
The best answers don't often come all at once. Sometimes they reveal themselves in a slow burn, until you suddenly realize the world has changed. Things have improved. You've come through to another side of your journey.
I'm no stranger to searching for answers. I've struggled with my mental health for as long as I can remember. An eating disorder, wrong diagnoses, and hospitalization. Lost friends and relationships. I moved to the other side of the world to get away from myself (which anyone who has done this can attest is never a good idea).
It's been a long road: starting treatment, quitting treatment, new doctors, therapists, and diagnoses, new meds, ups, and downs. I met a psychiatrist who told me I had Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and things started to click.
I still can't believe it took me so long to find The Hot Room.
I struggled on and off meds. Had an extremely inconsistent yoga practice, and wrestled with my mental health, my disordered eating, and general outlook on life. The unpredictability of everything gave me such an overwhelming sense of dread.
The minute I stepped into the heat, things started to shift in a way they never had before.
I've got to be honest, I hated my first Original Hot Yoga class. I barely made it through, felt awful, and went home talking about how I had no idea how I would ever do it again.
But then I did. And I sucked. And I did it again. And I sucked less. Suddenly, my brain felt like it was putting itself in order. I had done yoga before, but never in this type of heat. Never in a place where I was so supported to grow my practice.
I started having conversations with those around me, laughing, and saying “yoga keeps my brain organized”. I signed up for Hot Power Vinyasa Teacher Training. I started to love bikram. Doors opened for me to live authentically and love deeply.
For years I was waiting for an answer to smack me in the face. I was determined to flip a switch and be better, and it never worked that way.
Yoga wasn't the answer. Wanting to change was an answer. Talking to people and seeking help was an answer.
The heat was an answer, lowering my cortisol levels. The postures were an answer, learning to hold strength where I needed and softness where I could allow rest. The demands of the room were an answer, as every little thing I do to my body shows up in there: did I sleep enough? Eat enough of the right things? Have a drink too many? Have I been caring for my body?
The healing was an answer. Filling my cup with the community of yogis around me was an answer.
Suddenly, I looked around, and my life had changed without me noticing. Recovery isn't linear; all my problems aren't solved. But I have a groundedness in my body that I have never had before. Knowing that I did that for myself, in that room, with all its ways of showing me the truth about myself, I know I can do great things.