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One Year Without Alcohol: Month 4
One Year Without Alcohol: Month 4

So by now I’m starting to get really clear on what’s going on, and not surprisingly it is related to all of the yoga teaching I preach on a daily basis. I suppose we all have a slightly different reason and inspiration for teaching or practicing yoga, but for me a focus of my classes are often what we learn when we come up against our edge.

The past few months have been about more than just abstaining from alcohol, or shifting the need for comfort onto other things. I’m starting to realize it’s actually about me not wanting to get uncomfortable. More specifically, not moving out of my comfort zone. So I numb myself, and it doesn’t really matter if it’s alcohol, or shopping, or staying super busy, or gossiping to put the focus on other people and not me.

The point is that, regardless of the substance or place holder, I was tuning out.

Over the course of the last month, perhaps because I’m more present from (mostly) not drinking, I’ve started a daily meditation practice. Ten to twenty minutes, once sometimes twice a day, I sit still, with eyes closed and allow my mind and body to still. I find myself generally happier, calmer and more at ease.

Even though it's been noted in about a bagillion studies that the benefits of meditation, once or twice daily, can improve your life experience, I still thought I had capped out with the yoga I practice. I practice yoga, I teach yoga, I’m pretty aware of my emotions, etc. However, with meditation, I just opened up a new door to being happier.

The fear or anxiety that can prevent me from making big moves and going after my big, scary, audacious goals is starting to release. 

I'm now trusting that there is something even better on the other side. The thing I’m realizing as I sit is, I trust myself in a way I haven’t in the past. I trust my ability to provide for myself, stay happy, surround myself with people that are supportive and healthy. So I’m able to step into new things and set myself up for them before I even start.

I prepare, visualize, and stay healthy and ready for when those perfect opportunities arrive. So if I have a glass of wine at my friends wedding in Spain, will I beat myself up? No. But I will, make it rare, and lead with my dharma.

Why am I here? What is my purpose? And how can I best serve? If that involves a rare adult beverage, it doesn't mean I've failed, but the challenge is, am I able compassion while I keep my focus and realize I’m so very perfectly imperfect and proud of my humanity.

Anna is a Brooklyn based yoga teacher and writer. She loves looking at all the sides of the health and wellness industry and shedding some playful light on tough issues. Her favorite hobby is buying plane tickets and she leads retreats internationally. She is AcroVinyasa certified and pursuing her 500 hr certification with Dharma Mitra. She will eat all the avocados in the sunshine.

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