" I lied and said I was busy. I was busy but not in a way most people understand. I was busy taking deeper breaths. I was busy silencing irrational thoughts. I was busy calming a racing heart. I was busy telling myself I am okay. Sometimes this is my busy and I will not apologize for it." ~b. oakman
I've had a lot of people ask me to blog lately. I love to write and I'm not quite sure why I haven't in the past, but when the universe gives you signs often enough, it's usually good to listen. So alas here I am attempting to put myself out there in a new way in this crazy cynical world that we live in and I'm not going to lie, it's a little bit intimidating, but I am confident enough that I have the tool set these days to handle what makes me a bit uncomfortable and trust in the universe instead.
So allow me to introduce my self. My name is Jasmine Margreno. I'm a traveling yoga teacher, I have an amazing husband who supports me unconditionally and a Pug named Flea who is the light of my life.
I never thought I'd make it this far in life. If you asked me when I was about 10 years old stuck in my home for weeks at a time crippled with anxiety and panic attacks I would tell you it's crazy that I grew up and lived to do anything bc my little world had been turned upside down...
Rewind to a few weeks prior to a happy, healthy, thriving kid and how on Earth did that happen? Allow me to enlighten you. I had a teacher that was pretty darn nasty to me bc I did not like her son chasing me around school trying to kiss me through the halls. I was in fifth grade and boys had coodies then. At this time we were reading Current Science and Events. Aids was a hot topic. We were terrified of contracting it through any bodily fluids and this was what we were informed then You can get it from a kiss, a tear, by sitting on a public toilet. Scary stuff when you're that young and vulnerable.
Fast forward to his mother, a neighboring teacher marching in my class room, looking at the sign out list for the bathroom and zeroing in on my name. She ripped me from my class and pulled me in the ladies room. She accused me of putting a door stopper in the toilet ( I did not) and gave me an ultimatum, I could either go to the principals office where students would physically vomit bc he screamed so loud you thought you would die, or pick the door stopper out with my bare hand. She refused to let me use a glove. I chose the door stopper and from that day forward nothing would be the same.
I little naive self was convinced that I had AIDS and was going to die soon. I was mortified and mentally spiraled out of control. Walking to my moms car that day I fell to the ground with my first Panic Attack and that was the beginning of a very long road for us.
Looking back, I can't imagine what that must've been like for my mom to deal with. Not much was known about Panic Attacks then, but after multiple trips to the ER and my family Dr. that's what I was diagnosed with.
I tried to go to school, would freak out and leave. People thought that I was weird, rumors started to fly and I never wanted to go back. Ever. I ended up not even being able to leave my house, I couldn't look up at the ceiling and was diagnosed with agoraphobia as well. During this time I would look at maps of the world and educate myself on cultures and countries that I would never be able to go to because of my condition. It made me sad because every single ounce of me wanted to explore the world so bad and I never would. I was living my own personal hell and was sure that I would die.
After weeks of this, my mom finally convinced me to get out of the house and talk to somebody. I somehow pried myself out and there I was...at the Shrink. Yay me. He told me I wasn't crazy and described the fight or flight response in my body was overactive, but it was something that could be handled without drugs. He gave me some breathing exercises and that I needed to use when I would start to panic and bit by bit, they went away.
I look back now and really believe that this was the beginning of my yoga journey. Pranayama. Way back then, it got me through so much and it had nothing to do with a fancy posture. Just me and my breath.
I can't say that I never have had a panic attack again, or that I'm 100% free from my anxiety, but I wanted to share this today to say that many of my students know me as this dynamic, traveling, teacher and trust that I will get to blogging about all the beauty the world has to offer. However, I feel that it's necessary to establish this foundation with you all.
My life has been through so many ups and downs, what most people see is the fun posture on Instagram with an inspiring quote bc I choose to spread light and happiness these days, but there cannot be light without darkness. I know so many of us suffer from anxieties and the voices inside our head that tell us all of the reasons why we can't do things. I'm here to tell you that you CAN. If I made it out of the funk that I was in to leading yoga retreats and teacher trainings all around the world, so can you! You can do whatever it is that you set your mind to.
Pranayama, Yoga and Meditation have opened up so many avenues for me in this life and I wish to share them with you through this blog. This is my intention as a teacher and amateur blogger...to inspire and be inspired. Words are powerful and I'm a true believer that we rise by lifting others.
I'll be honest, my next few blog posts will be pretty heavy topics. Not really the yoga inspiration that you're used to from me, but we will get there. I feel it's important for everyone to get to know the real me first. As always, Namaste and so much love and blessings to all who have taken the time out of their day to read.
Feel free to comment and share your thoughts on this topic.
Have you ever experienced anxiety and panic attacks?
What coping mechanisms have gotten you through?