Confession: For years anxiety has controlled my life, dictated my every move, and lingered beneath the surface of every smile, making things harder for me then they should be, and sometimes even stopping me from doing the things I wanted to do. But, despite the daily anxious thoughts and the occasional panic attacks, I've never really been inclined to practice yoga.
Yes, I've heard about all of the benefits, especially for people with anxiety and depression, but all it seemed like to me was “glorified breathing." Instead I dealt with my anxiety, by nail biting, foot tapping, lots of alone time, and listening to music. Although, something was still missing.
Then I heard about Namasbey, Queen Bey-themed yoga classes that originated in Los Angeles, before popping up in Philadelphia and Houston. According to teacher Paul Schneider (who is also the creator of Namasdrake. Yes, Drake-themed yoga!) these classes are great for beginners who might be "intimidated by the traditional class setup." Ahem, like me. So, when the class made it's way to Philly in February, I instantly bought a ticket intrigued by the thought of doing musical yoga.
And to say the class was ohm-mazing (see what I did there?) would be an understatement. I had so much fun and left feeling super relaxed and quite sore from the stretching. Despite my initial hesitations, trying Namasbey turned out to be one of the best things I could’ve done for my mental health, and here’s why.
It kept my mind from wandering
Like I said earlier, I LOVE music. Headphones are a regular part of my #OOTD and I can frequently be spotted humming to a song or swaying to the music while gripping the subway pole. Listening to songs constantly keeps my mind from wandering about bills, friend issues, work, the future—something regular yoga in a quiet candle lit studio can't do. Clearing my mind is just impossible, unless I’m sleep or dancing to a song. Fortunately since this class was all about posing with music, I was able to focus on my breathing and relax with one side of my brain, and to sing along to "Drunk in Love" with the other. Meaning no room for wandering thoughts. #Score!
It made me feel confident
No doubt about it; Bey's music has a way of making you feel like you feel "Flawless," even if you don’t always wake up like that. I mean I know I’m pretty, but still a lot of my anxious thoughts center around body image. My legs? I love them. My stomach? Not so much. And any time I have a free moment to think about how it looks, I do. Fortunately in this class there was no time to! Literally I was too busy in downward dog shaking my behind to "Bootylicious" (sorry to the girls behind me!) to give a crap about how my leggings were no longer pulled up over my tummy. The music allowed me to get into a zone that everyone should be in when they workout, and to not give an eff about how I looked.
It loosened me up
And no I'm not just talking about flexibility. Anxiety plays a big part in why I'm so type-A and controlling (i.e. a perfectionist), but attending this class set my "wild" side free again. So what if I didn't do a pose completely correct? I was having too much fun lip syncing to care. And that's what was so rewarding.
At that moment I was unconcerned about being perfect and just let go = total inner peace.
Now, I won't say that I don't still have anxious thoughts daily, but this class tremendously helped and I'm 100% interested in recreating the vibe at home. Seriously, every time I feel my heart beating in my ears, I whip out my phone and put on "Lemonade" and am instantly transported to those calmer times. Guess you can say I'm officially a member of the Beyhive! #SorryNotSorry