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How I Found My Yoga Community

Have you ever felt like you were crawling out of your skin? Like your heart and mind were both racing? In August of 2014, I started having daily panic attacks. The fear was unlike anything that I’ve ever experienced before. I was crippled with negativity; the darkness suffocated me. I couldn’t imagine living that way much longer. Little did I know that through this experience, I would stumble across a wonderful yoga community.
I had heard of people practicing yoga to relieve stress and anxiety. Desperate and willing to do anything, I decided to give yoga a try. I started out slowly, watching YouTube videos at home and following along. I quickly noticed how physical tension seemed to lessen when I practiced, but also how my thoughts turned more positive.
After a while I created an Instagram yoga account to document my journey and growth. Suddenly, I learned that I wasn’t alone in my suffering. I met tons of other beautiful women with stories of how yoga was helping them with their own mental illnesses such as depression, PTSD, OCD, and anxiety. We became a small support system for each other.
These people became my tribe.

A photo posted by Elena |24| ( on

I also began participating in Instagram yoga challenges in order to try new poses, and to get more involved. While the challenges were fun, the greatest gift was receiving feedback from the yoga community. I got suggestions ranging from which brand of yoga mats to try, to how to become more flexible, to how to use a yoga wheel, to help with backbends. It was humbling, and inspiring. I have had the pleasure of watching multiple yogis, from beginners to long time students, grow.
You might like this: Why Every Yogi Should do a 30 Day Yoga Challenge
Soon, I learned that my city had a monthly yoga meet-up, and met a wonderful soul who taught classes at a nearby yoga studio. This was my gentle push to actually attend a class, seeing as I was too nervous and embarrassed before. Everyone I met through social media was encouraging and kind. There was no judgment, which I found very liberating. So what if I looked silly while attempting a new asana? I strived for progress, not perfection.

Through the process I came to realize how passionate I was about spreading awareness of what yoga can do for your mind and body. I started becoming more vulnerable and open to sharing my experience if it meant that it would possibly make someone else feel less alone.
One of the biggest things that I love about yoga is that it doesn’t require a gym membership, and can be virtually free. There is so much material online that is available to everyone.
If you are interested in finding your own yoga community, I highly recommend using social media. Use Instagram, and even Facebook to find inspiration and share your practice. Post pictures of poses, your progress, or even inspirational quotes. Thanks to hashtags, yogis are able to find each other with ease. There are some great groups on Facebook that are full of like minded people sharing their stories, asking questions and being open about yoga and their struggles.
TheYogaRoom is one of the largest and most active of these Facebook groups.
From there, you can follow yogis who you relate to, or who inspire you. Feel free to ask questions, make comments, or just send positive vibes! I have found that even accounts with tons of followers still make the time to reply.
I was never confident, but yoga showed me the strength that I truly possessed, and gave me hope. It can do the same for you.
Poses that at first seem impossible, you’ll eventually be able to do. The key is to never giving up.
At first panic attacks made me feel weak, but soon I understood that they didn’t change me.
Today, I still struggle with panic attacks and anxiety, but I am learning to believe in myself and to take things one step at a time. I try daily to surround myself with positive, like-minded people who uplift me.
Yoga has molded not just my body, but the way I view my life. The yoga community that I have found has encouraged me and challenged me to feel more, do more, and most of all, love more.

A photo posted by Elena |24| ( on


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Elena Ziskind

A Russian born Texas girl, Elena has a degree in Health Information Management, and works at a hospital. Fairly new to yoga, Elena hopes to soon get her YTT. Apart from her practice, she loves traveling, reading, and has a major sweet tooth.

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