by Anna Ranish, Certified YogaKids Teacher
“Sometimes letting things go is an act of far greater power than defending or hanging on.”
– Eckhart Tolle
Life with bipolar disorder combined with ADHD is an interesting adventure—but teaching kids yoga has made it a much more bearable one. I realized that I have a knack for teaching at my very first career as a computer programmer. Instead of enjoying writing and debugging code like most programmers, my favorite work time activities were writing and correcting documentation, and helping the new people understand our system. (Ask any programmer what they think about writing documentation. You rarely will hear enthusiasm at the prospect!)
Following that career, I took a 5-year vacation from working life to have my first child and to be introduced to my new life companion: bipolar disorder. After a month of getting to know it at a psychiatrist hospital in New York City, I decided I decided I didn’t much like my new companion. (They say it takes about ten years for bipolar patients to accept their diagnoses – and this rule held true for me.)
The next ten years were a huge emotional roller coaster. I was on and off my medications, and I was on and off believing that I must live my life with bipolar disorder. During those ten years, I was accumulating all sorts of fears and phobias. Many of them found their niche in my back, causing me to develop debilitating backaches.
The next four years seemed like an unending sequence of acceptance and letting goes as I began regularly practicing hot Bikram yoga. I accepted the bipolar disorder, and miraculously the back pain began to subside. During this time, I also let go of my former jobs. My past environments felt toxic – but the desire to teach was still strong within me. That’s when I discovered YogaKids.
The YogaKids program carried all he answers to my doubts. As I was discovering the principles of YogaKids during my six months of training, I became more and more thrilled. It incorporated many of the things that I believed in when I was helping children back in my academic jobs. I learned so many new techniques and almost a whole new way of teaching.
I feel the process of accepting and letting go is still just starting for me. For 37 years, I lived a life ruled by disorders. Now I’m on the path towards a new way of life ruled by me. And I attribute this major shift in my life to yoga…. both as a lifelong yoga student and as a newly certified YogaKids instructor.