My name is Virginia Rexroad. I am 26-years-old. I am a yoga instructor and I was diagnosed with depression in 2004. All my life I have been a runner and gymnast and cheerleader,
so I have been really, really active. In 2008 I actually had a really bad injury to my right foot where I had to go through three surgeries to correct it.
Being physically active is something that's really connected to my mental health and not being able to do the things that I was able to do on a day-to-day basis resulted in a deep depression.
I didn't make the connection that I was depressed or that I was anxious and just struggling to find like a will to get up out of bed every day and go to school or go to work
or to interact with other people. It took a doctor and family and therapist to realize, "you are depressed and we're going to get you through this, we're going to help you through this".
For someone who is depressed and doesn't know it, like they might not ever know it and they might just think that this is the way they're supposed to live.
I started doing Yoga when I was in gymnastics and cheerleading, just because I found it a great therapy to nurse some of my injuries.
And it really helped me mentally. So even when I was first suffering with my first diagnosis of depression, the Yoga actually was a great aid in just day-to-day living.
When I was in depressive states like my mind was constantly running, like I couldn't find focus. But while you are actually practicing the physical poses, you have to bring yourself back to yourself
and you actually think about the breathing, also tuning into what's really going on which led me to a new revelation that I was going to go to India and learn how to become a Yoga instructor.
I was going to India. I was going by myself and although my family and my friends were pretty much like you are crazy, you are going to go by yourself,
I went, I followed my heart and it was the best decision I ever made.
Going over to India, I really wanted to find myself. I wanted to stop shutting off like, who I thought I was over here.
I wanted to go ahead and put forth the effort to really get my mental state and my physical body in good health like through exercise and eating right, and meditation and breathing.
A lot of times we just feel like we don't have a hold on life and the only way to get a hold is to take a hold, take charge like you have to because otherwise, you'll find yourself lost.
Prior to my trip to India when I practiced yoga, I wasn't completely making the energetic connection of the physical and mental and spiritual body.
I was able to make that holistic connection that when you really become aware of your breathing, and what's going through your mind, and making a personal inventory of yourself,
I was able to actually experience that inner peace. If it weren't for yoga, I don't know where I would find myself right now, I really don't, because it's, like, saved my life.