I think yoga has saved my life multiple times.
I first started doing yoga in high school
before drama class started each day,
although I didn't know I was doing yoga then.
I thought we were just warming up our bodies.
But, in the tumultuousness of high school, I'm sure that
it helped me grow from an adolescent to an adult.
I remember making choices that were more mature than I was,
who I wanted to be friends with, where I wanted to spend my time,
what was out of my comfort zone, keeping myself out of trouble,
what interests I wanted to focus on.
I think this is because of yoga.
When my Dad died in 2007, I was in so much pain I thought I was dying too.
I remember holding my breath, hoping to stop breathing,
hoping to die so I could be with him.
But I knew it wasn't my time, my turn.
So I started doing yoga every day, crying, not crying,
feeling strong, feeling desperate, feeling empty.
My yoga mat had so many tears, so much grief,
and it helped me to center myself, it took away some of the
early pains of grief. Those pains rock the body and soul like no other.
You don't know until you know.
After 2 miscarriages and 2 pregnancies, my body was a mess.
My hormones were like a tennis ball, volleying back and forth,
they don't tell you the strength that hormones have on the body.
How your body goes from growing a human, and then switches
to feeding a human. That hormone switch is powerful.
The emotions are heightened, everything feels new and exciting,
scary and the stakes seem so high, this tiny human who needs you,
who you are trying to keep alive.
I didn't know how to handle it, so I did yoga.
I loved the daily practice, yoga, then coffee, then hanging with
my 2 sweet babies. I started to really recognize the impact it
was having on healing my aching body, clearing my thoughts,
centering my heart. So I wanted to go deeper.
I set a goal for myself - if I did yoga every day for a year,
I would go and get my 200 hour yoga teacher training.
And in 2019, I did it. 2 weeks in a sweaty jungle, meeting
wonderful people, and learning all about the Yoga Sutras,
which are a collection of Sanskrit aphorisms on the theory
and practice of yoga.
There are 196 total sutras, and they were compiled
sometime between 500 BCE and 400 CE.
And boy, did that blow the lid off my stacks, learning and
applying those ancient texts and practices for my own life.
It's funny, how this yoga thread that has woven itself through
most of my life seems to have lead me to right where I am now.
This has truly been one of the most difficult periods of my life.
Even when I was SUPER sick, I would make myself get out of bed
and do at least 1 sun salutation each day, even thought I could
barely think, barely move, I did it.
And now, as I heal, I am doing a little more each day, and
continue to go deeper, reading more about the essence of
yoga, diving into each sutra, re-reading all my homework
from yoga training.
I feel that it's given me a foundation during such difficult times.
It helps my mind, body and soul when I don't know what to
do for those 3 elements of my being, yoga does it for me.
As long as I show up on the mat. I am so grateful to have
this practice now so deeply ingrained in my. life, and am
indebted to those that have carried this knowledge from
the dawn of civilization, to help us all where we stand right now.
So, I will keep going. And thank all of those in Northern India
all of those thousands of years ago, and those that have carried this
It is an honor to be able to practice, and to honor those that
have come before. And to have gratitude for what has
become the most stabilizing force in my life.