There’s something that perhaps only my husband knows about me...
I have a terrible history of starting something and never sticking with it, never seeing it through. I had a blog for craft projects that went by the wayside; I used to make jewelry which I really enjoyed but lost interest after a while; I boxed a lot, but quickly stopped after I hurt my wrist; gave up on playing guitar; and there were countless other interests I SWORE I wouldn’t stop doing... but always did. There has only been one exception to this tendency of mine.
I first stepped onto a Yoga mat in 2003. I was a sophomore in college and I was looking for something to balance the doldrums of school work, the rigidity of cheerleading (yup), the intensity of theater (yup), and the late nights of partying. I had heard that a local Yoga teacher was coming to lead a free class for all the students in the dance studio. Never one to shy away from something new, I stepped into that studio confIdently, rolled out a mat and took my spot among about 50 other students. Would you believe me if I told you that I ABSOLUTELY hated it?
Looking back on that day, I acknowledge that I was probably a little too confident. I walked out sore, unbalanced, and just generally angry. If you were to ask me why I tried to show off instead of listening to the teacher, I’d just tell you I was a stubborn college kid who was used to being among the best at everything I did.
It humbled me, but I wouldn’t realize that until many years later.
Fast forward two years. I had just graduated, moved back in with my parents, and was missing my long-distance boyfriend like mad (don’t worry it has a happy ending). I was again feeling that familiar need for balance in my life. A family friend, who just so happened to teach Yoga, told me I HAD to come to one of her classes. I protested at first, remembering that fateful day 2 years prior. But she promised me a gentle class and convinced me. All it took was one class with her.
There’s a certain magic that occurs when you pair the right practice with the right teacher and the right mindset. I was hooked.
Over the next several years, I would bounce around and experience different classes with all different teachers. Around 2007, I would find myself in a little studio in Wakefield with a women named Hope, fitting really. It was under Hope’s guidance that I knew in my heart I needed to do what she had done for me.
I needed to give others this gift.
Because to me, that’s what yoga had become. A gift.
In 2008, I enrolled in a 10-month long program. I learned about anatomy and physiology from a body expert. I learned about meridians and chakras and Kundalini from an energy master. I learned about proprioception and the body’s remarkable capabilities from a martial artist. But do you know what I learned most about? Myself.
I learned that I was meant to do this. That this was my natural calling. Every flow I led, every touch I gave, was intentional and purposeful. My peers would tell me I gave them exactly what they needed. I buzzed with energy. Dare I say, I was inflated. I was leading a class at my local YMCA before I even completed my training. I jumped in headfirst and never looked back.
That is, until I wasn’t looking where I was going and I tripped.
I burnt out fast. I was so eager to teach, to give, that I forgot to take. I forgot about my own practice. I forgot to learn, to grow. It was about this time that I was brought back to that class in college. I realized then that my confidence was my biggest weakness. Humbled, indeed.
So I took a teaching hiatus. I needed to put my practice first. You can’t pour from an empty cup, right?
One day, during a home practice, I moved through my flow, I felt good, I felt reinvigorated. I came to the end of my practice and settled in for savasana. And as you all know, music is a force in my life. It had always been part of what made me ME. But it was THIS savasana that made me realize it would forever be a crucial part of my classes. I laid on my mat and a song came on. An instrumental from an Icelandic band called Sigur Rós.
As the music built, so did my emotions. Before I knew it, I had tears streaming down my face. For no good reason, mind you. It just... happened. But that moment changed me and my practice. It was the first real taste I had of the true POWER of the practice of Yoga and the art of letting go.
I rolled up my mat that day knowing then and there that I was ready to teach again.
And the rest, as they say, is history. Yoga has fulfilled me in a way I never knew I needed. And I am so grateful I can share that passion at FLow Yoga with so many of you.