What yoga means to me

Yoga has and forever will have a very special place in my heart. I found yoga at a time that I truly needed it the most. I found yoga when i was lost, sad, confused and uncertain. Yoga has been there for me when I needed strength, when I needed humility, when I needed guidance and when I needed a sense of purpose. Yoga is a part of me that I will never lose.

I started yoga in college when I needed an escape. I was stressed out and needed something to relieve the stress. I was going to school in Vermont at the time and did some google searching to find some local studios. I found there was a bikram studio not too far from campus so I decided to check it out. (I also was drawn to the heat since this is a time where I thought I needed to sweat a ton to have a good workout) 

My first class I was blown away by how challenging it was. I never would have guessed that standing holding poses would be so damn tough. I was also drawn to the dedication and discipline the other students had. In a traditional bikram class, it is 90 minutes long and no music is played. I thought that I would get bored or be too in my head without music playing but I was so wrong. I felt so connected to my body and my breath that the time just flew by. I left that day with a sense of calm and a feeling that I found something truly special. 

That studio became a safe haven for me throughout the rest of my college days. It gave me a community I felt safe with and connected to. It gave me meaningful friendships and people to turn to when I needed support. The teachers became people I admired and respected and I knew that I wanted to give that same feeling to others. I wanted to share what yoga gave to me. 

After I graduated, I decided to go to LA to do a teacher training at Core Power. My plan had been to just do the training and then move back to NJ. Once again yoga had a plan and set me up for a new path, an incredible life on the west coast. Being in a new city all alone was definitely scary. In the beginning, I questioned my decision a lot, wondering why I would move so far away from my family and the things that I knew. It took me a little while to open up in teacher training, I can be rather shy. Once i felt comfortable with my group I began to form amazing friendships and connections. Core power became my home away from home. It helped me find my voice, to be comfortable in front of others, to believe in myself and it allowed me to share a gift with my students. Most of my friendships now can be traced back to a core power connection. 

Yoga gave me a life I never imagined possible. It has given me the opportunity to have a job that doesn’t feel like a job. It has allowed me to travel. It has allowed me to live a life that feels truly authentic. It has given me the chance to give to others what it has given to me. Some of my most vulnerable moments have been in a yoga class, getting to Savasana and just crying.   I have learned so much about myself through my practice and continue to grow on and off my mat every day. 

I am forever grateful for my yoga practice and everything it has given me. There is nothing I love more than seeing the looks on my students faces after class, that yoga bliss. I am proud of myself for trying something unconventional, for following a passion, for taking a risk. There have been times I doubt myself, whether what I’m doing is meaningful or important. These are times I know I need to step onto my mat more and move and breath and feel. I always get the reassurance I need. Yoga you have truly changed my life, thank you.