My yoga training changed my life.
I never thought that yoga would become such a huge part of my life. And to be honest, I didn’t even know what yoga a co-worker was told me that “I looked like someone who would practice yoga”.
But you know what I’m talking about. Those moments in life that just hit you like a ton of bricks and you don’t fly backwards. You fly forwards. At 17 years old. That is exactly what that moment did to me.
I truly believe that life has a way of nudging you in the right direction. Now we have our own free will to listen or not. To stay stuck, or not. To prefer the struggle, or not. But we do have a choice to see it.
I’ve never shared this before. But growing up I always knew I was meant for more. I always new I was going to do big things. But let’s be real. Who wants to hear someone proclaim that they are going to be famous and lead the masses when they get older. No one would be your friend.
At any given moment you could find me corralling kids and organizing games that I would make up on the fly. Tucked in my closet stapling paper together and making books. Not to share them, but to store them away and I would imagine one day someone would find them and say “wow, this is amazing” when I was gone (OK, maybe that is a little weird).
But in all honesty, as lost at times as I sometimes feel. As out there walking alone as I can often feel. It is comforting to know that, I “knew”, all my life where I would be.
Then came yoga. Practicing was a saving grace to me. It was my lifeline. Every Wednesday night, it gave me hope that I could do it. It showed me I was strong. I was capable. I was meant for more.
And after a year of college, “doing the only thing I was told to do after high school”. I knew this wasn’t my jam. And wouldn’t you find it funny, that randomly one day my yoga teacher casually suggested to me that I consider teaching yoga.
It was like déjà vu all over again. And in perfect fashion, I immediately did something about it. Never before that moment did I ever even consider becoming a yoga teacher. But after my Wednesday night yoga class that night I went home, waited for my dial up internet to boot up and searched for whatever a yoga training would be.
The first search landed me on an ashram in Rollingsville, Colorado, barely doing any research. I just knew. I just knew this was for me and I signed up, gave them my money, and booked my tickets.
The only catch. I had finals during my month stay in Colorado. What was I thinking? Well, I’ll be honest, I just knew this was going to work. That next week I asked all my professors to let me take my finals early, and they all said yes.
And I know what you are thinking. That’s not, that big of a deal. Well, I went to a Catholic University and I was off to an ashram to learn to teach yoga. The two couldn’t be more different. But my stars were aligning.
I was scared. I was still struggling with an eating disorder and there appeared to be no real hope of an end in sight. I wanted to stop. I desperately wanted a normal life. But besides my Wednesday night yoga class, I was struggling, and it was a battle.
Planes, buses, and what appeared to be a last life, seen better days station wagon picking me up at a mountain bus stop. I hopped into a stranger’s car and off I went into the mountains to what would become like a second home to me.
I still remember my first day in our yoga teacher training. Eleven of us sitting in a circle, everyone at least 15 years or more older than me. I am certain I could have been everyone’s daughter. But this 98-pound girl was determined to step aside from her fears and make the most out of this month-long stay. I was praying to God this would heal me. This 30-day stay would be just what I needed to clear my head and step away from my addiction for good.
That afternoon sitting in a circle on the freshly carpeted floor I knew this was where I belonged. That day I heard a voice inside my head, and it told me eleven things I would do going forward from that day. And these were things I never thought I would do. They were never in my scope of dreams. And to be honest, struggling with an eating disorder, depression and a laundry list of other issues, survival was the only thing I could focus on.
But I pulled out my yellow legal pad and printed out one goal on each line. I tore off the sheet and folded it up.
That yoga training forever changed the course of my life.
Check out my article on Mind Body Green: 7 Secrets of Becoming a Successful Yoga Teacher
It gave me hope that all the prayers I said that what I had been through up to that point, would not be all for nothing.
That yoga training was hard. It rocked me to my core. It challenged how I thought about life, movement, and myself. It challenged my faith to go deeper into myself and see what and how I really connected to God.
I believe we all need those moments in life in order to truly get to the bottom of who we are. I can look back on almost every encounter where I made a huge leap and it was scary, and confusing, and uncertain, but I did it anyway. And am so glad I did. Because it fostered growth, it opened me up to my own unique potential, and it helped me see my own worth at a time where I wasn’t sure I had any.
I believe we are all given multiple opportunities to shift up. And it is when we “think on it” too long, or too much that our logical, humanistic mind steps I and says, “that will never happen, don’t do it”.
I believe we are all here on this earth for a purpose and it is us who gets in our own way and downplays our potential for greatness.
I believe we are all worth it.
And for you it may not be enrolling in a yoga training. But if it is, please do your homework, because they are not all alike (reach out to me if you have questions, I’m happy to help: E-Mail me). For some of you it may be taking up volleyball again, enrolling in a 5K, or deciding to have a girls night out every month. Whatever it is, you are worth it. You are better after it. And there are never any mistakes in life. Just opportunities to learn and soak up all that is waiting to be had.
Picture a day when you are no longer struggling to get out of the gutter, but you are leading others from it.
Picture a day when you are no longer asking for forgiveness, but receiving gratitude with constant “thank yous” from those around you.
Picture a day when you are no searching for the next best thing, but instead you find yourself attracting what you desire all the time.
Picture a day when all you have been through was absolutely worth it.