My Yoga Journey

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

*My Journey*

I took my first yoga class at Santa Monica College when I was twenty years old. I was recovering from bulimia and my therapist suggested that I find an exercise that would help me learn be comfortable in my own body.
Yikes! That was a very daunting request for me, since at that time, my body and I were strangers.

All my life, I considered P.E. class a medieval torture.
Yet...I did
love to dance and I did love to walk outdoors- this was always my salvation.
It was when I became disconnected from nature and no longer enjoyed my walks or looked up at the sky & the clouds, that I had my "Ah Ha" moment to seek help for the pain that I was carrying around in my heart and in my body.
Sometimes, before people in bark on their healing journey, something momentous happens in their life,that wakes them up and they say that they felt like they were hit by a bus and my moment...I was literally hit by a bus! I was not seriously injured, because I was told that someone pulled me out of the curb before the bus wheels ran over me-one of my many guardian angels that have appeared in my life, many times!
I was very shook up and I had injuries to my right shoulder, neck and back. The thing is, that in the 80's, if the X-Ray did not show a fracture, you were told to take aspirin and go back to work. My family also believed that it was a Badge of Honor to work until you dropped. Unless there were broken bones or gushing wounds, you were expected to work and go to school, if you stayed home with a fever, you were teased for being a baby. My parents had so many wounds of their own, that their parenting philosophy was to make us, kids as tough as possible to face life's challenges.

So, here I am, broken and raw (putting on a front that I am O.K) walking into my first yoga class and expecting to meet weirdos and beautiful skinny girls that would sneer at me. I figured I would suffer through a couple of weeks and drop the class, with check mark in the column of "I tried".
Instead I was greeted by the most beautiful pair of blue eyes, filled with such compassion and kindness that my eyes welled up into tears, when she said "Hello".

Betty, was about 70 years old and she was my first yoga teacher.
Here was a vibrant, healthy woman that defied everything I knew about aging. I was afraid to grow old because I thought it meant being trapped in a sick body. She was so beautiful and I wanted to learn how she aged so gracefully and I decided to stick it out.
She was patient and accepting of my struggles with the postures. I huffed & puffed and swore under my breath, as I became reacquainted with my body.
Then the magic of yoga happened! I begin to feel my body open up. I could touch my toes for the first time in my life! I felt lighter in my body! I was hooked! Yoga opened a whole new world to me and helped me open up to the possibility that I too, could live life with joy. My healing journey brought me blessings, joy & love beyond my wildest dreams and the tools that were shared with me, help heal the parts of me that I felt were fragmented and damaged beyond repair.

In my life my yoga practice has become my center. When I am out of balance, I can look and see where I have let my practice go. When I am faced with challenges I have learned that yoga is my best tool and all that accompanies a yoga practice - meditation, mindful eating and compassion for others and most importantly for myself are the key.
Yoga was my companion through personal therapy, as I healed my soul from my trauma, drama & karma. I turned to Yoga, when I had to recover from two major car accidents that I was a passenger in both times, that took over a year to recover from my injuries both times. The doctors gave me a long list of things that I would no longer be able to do-No dancing, No Yoga, No Roller coasters!, and thankfully I was too stubborn to believe them.
I explored the spiritual depths of Yoga when I was recovering from hellacious heart break. I embraced the holistic healing of Yoga, when I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer and I embrace yoga & dance when my spirit needs to be soothed or rejoice and sing loud!

My journey showed me that when I approach pain with healing my body, mind & spirit, that amazing transformations happened.
My curiosity lead me to study, Massage Therapy, Energy Work and Holistic Nutrition. I became a yoga teacher to help my clients keep moving between their body work sessions and then I fell in love with teaching!
I am so grateful for the numerous souls that come into my life and helped me to heal, and I always try to pay it forward.
Teaching for me is a space to learn, to share, and to pay forward the compassion that was given to me as I went through the messy & beautiful process of healing my mind, my body and my heart & soul.
I bring to my clients & students all I have learned from my own journey, my voracity for learning and a deep compassion for their own journey.
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