I have lived through a lot in my life, including a bout with breast cancer. It seems the only road I ever took was the hard one. By the time I made it to a yoga class, I was spent. I finally went to see if I could get some real sleep, something that had been missing from my life for quite a few years, and to regain the ability to take a deep breath. I haven’t left since. Yoga helped me achieve both of these goals and so much more! I can now thank my adversities in life for leading me to yoga and preparing me to help others.
Yoga made me strong.
Our bodies are designed to be self-healing. Yoga supports this self-healing in subtle ways and at levels beyond understanding.
Yoga is the process of putting ourselves back together after life has broken us apart. Yoga made me both emotionally and physically stronger, healthier, and more balanced. My practice motivates me to make better choices in my life. Yoga lit a path towards awareness and compassion – both for me and for others. When we come from that place of compassion, we can help others to do the same.
Going beyond a diagnosis.
My life challenges have enabled me to teach compassionately to those experiencing adversity and life-changing illness. When students share their experiences with suffering, I understand. I have been there. We tend to identify with our adversities and our diagnosis. We can become labeled in our minds as our diagnosis – a cancer patient, an arthritis sufferer, a multiple sclerosis patient, a rheumatoid arthritis sufferer. No matter the diagnosis, yoga can help each individual to connect who they really are, beyond their ailment and/or life situation. It is my goal to help my students see that through their bodies, they can attain freedom and transcend the energetic imprints of the past. We work toward quieting the busy, critical mind and rewiring the internal conversations away from negative self-talk into self-compassion and understanding.
Through a model of witnessing, asana, pranayama and mindfulness, guided visualizations and meditation, each person works toward knowing his inner-self, her purest essence. It is like coming home to oneself. No matter what the past is, no matter what the current life situation might be, each person can tap into this place deep within, healing the scars of life and becoming more whole.
The proven health benefits.
At the same time the practice of yoga begins, the nervous system begins to relax and recalibrate. Stress levels decline and the body begins to shift toward a hypo-metabolic state which reduces the body’s energy needs and allows for regeneration. Research has shown that yoga supports those who practice by lowering stress levels, increasing energy levels, improving sleep, lowering psychological distress such as anxiety and depression, reducing pain levels, and increasing the overall quality of life.
Over time the benefits of a yoga practice begin to emerge in every area of one’s life, and one begins to live more fully. The student becomes present with eyes wide open to the possibilities and the experiences of this precious life. She become calmer, stronger, and wiser. He is more present and able to ride the waves of life without falling off the boat.
Yoga is not an exercise program; it is a way of life.
Yoga is more than what happens on the mat. It is also how one chooses to live life off the mat. In yoga it is called Sadhana or conscious spiritual practice, taking a view of oneself from the inside out, rather than from the outside in, cultivating a sense of being connected with all of life.
My life has been changed for the better because of yoga. It is my heartfelt desire and calling to share and facilitate that positive change in others’ lives. When one person begins to heal and shifts toward wholeness, inner peace and compassion, the whole world shifts with them.
It’s a beautiful thing!