I stumbled upon yoga after blowing both knees training for the Air Force Half marathon. I was questioning whether I had any future with high impact exercise, which I hated. I never felt like I was “working out” when I practiced yoga, yet the guilt I always felt over not moving my body every day was gone. I grew up as a dancer, under constant scrutiny over my body size, with the assumption that everyone was always looking at me and I needed to perform accordingly.
WHAT I LEARNED:
Yoga helped me to let the performance aspect go. My mat became a safe space for my body to fluctuate in size while feeling strong regardless. I started the deep internal work of examining my need to be in the spotlight when I started practicing Ashtanga yoga in 2014. The discipline and solitude of the practice has helped me to unpack a lot of my least likeable personality traits over the years. I’m not perfect, I still use a lot of sarcasm and judge situations unfairly, but now I know that that I’m doing it and can adjust my behavior accordingly. My first class, I had really no idea what yoga was. I took one class at a gym and thought the postures were easy, so I declared myself an intermediate level student when I started at Kai. I still laugh about that one, and it goes to show how much I needed a dose of humility in my life.
WHY I TEACH:
As members of an increasingly divisive society, I believe we all have a lot of internal work to do to eradicate those feelings of insecurity, self-loathing, and judgement that we pass on to others. I enjoy teaching to encourage people to face those demons on the mat and to know that I’m in their corner cheering them on.
I had never considered becoming a yoga teacher until my teacher suggested it to me. Once that idea entered my head, I was hooked. The opportunity to provide the safe space for self-discovery for other people that she had provided for me was a great motivator. I love that the learning never stops. There’s always something to dig deeper into. I love that I can count on a lifetime of exploration and discovery. My Ashtanga practice continues to be a source of eternal education; anatomy of postures, the count, mysteries of breath and meditation. As an early childhood intervention specialist, I continue to explore teaching yoga for children and its effects in the classroom, particularly for children with special needs and sensory disorders. Within our Ashtanga community, I continue to practice alongside the students I teach on a regular basis. Knowing everyone’s daily lives, I’m always inspired when they show up on their mats and work it through despite times of struggle or joy.