My first exposure to yoga came as a child via my mother and a Raquel Welch VHS tape. Our “sacred space” was a cramped, cluttered bedroom in our tiny rural home, but the beauty and power of the practice elevated our humble surroundings and took root in my heart.
As a young adult, I rediscovered yoga after losing my mother to cancer. Grief was overtaking me and manifesting in unhealthy ways. Always a type-A personality, the less desirable aspects of my personality were magnified and reigning supreme: perfectionism, unrealistic expectations, self-criticism, anger, dissatisfaction, and control. I’d like to say that the idea of getting back to my yoga roots came to me as a great epiphany during a moment of clarity, but it was simpler than that. I hated traditional exercise, I always enjoyed yoga, and it was a connection to my mother that couldn’t be severed.
Through yoga, I can purge the junk, both physically and mentally. It is a whole-being practice. Not only is my body healthier, but I am a calmer, more thoughtful person. I am better equipped to regulate my emotions and tendencies. I can increasingly, as they say, “not sweat the small stuff”. I like myself and I am at peace: that is the magic of yoga for me.
I am drawn to restorative yoga as a teacher because relaxing, especially relaxing into discomfort, is a critical wellness skill that’s being lost in our rat-race lifestyles. Many people, particularly women, are unable to disentangle feelings of guilt and selfishness that often accompany stepping away from their responsibilities - even briefly - for some much-needed “me time”. As such, we fall victim to an endless cycle of desperately needing to recharge in order to be our best selves, yet not allowing ourselves the space to do so. I want to empower people to embrace the importance of balance and to shed the negative attachments that threaten it.