It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything (just about a year actually). I’ve decided to turn this blog into something where I can write about more than just my travels, but other things close to my heart, and I hope you don’t mind.
So to start this new blog transformation, I thought I’d write about something that transformed me – yoga.
I started yoga while I was still dancing, around junior high. My mom was the first person who brought me to a hot yoga class, and it was quite the experience. In case you’ve never been to a traditional hot yoga class before, I’ll do my best to explain the atmosphere just a little. Upon walking into the 40 degrees plus room, typically you are not allowed to talk, it’s very dimly lit, and 2 minutes in you’re already slipping on your mat from all the sweat. You are always just a tad too close to the person next to you, hoping the entire time neither of you accidentally bump into each other, or worse, drip your sweat onto their mat. If it’s your first time, you spend most of the class straining your neck and body looking around to see what the heck you’re supposed to be doing every time the teacher says something in what sounds like a completely different language. “Now ignite the fire within your inner goddess and place your right foot under your left armpit, over your right ear, and square your hips. Now breathe.” Wait, what?
After 75 minutes of a sweaty delusional mess, you find yourself resting in savasana (corpse pose) and suddenly feel a wave of relaxation and peace, hopefully. That’s the idea anyway, right? To bring your awareness into your body and mind, and let the stresses and anxieties within your day to day life shrink just a little. That’s what got me hooked.
I tend to be a very anxious person, and I worry about things that the average person may not choose to stress over. So starting yoga for me wasn’t entirely about the physical aspect, but more so the mental. Of course, I wanted to keep in shape and stay flexible, but yoga was the one thing during my day where I could find time to let my mind relax, and not think about anything except breathing, and where to put that darn right foot.
I continued practicing yoga throughout high school and fell even more in love with it during those years. I made a commitment to myself that after I graduated high school, I would save my money and get my 200-hour yoga teacher training certificate so that one day I could share my love and passion for yoga, and let it save someone the way it saved me. (If you’d like to hear about my 3 weeks in Costa Rica where I did my training, let me know! I’d love to share the journey with anyone who wants to hear).
4 months after getting my 200 ytt, I hadn’t started teaching yet, I started university and yoga kind of went on the back burner. I was still practicing on my own during those 4 months but had absolutely no clue how to start teaching others. It wasn’t until I moved in with my Aunt and Uncle at the start of school that I pushed myself to get out into the teaching world. My Aunt is a yoga instructor herself and graciously connected me with a yoga studio where I got my first teaching job. After not teaching yoga for a while, it was definitely a struggle getting comfortable standing in front of a room of people I didn’t know, telling them where to put their right foot. The first few classes I taught were the most nerve-wracking things I had ever done. I had to meditate before class before I was calm enough to guide others through the same thing! But it was so worth it.
I’m still lucky enough to be teaching at the same studio and I hope to continue learning about the practice and how I can use it to learn about myself as well as inspire others. The one thing I am certain that I learned from yoga, is that when something comes into your life and speaks to you, explore it. Learn from it, embrace it, and find what it’s trying to say. Most of the time it’s speaking something important, and it’s worth listening to.