My battle with anxiety and depression began in adolescence. If you had asked me at the time what I thought of myself I would have told you I was too sensitive, ugly, weak, and hopeless.
For years I ached for relief from the burden of myself. I searched high and low for answers, including therapy and medication, yet something was missing.
Then, at 17 years old I found Yoga and everything changed!
While on my mat, I began to see myself through a new lens. I attempted things I had previously believed I was incapable of doing. I stood in awe of my strength as I held a challenging posture and celebrated my ability to use my breath to endure discomfort. As my perception changed, it opened the door to endless possibilities.
My mat was my training ground; the safe space for me to experiment and explore my ability. I realized then that if I could push myself on my mat, I could do the same in my daily life. I was experiencing a transformation that was physical, yes, but I knew without a doubt it was so much more!
On a physical level, I was learning that I could regulate my nervous system through breath and movement – this meant that I had tools respond to anxiety and ease that response in my body. On a deeper level, I was learning that I was much more in control of my life than I had once thought. I knew that a shift was occurring in my inner-world!
In an effort to better understand this transformation and in hopes of sharing these gifts with others, I completed my first teacher teaching in 2012 through CorePower Yoga. Once my appetite for teaching was whet, I enthusiastically pursued training after training, growing more self aware and determined with each graduation.
It was when I found the Yoga Sutras and met my teacher, Kate Allen and her teacher, Robert Birnberg, that everything began to come together. Robert described the Sutras as “the first Psychological text” and that hit home for me. My Bachelors degree in Psychology and my fervor for Yoga had beautifully merged.
Our mind can be our greatest ally or beastly foe. We have the power to change our chemistry by consciously choosing the thoughts we focus on, the way we breathe, and how we hold our body. Knowing this, I cannot help but share with all who will listen.
My practice has been my anchor, through teenage pregnancy, divorce, mental illness, and every day life. My hope is to walk alongside other women as they refine the tools of this practice, to encourage them along the way, and challenge them toward growth. The broader and deeper our set of tools for living are, the more we can become the hero of our own lives!