My Path to Yoga

Friday, December 13, 2019

Like everything else up until this point, I kinda became a yoga instructor by accident. Well, no, not accident at all, but rather following the desire of my heart at the time, without really knowing where it would lead, yet ending up in a place that I know I was meant to be. Intuition is a funny thing, huh?

Truth is, when my family bought a second home in the Hudson Valley, I had no idea it would lead me to getting certified to teach yoga. But it's special location tucked in the woods, and the magic that one room held, sparked this journey. You see, one day (years into owning that house) I was sitting on our deck (my go-to spot) when a summer storm rolled in. I retreated into the our rarely used screened in room, deciding to wait it out, and as I sat there staring out onto the lake and listening to the pattering rain on the skylights, it hit me that that room, and it's direct interface with nature, was magical, and meant for yoga. At that point, I was had been taking yoga classes pretty regularly, and thought to myself, "I'll have to bring an instructor in one day," and left it at that-- never intending for that instructor to be me. But that was just the first seed the Universe planted, and today that special place is my home studio, LakeFront Yoga. 

So how did that happen? Well, fast foward a few months after that rainstorm, I was sitting at my computer (in that same house) when a yoga teacher training popped on my screen. I was in need or a retreat (a long winter with a toddler), and my circumstances allowed me to get away (aka my toddler's dad was laid off and home) so, interest piqued, I investigated, and on a whim, I decided to go on an intensive 200hr training in Mexico. Fear almost stopped me ($$, responsibility, leaving my little one, etc), but knowing I was supported, I decided to follow my adventurous side, and trust it would all work out. I somewhat blindly booked, looking at the trip as a chance to getaway and to finally give to myself (new mom life anyone?)I figured I'd do some yoga, deepen my own practice and have a good time. Little did I know (or plan) that step forward would lead to a whole other meaningful chapter of my life, one that I now know was meant to be a part. It's a funny thing how the Universe plants seeds and entices us forward, even with it's own ultimate plan in mind. In fact, it wasn't until I was doing my "teach-back" at the end of that yoga training, that the thought of actually teaching yoga entered my mind as a real possibility. During that test of our abilities, I realized that teaching was super natural for me, and even the teacher leading the training made mention of my ease doing it.

When I look back now, I can see that I was being prepared for teaching my whole adult life. Way back in college, I had decided that along with my English degree (that was kinda my default choice at the time), I would also take on the extra credits and get certified to teach high school English. I was really just being practical and had decided "why not," figuring it would be good to have "in my back pocket." I now can see how that real life teaching experience was the jumping off point for a journey that would be filled with teaching opportunities, great adventures and purpose. That student teaching made me let go of my fear of public speaking (real until that point), and forced me to get completely comfortable in front of groups. I also learned how to relate well and read different people (high school students can be a tough crowd!), communicate effectively and build confidence in myself.  There were so many good lessons and experiences built during that time, and I can see now that all of it was prepping me for what was to follow. Those skills were essential for the TV career that came down the line (which also led me to start doing yoga as stress relief), and really built the foundation for me to move into the teaching, speaking and the coaching work that I do today.  

Wayne Dyer says, "follow your excitement," and I totally agree. Our desires are there for a reason, and when we follow them and can tap into our intuition we can be led to incredible places. It's all within us, and really just about accessing our own inner wisdom. Today, as yoga teacher, my biggest goal is to help people do just that. To help them build more strength, overcome challenge, and find more mindfulness, peace and purpose in the process. The beauty of it all-- all of those things we learn about ourselves on the yoga mat and the all the tools we develop to push foward there-- is that all of it is the most meaningful when applied off the mat. I didn't fully realize this for years and years into starting yoga (sneaky little practice), but now realize the transforming power yoga holds. This is its magic.

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