Famous last words, right? My goal is to NOT say I will start a blog and then drop off after two or three posts. I figure if I put it out there, then I'm holding myself accountable. So, without further ado, allow me to introduce myself.
I really can't pinpoint when I first began practicing Yoga. I remember, when I was in High School, teaching myself Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutations) and doing them in my bedroom before I went to school. Yoga always felt like it was something that was just in my body. My first dedicated practice started in the Spring semester of my senior year of college in 2009. UMass Amherst was offering a semester series: two classes a week for the whole semester for $110 (and where in the world do you find a better deal than that?). I quickly convinced my mom (as if she needed any convincing) that it would be helpful as a way to manage my anxiety and depression. I say manage because I had no idea that Yoga would impact me so greatly. The anxious voice in my head told me I just need to be better at controlling what was controlling me. I quickly learned that Yoga is not about control, rather about letting go.
From the first time I stepped onto the mat in the dingy rec center at UMass, I felt a sense of hope. I felt a place of belonging. I remember being overwhelmed coming out of Savasana and wondering what had happened, or where those feelings had been my whole life. The next time I came to class, I told my teacher, Eric, that I wanted to teach. He chuckled and suggested I try a few more classes first. I was hungry and wanted to learn everything I could about Yoga: the history, the philosophy, the methodology... You name it, I wanted it.
Now, just because I came to the mat, it does not mean my life suddenly came together; it was actually quite opposite. I met my darkest moments shortly after, experienced the fluctuation of the job market, and really wondered what the heck I was doing with myself. One thing has remained consistent throughout these past seven years: my mat was always there for me. As I continue my practice, and now after finishing teacher training, I learn something new every time. The best part about all of this is that I get to share it with you and offer the healing benefits of such a loving practice.
Yoga is not about being perfect in a pose, or finding the best Instagram photo to share (and validate yourself through all the hearts). Yoga is about finding yourself by connecting to yourself, through yourself. Give yourself permission to slow down and just be. In those moments of quiet, we truly come home.