Yoga Saved My Life
And that is why I decided to become a yoga teacher.
I left home at the age of seventeen, after surviving a traumatic and violent childhood. I found a job and would come home in the evenings and roll around on the floor putting myself in various weird positions. I didn't know what I was doing, but I knew it felt good. Then I came across my first yoga book, The Complete Illustrated Book of Yoga by Swami Vishnudevananda. I recognized the photos of poses in the book to be the poses I was doing and that's when I realized.. I was doing yoga!
I was rebellious, independent, and looking to escape - as many are at a young age, but especially so due to my upbringing. As time went by, drugs became a part of my life. When the drugs showed up, the yoga dissapeared. It was years later that I knew I had to confront my past and make some serious changes if I wanted to survive.
I moved to a different city, got a job, and started attending yoga classes. That grew into attending yoga workshops, retreats, visiting ashrams, and finding my "yoga home." One of my teachers encouraged me to teach so I took a certifcation course. I had been working with AIDS patients for almost ten years which was wonderful work but also very hard because in those days, no one survived. I needed a change so I took a leap and quit that job to teach yoga full time. I got lucky. I became the manager of one of the largest and oldest yoga studios in the country and I was teaching classes. I was in heaven.
Teaching and practicing asana was my primary yoga practice for a long time. Yoga now also helps me with the various injuries and illnesses that have arisen as I have aged. Staying strong, flexible, healthy, and peaceful I attribute to my yoga practice. It is more of a therapeutic approach at this point in my life, and in many ways, it is much richer and more fulfilling than ever before. Yoga therapy, Ayurveda and all the teachings of this ancient practice have helped me through the many life transitions from being that 17 year old girl to the 61 year old woman that I am today.
Now many years later, I've never looked back. I can't imagine where I would be if it were not for yoga. It saved my life. That is why I want to share what I have learned with others. I know the difference yoga can make in people's lives. The difference it has made for me is nothing short of miraculous.