“Imperfections are not inadequacies; they are reminders that we’re all in this together.”- Brené Brown
Last year, when I began my yoga teacher journey, I really was not completely clear where it would lead or what I would do with the training that I was receiving. I only knew that I was desperate for something that I could call all mine. As you have read in past posts, I am a mom of three, a middle school teacher, and a wife. In the past few years as all of my kids were getting older and doing their own things and as I was growing more and more restless at my job, I began to feel like I had lost myself and my own identity. My husband has always had his coaching career which he was fulfilling for him and that he is amazing at. I felt like it was time for me to have my thing, but was not sure when I would find the time. I knew, however, that I loved yoga ever since starting to take amazing classes with Mari from Soul Candy Project. I knew that it helped me to feel relaxed (which I was in desperate need of). I also felt like it was the perfect mix of the movement that I missed from being a former dancer and athlete. An added bonus was that I got to take classes with friends and socialize afterwards. I felt so blessed to have found a yoga class that I felt comfortable taking since I had gone my whole life avoiding yoga because I had convinced myself that I was not flexible enough or did not look like the typical “yogi”.
Fast forward to the summer of 2020. I had just completed my first yoga certification and was on summer break from what could have been the most challenging end to a school year (or at least I thought). I was not as “active” as I had once been because going to the gym was not something that anyone could do and walking on my own was something that I could do so much of. However, I was in love with everything that I was learning from yoga and decided to sign up for another certification starting in the fall. I jumped at starting my own business as well feeling like I had found my “thing” and really wanted to share it with others. So much of me had benefited from all of the amazing things that I had learned from my outstanding teachers at Yoga Farm Ithaca and I felt as though I was called to share this with the world, even if it was to a small audience. I wanted to scream from the rooftops that yoga truly is for everybody and EVERY BODY! I had found my Sangha and I wanted to create a community that would find yoga to be the medicine that we all so desperately need.
However, there is one thing that I was fighting with and continue to suffer with even as I write this blog today. I am a mom, a teacher, a wife (and now business owner) in a pandemic. The last few months have been HARD!! I have struggled most days to even get half of my step goals because my job now requires me to sit and stare at a computer all day. As a family, because we have not been able to do anything that requires traveling outside of our cozy home, has eaten our share of takeout. We have made poor dining choices out of exhaustion, out of stress eating, and out of the pure fact that it seemed like “something different” during the pandemic. I have not been to the gym because either has not been open, or when it was, who really wants to do cardio with a mask on after struggling some days to just make it up the stairs? Can you relate??
The reason that I share all of this is because while I was finally finding myself and finally doing what I love (I ADORE TEACHING YOGA!!) I was not scheduling classes for a while because I was afraid to get in front of any camera or any person to show them what I looked like. Yes, I was letting the idea that I had fought against so hard get the best of me. I was telling myself that I was not good enough to be a yoga teacher because I did not look like the stereotypical yoga teacher.
However, after a pity party, I realized that the exact reason that I decided to teach yoga is because I wanted others not to be intimidated about doing yoga. I wanted EVERYBODY and EVERY BODY to feel the benefits of a great stretch, a meditation exercise, and the community that yoga builds. I wanted to shout this off of the rooftops at a time when I feel like we all need yoga in some capacity in our lives. So, I got up..I grabbed my calendar and started to schedule some online classes for anyone who wanted to give it a try. And guess what…I built it and they came!!
My point to all of this is that I am here to say that I am just like so many of you. I live a busy life taking care of others during a global pandemic. I am not svelt athlete that I used to be. I sometimes cannot touch my toes in class. However, I LOVE YOGA and I LOVE SHARING YOGA! I get better with every class I take and every class that I teach. I am always learning and will forever be a teacher of yoga. I know that yoga fills me up and also helps to wind me down. I know that yoga is so much more than just how flexible you are or if you can even get into a down dog! It is truly for everyone and EVERY BODY if you are willing to give it a try. I have met the BEST people through yoga and I hope to do this until I am 100 years old.
There are a lot of yoga teachers out there and I pray that you find the right one for you. I know that I did and it was a life changer. Whatever you do, don’t shy away from yoga like I did for too long. Anyone can do yoga. You may not look like everyone else in the class as you attempt to get into a pose, but then again you shouldn’t because we are all put together differently. Remembering that what may feel good in your body may not feel good to someone else and vice versa. My yoga teachers always remind us that yoga is an inside job…Yoga is not a bunch of poses that your body gets into, rather it is the poses that help you to get into your self. I would love to have you join any of my classes if you are interested when the time is right for you.
“You are imperfect, you are wired for struggle, but you are worthy of love and belonging.” – Brené Brown