Yoga and Me

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About a year and a half ago I completed a 200 hour yoga teacher training certification. I don’t want to spend too much time on this, but I will say that over the course of the three months that led me to completing this certification, way too many people told me that it would “change my life”. I don’t think I’ve ever done anything that I’d classify as “life changing”, but I guess if I had to pick one thing…yoga (not the teacher training itself) would be that thing. However, I didn’t discover that until recently.

I learned a lot of valuable teaching tools (verbal cues, poses, adjustments, etc.) to help me become a better teacher and student. I definitely soaked in a lot of the “taking yoga off the mat” lessons, but I wouldn’t say that I put them into my everyday life very well. I did end up making a really good friend, who I eventually worked at a yoga studio with.

I was so obsessed with practicing yoga- heated vinyasa specifically. You can google that if you want, I don’t really want explain it. I was going to advanced classes six days a week, every day, sometimes twice a day. I loved it.

At one point, weird red rashes started appearing all over my legs, and eventually spread to my arms. 3 cortisone shots to the ass and way too many allergy medications later, I was in the same spot. Nothing was working. My doctor eventually said that the uncomfortable rashes could be from heat, and that I should take a break with the hot yoga. At this time, I thought that this was the worst (yoga-related) thing that had ever happened to me.

I tried a few non-heated studios but I really didn’t like them. I was frustrated. Luckily, my friend that I spoke of earlier was managing a brand new studio, and she offered me a teaching job. I also was getting to know an amazing guy who rubbed gentle lotion on my horrible rashes every night. He later became my husband. So life wasn’t that shitty.

Turns out, teaching yoga was AWESOME. I felt really happy and confident and connected to all of these people who were coming to my classes. It was so rewarding, and I felt like I was growing each day.

Not too long after, I experienced a personal loss that really affected my husband and I. I don’t want to get too much into it. The same day, I lost my yoga teaching job and a good friend. I don’t want to get too much into that either.

After being bedridden for about a week, I tried to get back to my life. Yoga, however, was the last thing I wanted to do. I threw myself into work, I overate, I overslept, and eventually turned into someone I really didn’t like. I was so insanely hurt and angry and confused that I almost pushed my fresh, blooming marriage to it’s breaking point.

No matter how shitty things got, I could not get back on the mat. I hated this person who had done this to me- I hated that yoga did this to me. I felt betrayed somehow by yoga, by this practice that I used to love. I felt like it fucked up my life. I felt like I would never teach again. I don’t know why.

I went to therapy, I got an amazing new job, I applied to grad school. My relationship started to recover, but I couldn’t.

This afternoon I went back to the original heated studio that brought me so much peace. Minutes into the class, I was sweating bullets, but my muscle memory hadn’t failed me. I continued with humble, wobbly grace, but I found my stride. At the end of the class I laid in the back corner in svasana and cried. I can’t wait to go back tomorrow.

For the first time in over 4 months, I felt strong and happy and brave and worthwhile. I did that, sure, but yoga did that. I’m so stoked we found each other again.

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