Thank you so much for being here. I have been thinking long and hard about what journeys would make the most sense for this platform. On one hand, with COVID-19 being out, what can people really do? On the other, A LOT! So why yoga? Well, I am in deeply in love with everything yoga and I have been for a while now. I guess it makes sense to map out my pre-blog yoga journey to better set up what is this “Year As” journey going to be about.
I went to college.
As a product of playing every sport imaginable in high school and a little bit of club college teams, my body was falling a part by my early 20s. It feels so long ago, though it is not at all. I genuinely couldn’t walk up curbs or stairs without assistance. It was very exhausting to walk around and sitting for long periods created a horribly sharp pain in my knees. Not to mention, I also had a chronic pinch nerve in my back/shoulder which would hurt so bad it would wake me up at night.
I needed relief and somewhere I heard about Yoga
The year was 2014 and I saw an ad for FREE yoga classes at Penn State’s health center. They were open to anyone and were Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Before this my dad may have been the only other person I heard talk about yoga but for whatever reason, probably because it was free, I went. I had no real expectations, except I really wanted to learn how to do the splits! What I found out was, yoga was a lot more work, sweat and tears (some happy, some not-so-much!) I wasn’t competing as an athlete anymore and my body was very damaged, and yoga did the impossible. It gave me a rigorous work out while being gentle and caring to my body. After a few months, my walking improved so much that I was able to use stairs alone and my pinch nerve went from sharp pains to mild numbness in a matter of weeks. I sold. I loved yoga.
I graduated and moved to Philly
This is about the time you all met me. I began blogging while in my master’s program in Philly. At the time, I was making little to no money, working a lot, and going to school. I literally could not afford $200 memberships to yoga studios, I really couldn’t afford $25 classes, but I did not want to revert back to the aches and pains of pre-yoga me. I did what any broke college student would do, I googled “free yoga in Philly”. Though it was a collage of a bunch of one-off and random yoga classes, I was able to continue to do yoga, even if it was only every so often.
Once the summer came around, outdoor yoga events began. These were much more frequent and often were lead like a studio but COMPLETELY FOR FREE! Through this program, I really fell deeper in love with yoga and feeling connected to nature and the outdoors. It was in these summers, I decided I wanted to become a yoga Teacher.
Moved back In With My Parents
Because honestly, are you even a millennial if you don’t have some financial hardships! By the end of my master’s program, I went through a really weird break up, my jobs ended their contracts and I had no money to my name. I moved in with my parents in Texas, where it was much harder to find free yoga. However, at this point, I was set! I wanted to be a yogini. So I did what anyone does when they want to become a professional, I got on YouTube!
From there I became a YouTube Yogini and religiously watch Yoga With Adriene. This was ultimately the best thing I could have done. While it is often safer and easier to practice with an in-person teacher, I was able to have a real spiritual and connected relationship with my body and my yoga practice through this YouTube channel.
I Got Accepted Into UCLA, Moved Out and Got Certified To BE A YOGA TEACHER
Whoa! I know you are thinking, “this journey resolved itself fast.” But I am not done! lol Oddly enough becoming a yoga teacher is just the beginning. Through UCLA’s Yoga Leadership Program, I became a 200hr CYT. It was a long 6 months, but I passed the certification as one of the highest performing students in my class. I spent some time as a yoga assistant at South TreeLA yoga studio. I went back to Philadelphia the following summer and served as an assistant to the Director of Yoga on the Pier – the program that made me want to teach in the first place. I was doing it! I was a yoga teacher.
The Summer Ended and Here I am, July 2020?
Well, okay! That’s what happened. The summer ended, school started and I all my time went away. I stopped teaching, then I stopped moving, and now here I am a year later thinking what just happened? So it is July 2020, and it hit me hard, that the last time I was actively doing yoga was almost a year ago. While I did a practice here and there, I totally let myself lose something I loved so dear. I lost a LOT of strength, flexibility, and honestly some confidence too.
So Now What?
Well, I am starting over. That’s the thing about life. You can always start over. I am trying to find myself again. I want to feel myself again. I want to love myself again, and not just superficially like “ooo I look good” love myself, but a “this is my wonderful body” type of love. I do not want to love my body just for what it can do for me, or how it can look for others. I want to love this body, like you love a child. I want to celebrate all of its abilities and moments we share together. Including large and impressive ones, but also ordinary and small ones that we so often take for granted. From headstands to being just able to breath air, I want to love my body for being my body. Yoga showed me that love, and I miss it dearly. That’s it. That is my journey, falling in love with myself again, in the most hippie dippie, crystal flower child, magic moon baby, way I can. So please join me as I explore this Year As A Yogini.