Because yoga is so much more than downward facing dog……
I came to yoga 20 years ago trying to heal an injury to my back and ankle. After several months of conventional treatment by a specialist and physical therapy, my family doctor suggested yoga since none of the treatments were working. I had two young children and I was having a hard time keeping up with them since my lower back was in constant pain and discomfort. Desperate to find a solution, I followed my doctor’s advice and started attending yoga classes at my local gym. It took a few months, but little by little my back got better. I learned poses, alignment and started to build physical flexibility and strength which made a significant difference on the health of my back. However, over time I began to notice pressure to get into the perfect pose and to exert myself to a level that often times felt unnatural to my body or my state of being at each moment.
Something inside me kept telling me that there must be more to yoga than just getting into the perfect downward facing dog. So, I decided to study on my own and that’s when I discovered what yoga really is:
A healing process that opens the space for you to come back home to yourself.
By personalizing and slowing down my practice and really emphasizing the body, breath and mind connection, I learned that, at its very essence, yoga is about integrating all aspects of ourselves. From this place, I was able to tailor and engage in a practice that was better aligned with what my whole self really needed. As a result, I felt empowered to better face life's challenges and found greater well being. My practice has supported me through many milestones in my life like illnesses, menopause, anxiety, childhood trauma, emotional upheaval, daily stress and major heart breaks. And, yes my back still bothers me here or there, but I now know how to listen, reconnect, and respond appropriately.
Wanting to formalize my yoga training, I have now completed a 200 hour KRI Kundalini Yoga teacher training and 300 hours of advanced study in somatic yoga therapy.* I'm a 200 hr registered yoga teacher (RYT) with the Yoga Alliance registry. I'm also a iRest® teacher-in-training Level I and my teaching is informed by the teachings of Richard Miller and the Integrative Restoration Institute.
I believe that in order to get the most benefits from a yoga practice, it needs to be adapted to each person's individual needs.
After all, we are each unique and each day is unique. Therefore, the practice of yoga should ebb and flow as we do, ceding to changes in our physical body, stress level, or daily routine.
*The yoga therapy component of my teaching is based on my training in Somatic Yoga Therapy with Janice Gates, not derived from my status as an RYT with Yoga Alliance Registry.