How I Fell in Love with Yoga

It first started around the year 2003.  I had switched to my second (and still to this day) psychiatrist.  She has been a God send.  Going off her advise I started seeing a therapist.  During our sessions my therapist, Janet, recommended that I start doing something that was just for me.  She suggested that I think about yoga because not only would it be me time, but it is great for your physical as well as your mental health.

I found a few classes at our local recreation center.  I started going and really liked it.  However at this point I was still learning who I was.  I was growing.  Relearning how I fit into the world.  Just going to the grocery store was scary.  I kept with the yoga for a few months but eventually dropped it to pursue other interests.  Like selling Avon of all things (insert big eye roll here).  Imagine little scared me selling Avon.  I actually didn't do too bad, mainly because I have a huge family of women. However, I still wonder what would have happened if I had stayed with the yoga all those years ago.

Me close to my heaviest

About two years ago (2010) I opened a membership to 24 Hour Fitness.  Due to the meds I am on for my bipolar I had easily ballooned up to 195 pounds.  That's a lot for my 5'7" frame.  I was tired of being the "the fat friend"  so I was determined to change.  I started eating right, working out, and taking aerobic classes like step, zumba, kick boxing, and you guessed it yoga!  It was there that I fell in love with this beautiful practice.  Yoga quickly became my drug of chose, and when I couldn't make my yoga classes my mood and everything was different.  I was taking a few college classes back then.  I remember when the semesters would start and I would have to miss some of my yoga classes, I would get depressed.  It was such a horrible feeling.  I should have known then that my future would be forever changed, and those college classes I was taking would soon be of no use to me.  It was at 24 hour that I met Charly.  She is an amazing teacher, she's the one that first showed me that yoga was so much more that just exercise.  I will be forever indebted to her for igniting that fire I have for yoga.

After bootcamp, about a month into going

In November 2011 my friend Stephanie talked me into going to a bootcamp class with her at the local hospital.  It was a great workout and the membership was only $13.50 for all the classes!  I dropped my membership at 24 hour fitness.  I was saddened by the thought of never being able to go to another one of Charly's yoga classes, but the bootcamp was working and it was so much cheaper.  We started going to bootcamp 3 times a week and kickboxing once.  All at the break of dawn (5:30 am).  Surprising considering I'm so not a morning person, but it was working I was actually losing weight!  The support system we had was great too.  Great place, great people, great sweat!

After bootcamp about 2 months in

I was finally losing weight and having fun, but in just that short period of time away I had really started missing yoga.  So Steph and I went to a local yoga studio where she taught Zumba to take a class.  It was my first class in an actual yoga studio.  I was blown away by the quality of the teachers that teach at studios vs. the ones that only teach at gyms.  If you're lucky, at a gym you'll get a teacher like Charly who works at both!  We didn't plan our trip to the studio very well.  The class we decided to take was Bruce's Rock Body Yoga in a heated room.  At one point I thought I was literally going to die.  Then later on in class I turned to Steph and told her she was a dead woman for getting me into this mess.  I spent over half the class in child's pose and the teacher still made me do a headstand!  You know what though when it was over I felt great, I was so happy and I even gave Bruce a hug and thanked him for torturing me for an hour.  Oh and I ended up sparing Stephanie's life and we came back for more punishment two days later.

Me and Stephanie after our 2nd class with Bruce
 Since then I've started going to at least 5 yoga classes a week at 3 different studios, not including workshops.  I go to mostly Bruce's classes because I like his style of teaching, but mainly because I trust him.  To me that is one of the most important things, being able to really trust your yoga teacher.  He has really become my mentor (whether he likes it or not).  He has encouraged me so much since he found out that I want to expand my practice and start teaching.  I even owe him the credit for pushing me to go deeper and learn more that just the Power Yoga that I love.  To go to a school that offered a more in depth teaching of yoga.

There are a few other teachers that I trust and look up too but our schedules never seem to mesh.  I have even met back up with Charly, purely by accident, she works at one of the studios I go to, I had no idea.  Talk about a very pleasant surprise.  I have made a few of her classes since then, but like I said the time's never seem to match up.  They have all been very helpful and empowering in my journey and continue to be.  I hope to be able to do the same for someone else one day.


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