When I began the yoga teacher training journey just a couple of months ago, I never could’ve anticipated the transformations that would come from my experience. The first night of training, I walked in feeling guarded and reserved and by the end of the night, I was raw and vulnerable and stayed open to the experience both inside and outside of the studio ever since. After learning about the pillars of Baptiste Yoga- drishti, breath, foundation, heat and flow, it became clear to me that the parallels of life both on and off the mat cannot be denied. Creating a sacred space on my mat, in my breath and my postures has been such a guiding force during the biggest and most beautiful upheaval of my life and has kept me centered and grounded throughout.
During one of our first nights of training, we began to discuss vulnerability and how it does or doesn’t appear for us in our lives and in yoga. We allowed ourselves to be exposed by sharing insights of our hearts to perfect strangers. There were tears, there was laughter and most importantly, we were beginning to breakdown and allow ourselves to be seen. It was in these moments that I first acknowledged that there was a problem in my marriage. Not just a little crack in the foundation but fourteen years of denial and shame beginning to pour out of me with a short conversation with two people I had just met. I remember going home that night not knowing how to express myself and in my heart acknowledging completely what I had known for a long time- that I could no longer accept the life I had grown complacent in. I began the act of truly seeing what was in front of me. I began to allow my drishti, which I had not allowed to shift over the years, to start to explore and wander a bit, to allow the gaze to play and notice. I started to see that the life I had accepted as “good enough” was no longer going to cut it.
On paper and to people on the outside looking in, my life looked joyful, simple and easy but once I allowed my heart to become open, I realized that my life appeared that way because I had created the illusion that it was such. All of the aspects of a happy home looked like they were in place- a house by the beach, a beautiful dog, handsome husband, cheerful Instagram photos and Facebook posts but lying under the surface was years of financial instability, worry and fear, struggles with infertility, arguments about how to pay the bills, and loads of resentment. There were years of broken promises, of begging and pleading for someone to meet me in the middle, nagging and prodding for simple tasks to be accomplished and feeling like I was carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders. My drishti had been focused on the wrong point and attention naturally followed to that space and got stuck.
Now that I’ve had space to find my breath, space to come back home to myself, I see that this illusion has been crumbling for a long time, I just hadn’t woken up to it just yet. Through the tools of my yoga training, opening my chakras, releasing and allowing, I was able to see my life for what it is. During this time, I met someone. I didn’t plan it or know I wanted it or needed it but it happened nonetheless. I looked at this beautiful human and my immediate reaction was that I had known him before, that we had walked through another life together and that we were meant to be together and create a life and family with one another. I knew immediately in that moment that I deserved and would have a life full of joy, adventure and pure love and I knew that I could never, ever go back to the life I had led before. In that moment, breath was all I had to stay composed and grounded.
Over the past couple of months, I feel that I’ve lived a lifetime. It’s been weeks of sadness, of deep change and most importantly profound happiness, appreciation, gratitude and endless amounts of joy. I have walked away from a life that I had convinced myself I was supposed to remain in and have started to create my own foundation. I have started a new life with a partner that meets me in the middle, that I feel supported and protected by, that I feel sees me for who I am which I now know is someone that I think is beautiful, strong and caring. I now see that life has endless possibilities and that it’s not only possible to start over again but that it can be the best decision you’ll ever make. Oddly enough, since leaving my home, my beloved pet, my husband and 90% of my belongings behind, I have never felt more rooted in my foundation, secure in who I am and sure footed on my path.
I don’t believe that the yoga training happened by coincidence just as I don’t believe that new love entered my love by chance. Prior to joining that incredible group of yogis, I know that I was closed off, that I was scared to allow and that I was numbing myself to pain and in the process numbing myself to joy. I have started to let the walls crumble, to allow heat to build and I have accepted the fact that I deserve to be happy.
So now it’s time to find my flow both on and off the mat. As I venture out into the world of teaching and holding space for my yoga students and as I travel down the path of my new life, I will always hold these moments of knowledge from my training close to my heart. I will remember to keep my drishti focused yet playful, to allow my breath to be full and meaningful, my foundation to be strong and secure, heat to warm my heart and soul and to release resistance and find my flow.
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