Thursday, April 22, 2010

Every Ending Has A Beginning

some of my beautiful yogini sisters

I'm happy to say that I'm back to attending a couple of yoga classes a week and teaching Allan at home (best student ever!).  My yoga teacher training ends this weekend, and its going to be extremely bittersweet.  I've been on this journey since the beginning of October, and still have a little make-up work to do (because of the ol' hip hurdles).  It's been a long road, and I can't wait to put all of this knowledge to good use.  I've met some of the most amazing women who have inspired me, lifted me up, challenged me, opened their hearts and shared their stories with me. They will always have a near and dear space in my heart.  I thank them for that.

I've had lots of time to think lately, and it has brought me back to what made me love yoga in the first place. What got me here?
It all started in Puerto Rico, 2006 .  I was a bored, military spouse, living on base with nothing to call my own.  I knew that yoga was supposed to be good for me, and I knew that with all of my hip pain--it couldn't hurt.  So, I started out doing random yoga dvd's in my living room with my girlfriend, Carina. We laughed and joked and took none of it seriously.  I later decided to give it another try and moved on to local classes that were only in Spanish. That was quite funny. I could swear that the handsome Puerto Rican yoga teacher was walking past me was telling me that I was excellent, only to find out he was telling me to exhale.  Yeah, I know.  My ego was crushed, and my spanish got a lot better after that.  ;)
Yoga friends in Puerto Rico
The Secret Garden

Then I started going to this place in Rincon, PR.  A place called the Secret Garden.  Yes,it was as magical as it sounds.  It was an art gallery, guest house, and "yoga studio". There was a giant, wooden, yoga deck outside that faced the ocean and was canopied by luscious green tropical trees and plants.  Random dogs would come by and you never knew if they belonged to the owner, or if they were just strays that wanted to hang out there as much as I did.  I didn't blame them.  The setting was serene and peaceful.  Cool ocean breezes randomly gusted at you while practicing and no music was needed--the sound of the ocean was enough.  It was amazing.  I was hooked.  How could you not be?  
After practicing there for a bit, I decided to take some workshops and I did a teacher training when I went home to Houston to deepen my practice. I was not really sure if I'd ever teach, but I knew that I needed to know more.  The thought of teaching had always appealed to me, I just don't think I ever had the confidence to do it.  Its not like when I was actively involved with theatre. Teaching yoga is not like doing a play, you have to be yourself, and if you're not--it really shows.  No masks, no stage-makeup or costumes, or script.  Just you--bare bones, open-hearted. That's scary to me for some reason.  

 a temple in Northeast Thailand

Things really changed in the Spring of 2008. I visited Thailand for the first time with my Mom and her husband. It was supposed to be a trip of a lifetime--getting to meet my family for the first time and see where my Mom lived, grew up and eventually met my Dad...
Those things did happen, but it ended up being a really hard and emotionally challenging trip for me.  Luckily, I was able to tap into my yoga and meditation practice to ease my pain.  I knew that it could calm me, and put my mind at ease.  I knew it was a safe comfortable place for me to be when I was sad, couldn't sleep, or simply missed my husband.  It allowed me to control my anxiety and find peace. Thats when I really realized that it was more for me than just some exercise.
Thailand, in general, is a very spiritual place.  It was everything I imagined--beautiful, exotic, full of smiles, and I felt comfortably at home there.  We spent a lot of time visiting beautiful golden wats (buddhist monasteries) and temples with large buddha statues, and even met with a monk.  It hit home for me not only spiritually, but in a weird deep-rooted, these-are-my-peeps kind of way.  I had never been to Thailand, and although the trip was not easy on me emotionally for various reasons, it was just what I needed to fill an empty void in my heart.  I had a moment of, ahhh...I understand. That "other" half of me made sense now.

We soon thereafter transferred to Philadelphia, and a lady had recommended that I go to an "amazing yoga studio" called Yoga Schelter.  I came home, looked it up, and it was literally around the block from me--walking distance...SCORE!  It was meant to be. She was right, it is amazing, and I have been a regular student there ever since.
This leads me to where I am now, in the Yoga Schelter/RYAH yoga teacher training.  I have decided that it is now time for me to take this whole "yoga thing" to a whole other level. Its been an interesting experience--some days sweeter than others.
 Everything seems to fall in place, though.

During this journey, I have realized that it's okay to be who you are, that I can't do everything alone, but yet, I can do a lot on my own in the same.  I have learned that I am incredibly emotional (many of you know this already--I cry at the drop of a hat), and truly care about other's well-beings.  Also, through this YTT I have come leaps and bounds with the healing of my hip and getting on this hip surgery(s).  This was a huge discovery for me, considering I may have waited years to feel better.  All of this had to happen when I was ready, and I feel that I am.  I do believe that the universe has set this up for me, and that there is a reason why I am here doing what I am doing right now.  I just have to trust it and go with the flow, count my blessings and put out what I want in return.

My yoga teacher training may be ending soon, but I feel like its just the beginning...


  1. You are an amazing woman. You brought me to tears while I read about your journey. We have grown so much since High School and it is wonderful to see what strong women we have all become.

  2. I love you my fiend! And I am so proud of what you have accomplished in YTT. You are amazing!

  3. Congrats! I'm so happy to see you so healthy and balanced. You are in such a great place right now. You'll have such a speedy recovery due to the great choices you are making. You go girl!

  4. You gals are the best! I will be updating tomorrow about the surgery #2. I must sleep...

  5. Um, I didn't mean fiend...I meant friend! Heehee...