Yoga is a physical practice; through the movements of my body, I connect to my soul. This is how I discover and rediscover my true self, and leave fear, judgment and shame behind.
Before I started my yoga practice I was trapped in an abusive relationship. I struggled in silence, too ashamed to talk or even think about my past. I pretended it never happened, and I kept living my life in sorrow, hoping that one day I would simply stop suffering. That denial was hurting me most of all.
Completely disconnected from myself and my true feelings, I started to suffer depression, eating disorders, insomnia and severe panic attacks. Once I discovered yoga, slowly it taught me that I would heal, I could cope with my past, and I can accept and love everything I am; imperfections and weaknesses, strengths and vulnerabilities.
Through devotion to the practice, pranayama and learning to surrender to the present moment, I located the ability to forgive others and myself.
Fellow teachers, seekers: land yourself on a mat, and embrace any discomfort that comes while moving though the asanas. Breathe into your limits when you struggle with a pose; this will always help you as a teacher to offer words of acceptance, surrender, and connection. For victims of abuse and trauma, this process helps to focus and strengthen your mind, and helps you develop the skills to walk this path of healing. Then you can transmute the familiar anxiety of your past suffering into the beautiful blessing of the future. We might not know what’s coming next, but we can choose how to see what’s behind us.
Take every inhale and exhale in your practice as a gift, as an opportunity to connect, calm your mind and to let go of unnecessary holdings. Listen to what your physical body is trying to tell you – and instead fighting against your emotions and limitations, surrender to them. Embrace your whole story, and live into your own healing. Your students need your vulnerability; that vulnerability is your greatest strength.