How did you discover yoga?
I feel like yoga comes to us in weird ways, but when we need it the most.
Yoga came to me as a gift, a painful gift that I didn’t want to open. I remember my first class…I cried. I was a track and field athlete in college who put my body through everything it could handle until one day I dropped to my knees from a striking bolt of pain that I later found out was a stress fracture in my 4th lumbar vertebrae. My season was over…my full scholarship threatened, and all I had to offer the world at that point was an overflow of tears.
A concerned counselor suggested I try yoga. I’d never really heard about it before and remember my first class being full of pain and tears. Somehow I found myself halfway on my head and I thought it was going to explode. I think if I had a way out I wouldn’t have returned for a second class but I signed up for the semester, so I was stuck.
Day after day, inch after inch, I saw improved. After a week I’d cried all the tears my body was capable of and my teacher suggested I focus on my breath. I stopped thinking about the poses and only thought about fully breathing the entire class. After a month my spirit was lifted and I added swimming and biking to my routine to heal my body. I forgave myself for being so hard on my body and after a year of therapy and self-love I returned to the track to win 3 Championship titles in
the High Jump, Heptathlon and Mile Relay and lead my team to Wichita State’s first Women’s Track and Field Championship title. I continued practicing yoga and became an instructor to help others strengthen their mind, body and spirit as well.
Yoga created a connection I was missing and I am forever grateful for it. If it wasn’t for yoga, maybe I wouldn’t have recovered. You don’t need to be in a critical situation like I was to start practicing, yoga benefits everyone in different ways.
Maybe you have some fears and insecurities you want to work on or maybe you want to relief stress. Whatever is going on your life right now, yoga is there for you as am I.
Start by signing up for a yoga class at a studio nearby and just give it a try!