In 2014 I found myself in a place of ill health, (self-perceived) weakness, and frustration. In 2013 I had developed unique stomach issues that refused to let me digest my food correctly, so my body wasn’t receiving nearly enough nutrients to sustain my body and I was experiencing stomach pain following each meal. I have never been fond of doctors (no offense intended to the well-intentioned medical professionals out there), but after months of losing weight and concerned loved ones asking, I went a doctor. I was given many tests that came up inconclusive and offered pain pills to mask my symptoms. I was left frustrated but a small spark had been lit inside of me, a burning desire to heal myself that would later manifest. In July of 2014 I began reading one of Dolores Cannon’s many fantastic books, The Three Waves of Volunteers and The New Earth. Dolores Cannon is a hypnotherapist that utilizes mainly past life regression therapy. Her book was mostly transcripts of her conversations with clients, many who also suffered from unexplainable or diagnosable health conditions. After her work with them most reported that they were no longer suffering and their health had returned. I had also read books previously focused on chakras and touching on energy healing, such as Anatomy of the Spirit by Caroline Myss. At this point I realized that not healing needed to be facilitated through a doctor and prescriptions, but could possibly be changed energetically. I decided that if I truly wanted to be healthy, I needed to stop focusing on my problems, drowning myself in self-pity and clouds of marijuana and instead begin focusing on healing.
I began journaling on a consistent basis, writing with gratitude for my health each day. I started to change my habits of informing my roommates and best friends of my daily obstacles, and started only telling them about the times I felt better and was able to digest a little bit more food. I noticed that the more I focused on the positive the more positive aspects I had to give thanks for. My journal entries started becoming full of gratitude, not only for my health but for many little moments throughout each day. I found myself thankful for my interactions with others, whether they were strangers in lines or dear friends. I was filled with gratitude for the weather, both the beautiful sunny days and the rejuvenating rainy days. I found myself happier and lighter, still experiencing symptoms but no longer letting them control my life. Then, I found yoga. Or really, yoga found me.
In August I won a raffle for a free month of yoga at Hot Spot Power Yoga. It took me a couple of weeks to get myself to the studio, but when I did I found out it was less than five minutes from my apartment. I was pretty excited to use my free month and then maybe keep taking some yoga classes at our school gym. At the time I had no idea how much this practice would end up changing my life. The more consistently I attended classes, the more I wanted to get on my mat and practice. Hot Spot teaches Baptiste inspired classes, which means the room is kept at 90 degrees and we are flowing through our practice, aiming to match our breath with our movements, holding some poses deeply and continuing to move and flow. I began to feel strong as muscles I didn’t even realize I had started to appear on my body and I realized that I was able to go deeper in poses, hold them longer, and possibly even get upside down! After being a competitive athlete for 11 years, my practice was giving me an opportunity to compete again, but this time it was against myself. I realized the more I looked around the room at others practicing, the more my mind wandered and the less sturdy I was in my own balance. Realizing this helped me bring my focus back into myself, releasing the need to judge others or compare myself to them. The stronger I got on my mat the more self-confident I became regarding my practice, but also how I lived my life off of my mat. I began allowing myself to be my authentic self, to stop worrying about how others perceived my actions and to let go of the limiting beliefs I held about my body. As I read further into Anatomy of the Spirit I learned much about my third chakra, the Solar Plexus. The Solar Plexus is located in our stomachs, right around the belly button. This chakra governs inner strength, self-confidence, and power, especially will-power. Through my practice, journaling, and reading I came to realize I was in complete control of my health, all it took was a commitment to shift my beliefs, having faith in the goodness to come.
As I continued my practice I found myself surrounded by more and more uplifting people, teachers and fellow students that loved seeing me progress, both physically and mentally. My life was transforming and I was beginning to feel powerful for the first time in too long. I took part in a wonderful program designed by Baron Baptiste, 40 Days to a Personal Revolution. Through weekly group meetings, reading and personal inquiry I began developing self-awareness and taking responsibility for the way my thoughts regarding my body and my abilities were shaping my life. I started shifting my vision on the relationships I had in my life, retraining myself to not take others’ actions personally. I started making a conscious effort to respond to people and situations rather than to react.
I became a certified children’s yoga instructor in the spring of 2015 and spent four months this past summer completing my 200 hour teacher training in August. Now I’ve been teaching for about a month and am finding myself once again facing a familiar challenge, self-confidence. My knowledge of the human body is sound, I consistently read and try to learn new phrases to help my students get into alignment, but when it comes to letting my true self shine through I find myself struggling. I found myself surprised after the first few classes when I received positive feedback from my students. I did not even realize I was lacking self-confidence until I realized how surprised I was. By bringing awareness to this I have been able to identify another area that I get to grow in. I’m now excited for each class I teach because I know that I will be able to access a little bit more of myself. I have also seen how much I empower my students. I encourage them to get out of their heads and connect with their body fully, using their breath to get them through their practice. As I have become more comfortable pushing my students, I have begun to hear my own words throughout my personal practice.
I’ve made the conscious decision to drop my fears, my self-imposed limitations and any judgmental thoughts. Instead I choose to strive for self-confidence, empowerment and never ending growth. My first step is to share this blog, to put my words out there, trusting that those who want or need them in their life will find them. My hope is to forever be a powerful uplifter, trusting my own intuition and spreading love to many.
Love and light,