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Never say never

Right before turned 30 was when I noticed something wasn't quite right with my physical and mental health. I had this tightness in my body that I was unable to access. Any self-care tools at the time were no help in alleviating my symptoms. I did find some relief in the form of an occasional chiropractic adjustment. During one appointment, in particular, my body spoke in a way that my voice was unable. Tears were forming in my eyes, not due to acute pain, but as a cry for help. I was at a loss. I knew there was a problem, but I had no idea how to begin to address my symptoms. I wasn't even 30 and already feeling the zeal I had for life, slipping away. When you are in pain, joy feels inaccessible. I could look around and see all the reasons I should be happy, but I couldn't feel it.

My chiropractor referred me to a massage therapist. Together they came up with a plan of action by giving me a price that I could afford to pay to see both practitioners weekly. The fees were more than reasonable. I almost felt guilty for accepting such a discount. But I was desperate and knew this was not the time for pride.

The adjustments became less frequent, but I went to the massage therapist weekly for years. Yes, weekly! I feel like it is important to include, that in my family people don't get massages. Massages to me were for the rich who have the time and money to be pampered. I had always thought if I could power through, eventually, I would have the money to be able to take care of my health. Thankfully, this is no longer part of my thought process.

During each session, I would get a couple of yoga poses and stretches to do to see progress away from the massage table. During a massage was when he said out of the blue, 'you should teach yoga'. At that point I had only been doing yoga using a DVD so to say I was caught off guard is quite the understatement. He went on to say that I had a gift, to this day I don't know how he saw this gift, but am so thankful he had this faith in me that seemed a little delusional. He volunteered to attend the training with me, and nearly backed out. It must have been apparent in my reaction that I probably wouldn't go without him.

We ended up attending a weekend YogaFit training in March 2013 a couple of hours away from where we live. This weekend training sparked a shift in my life that I could have never seen coming. It was the most radical form of self-inquiry and reflection that I had ever participated in. My mind was full and my body was wrecked. Two, eight hour days of yoga, was for me a mini yoga boot camp. I felt like I had so much to learn that I could not possibly ever teach anyone.

Thankfully, I did not have much time to think about it because as soon as I returned from the yoga training I secured a place to teach. I started teaching in April 2013 and have been at it ever since, teaching a couple of classes a week while maintaining a full-time job. Up until recently, I had not been confident enough to let go of my safe, stable full-time job where I made most of my income.

Enter Covid-19. This virus has illuminated what is truly important to me. Living with integrity is number one on that list. Working in a job that has no reflection of who you are or your value is one of the more diminishing things a person can do their spirit. My yoga practice has helped reveal who it is that I am at my core. Giving me the ability to access a level of consciousness that enables me to see things as they are without my experiences disguising the truth.

Here is the bottom line. We know ourselves better than anyone else and are often left denying that truth out of a sense of duty. With each training I attend there is a sense of coming back home in the sense of being. Over and over again there are moments of "I have been thinking that for years!" I consider those moments a confirmation that I am exactly where I am meant to be.

I am more excited than ever to start this new chapter of xenthay yoga. Thank you for taking the time to read my yoga story.

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People already thought yoga people were weird. Now we have QAnon representation and I feel like there needs to be some clarification on where I stand as a member of the yoga community.

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