Yoga greeted me in the darkest hours of my night. It creeped into my thoughts after years of severe anxiety, codependency, and debilitating fear. It moved in silence slowly coaxing me out of the traumatized skin I had made home. It taught me to listen to the voices in my head rather than fear them. This did not mean I agreed with every thought or emotion I had. I had to recognize that who I thought I was in that moment was saturated with outside influences that may or may not have satisfied my soul. Yoga helped me begin to sift through the pieces of myself to figure out which were my own and which were created by outside voices. It helped me realize that I could decide who I wanted to be, then be it.
I got to know yoga in silence. It was the first thing I had ever ventured into with only my thoughts, emotions, and opinions to guide me. I self-taught myself for about a year, fell in love, and then spent another year of my life doing a deep dive study into what, who, why, when, and where, yoga is. Yoga became my “career”. It was not until after I became certified (YT 500) and really began to publicly share my practice that I saw that “yoga” as it is widely portrayed in our American society is not the yoga I know at all. It’s not the same practice that met me in the depths of my disdain for and lack of trust in myself. It’s not the practice that showed me where I was selfish, selfless, broken, and powerful. It was not the experience that had given me my greatest gift to date: the freedom to trust me. It was something different in its entirety that almost seduced me back into illusion’s grip.
I see so much value in the web, in community, in all the things that make us as humans accessible to each other. I use them every day! But everything has balance and it’s easy to slip over to the other end of the same pole, creating destruction with creativity. Much of Instagram yoga breeds jealousy, physicality, and judgement. Many of the classes I have been to and heard of seem to forget that asanas (yoga postures) are only ONE of the EIGHT limbs that make up the yogic principle. Institutions are training yoga teachers and the like to be dogmatic and money focused. And hear me when I say all of these things have their place, BUT imbalance is the root of all disease. The ego running through yoga as we know it here is quite imbalanced. People ask me multiple times a week to teach them to be as flexible as I am or to be as “in shape” as I am or to do a handstand like I do. And honestly, some days that hurts. It takes my lifestyle of healing self and belittles it to a physical trick. Understand this: the way you see me move is a direct reflection of the very tumultuous journey of healing, love, and evolution I have undergone. It takes an incredible amount of strength, flexibility, and energy to stay the course of an uphill battle with faith. It takes all of that and more to remain faithful after you’ve been disappointed for the 100th time. It takes healing to speak again after your silence had become so comfortable even the idea of breaking it was painful.
So, this is for all my healers; however, you express your healing. Thank you. If no one else does, I see you and more importantly, YOU SEE YOU. I know it isn’t easy, but this road chose us just as much as we chose it. Let your light shine no matter how it may be misconstrued. Remember much of the things that aided your transformation were not understood at the time. Make peace with being misconstrued and have faith that you’re still sowing seeds. Wear it, post it, curate it, create it, write it, capture it, speak it. Create books, events, social media campaigns, products, schools, and everything in between. Because amidst all of this I’ve seen my expression touch the unlikeliest people. Continue in purpose. Relentlessly. Always remember to maintain that sacred space that fills you up. And for those of us whose sacred spaces and expressions of healing overlap… give yourself grace in the moments where you have to keep your healing to yourself. You are not out of purpose by not sharing, but rather deeper in it than you could ever imagine. Stay the course, in and out of silent seasons.
May we all treat each other with compassion, understanding, and ingenuity. May the light we shine call forth the light in any and every one that bears witness.
I love you! Truly.