I came across yoga by chance. Well, I guess nothing is by chance, but it was definitely not planned. While studying abroad in Australia during college, I took my first yoga class thinking it was supposed to be a kickboxing class. Initially, I wanted to run out of the room thinking, ‘this is going to be boring’, yet quite the opposite happened. I walked out of the room stunned, sweaty and perhaps for the first time, at ease with my being… even if for just a few moments. It just ‘clicked’. And from then on, I attended yoga classes daily until I returned to college in Rhode Island where I ventured to find a local yoga studio by the beach. It became my sanctuary. I was fascinated with yoga, and it seemed the furthest thing from anything I would do. I am originally from New Jersey and up until yoga, my ultimate desire in life was to be hair dresser. I resisted university. I was into partying, fashion and fast food. I spent over three hours per day in the gym (mostly checking out the guys and reading gossip magazines) and lived off of energy drinks for about a year of my life…
Yoga turned my existence upside down in a very subtle was, and I was hooked and fascinated. Not obsessive, but deeply curious. My yoga teacher in Rhode Island was deeply studied in yogic science, asana and humor. Through her teachings, I was able to experience peace in the face of challenge. Before that, I thought the only solution for the inevitable anxieties of life was a cigarette and a Corona Light (hey, at least it was ‘light’, right?) 😉
My sincere intrigue led me to inquire how to learn more about yoga. My teacher directed me to Costa Rica. She told me who to study with, and that night I booked my month long 200-hr Teacher Training at Nosara Yoga Institute. Not only did this choice not include any logic but it transcended intuition and feelings in general. It was an immediate ‘yes; an inherent knowing of my being that I chose to follow wholeheartedly.
As my training approached, I had few expectations, other than the fact that I would be learning more about the postures and would receive my certificate as a yoga teacher. How cool? How unexpected of me. It was another ‘school’ of sorts, and I was eager to be a student. And of course I was excited to travel to Costa Rica for the first time!
What I didn’t realize is that this training would shape the rest of my life in ways I could never have imagined. A yoga teacher training, especially abroad, is an opportunity to not only learn yoga through the mind but to live the practice. I re-connected with nature in ways I would have previously made fun of people for. The life force was so rich in Costa Rica and that oxygen had such a profound effect on my brain that to this day, almost twelve years later, my chronic anxiety seems like a distant dream. Practicing yoga in a beautiful natural environment allowed the teaching to truly sink in to my subconscious. And speaking of ‘teachings’, I had no knowledge of yogic philosophy before my training. I only knew how it made me feel, and I just wanted to know more about why it made me feel so blissful. Learning about yogic philosophy is what hit home. Everything clicked, and I was not the same person when I returned to the states.
Receiving my ‘certificate’ was merely a bonus of this life-changing experience. Personal metamorphosis was the real gift that I now openly share with others to inspire them on their path. I truly believe every human on the planet would benefit deeply from gifting themselves a yoga teacher training. It is ultimately a life training… and opportunity to re-discover our true nature, below the surface of the mind, the routine, the comfort zone, and even the body itself.
And now everything comes full circle. It is my mission to give back, and that is why this spring I have the honor of co-teaching a professional 200-hour YTT in Bali with my guru from India and other divine souls who have come together to co-create this opportunity. I literally have had to pinch myself several times in order to really believe this is happening…
If you are feeling the call, curious, intrigued, move with that feeling. Go with that. The moment is always truth. The moment is always the path. Click here to learn more about the training. I look forward to passing along the teachings and living yoga with you. Namaste.