Before I practiced yoga I was not active, mindful, or passionate about anything. I felt like I was just going through the daily motions, always looking toward something that was going to happen in the future, and never fully living in the present moment.
I gained a lot of weight throughout high school for a variety of reasons – high school pressure, depression, and health issues. The heaviest I weighed was 225 pounds. And I found I could not drop the weight for anything! I tried going to the gym, swimming, running – you name it – I tried it. I took my first yoga classes when I was fourteen and really loved how I felt after class, but found it hard to remain consistent.
When I was seventeen, I decided to get serious with yoga, because I thought that at least I would feel good mentally from the yoga. I took a few hot yoga classes and loved how much stronger I felt in my body every time I practiced. Eventually I began practicing yoga at home, but really it was just me rolling around on the floor having fun!
I finally started dropping weight because of yoga! It allowed me to feel so comfortable in my own skin. After a few years I am now down to 135 pounds. I was truly shocked at how much not only my body had changed, but also mind and spirit.
I wanted everybody to feel this comfortable with themselves, so I signed to become a yoga teacher! It was during my teacher training I felt like I ‘woke up.’ I feel so fortunate to have found yoga at the time I did because I went through a lot of losses within a few short months, and times were hard.
With the support of all of my newfound yoga friends in the training with me, I truly found lifelong friends. I had always found comfort from yoga practice, but when I met all of the beautiful people on this journey, that’s when I became very interested and curious to learn more.
From a young age my goal has always been to help people. How I’m able to do that has changed over the years with each training that I do. At first it was more about how yoga could help my students physically, but I learned that there is so much more about health, happiness and wellness and now I realize you can get so much out of yoga depending on how much you are wanting. My aim now is to help students feel truly happy, as well as union within themselves.
‘Yoga’ actually means union. Union with mind, body and spirit. For me that is enlightenment, and not in the sense that everything is positive, but real. Taking a real look at everything, the good and the bad, and I know that everything happens for a reason. It is truly feeling at one with yourself, within myself. You and I cannot have light without shadows!
I’m also now trained in Aerial Yoga which utilizes the props of silk hammocks and is so creative and so much fun! I was recently certified in “Yoga to Transform Trauma”. This certification helped me recognize how in fact everybody goes through trauma, and that there are different types of trauma, how it can show up in our bodies, among other things.
I’m super thrilled to now hold Circle of Hope yoga classes that are donation-based, confidential classes that combine a supportive, group sharing experience with a gentle, trauma-informed yoga practice. These classes are two hours long, include circle talk and listening and yoga practice.
I recently attended Divine Sleep Yoga Nidra Teacher Training with the wonderful Jennifer Reis! This amazing training absolutely floored me. I gained much more knowledge than I was expecting for sure.
I have always had a hard time meditating, and this was the best, easiest meditation I had ever done! I absolutely love leading Divine Sleep for my students who always come out of the mediation so relaxed and peaceful. And they are loving it too!
Jennifer is a wonderful teacher who is full of much knowledge. She is very kind, down to earth, and it was shown through her manual, resources, and teachings that this is truly her passion. I love how Jennifer also taught us how to make yoga nidra trauma sensitive, so now I can incorporate it into my Circle of Hope classes! From organization to information, Jennifer is on top of her game. I would absolutely love to attend more trainings and workshops with her in the future.
I feel like my eyes are wide open and I see the whole world in a new light! I am very grateful to be on the journey I am on and I have just turned 21! I hope that I can make a difference in someone’s life, and maybe they will make a difference too, creating a ripple effect. Now, I am very happy and grateful for whatever happens in life, even if it feels difficult or I may not understand it at the time. I have met so many wonderful souls throughout my trainings and in my personal life, and I wouldn’t be the person I am now without each and every one of them. The light and spirit in me, sees and honors the light and spirit in each and every one of you! Namaste. Thank you so much.