Yoga for Emotional Healing

Hi, friends. This blog post is about to get long but it shares a lot of how I got where I am and I hope you'll read it and see hope in whatever you're going through. I believe that healing comes in many forms and sometimes you need to tap into multiple modalities to fully heal your mind, body, and soul. Read on to find out what I've been working on over the past year and where it's taking me now...

For me yoga started in my teens where it was something fun because I was flexible and it was easy. I practiced off and on, more off than on, for a number of years until after Russell's traumatic birth situation a friend of mine invited me to practice yoga with her because she needed someone to complete her student teaching with. I was all for some free yoga and for seeing her, as it had been many years at that point, so I figured why not. We practiced one day a week for about an hour and I started to realize that I would leave those sessions feeling like the old me. The me that used to be called "little Miss sunshine". The me that people would legitimately ask "are you ever not happy?". I realized how dark that place was and committed to doing something about it.

Though things seem perfect on the outside they are not always perfect on the inside.
The background of this picture is a mess of toys and things I moved out of the way to practice yoga.
Things don't have to be perfect to get started but I used that as a reason to not try...

I decided that becoming a yoga teacher myself would be a solid first step. If I never taught a soul it would be good for me to know enough to support my own dark moods and sad days. I figured I could support my own health and if I helped a few friends with some free yoga then cool. As I started my yoga teacher training I found out we were pregnant with Kira in our second month of training. Needless to say it wasn't the plan I had in mind. I expected to run through my training, finish all the requirements, and walk out a certified yoga teacher. That all flew out the window as the typical pregnancy issues of morning sickness and being tired were compounded by the fact she was our second and I was working full time. There's no rest for the working mom... Either way, I made it through the in person sessions and I had a great time and build some friendships that still last to this day.

From a different angle it's easy to make the same things look like a perfect picture.
Mats lined up, yoga props ready to go, and my YTT manual on hand.
It's like the concept of not letting perfect be the enemy of good.
Sometimes you have to start in the messy middle and just move forward.
Progress over perfection.

The one insight that came to mind when we were walking the labyrinth in my yoga teachers back yard was "heal yourself to help others heal". That phrase was plain as day so I wrote it down. It stuck with me and though I went long stretches of time not practicing yoga at all I knew I had to finish my training and that I would want to use many of the things I had learned in yoga to truly help others. 

Some of my tools to support my yoga teaching.
I believe yoga can be a positive addition to seeking regular therapy and support from your medical doctor.
For me the pieces never came together until I worked on my mind, body, and soul needs at the same time.

I hit a point in my life after having Kira that I realized I wasn't being the good wife, mom, and friend that I wanted to be. I was bitter and resentful, angry, frustrated, sad, and miserable. It wasn't that I didn't have a great life on the outside but on the inside it was all a mess. My body hurt in so many ways and my mental state was even worse. Dumpster fire doesn't even begin to cover the chaos in my mind. I decided I had enough and wasn't going to just stumble through life and then look back in 15 years and go "where did it all go, what happened". I didn't want to look back and regret that I wished away my kids years and then hopped retirement would be all I wanted to "fix" my life. 

Russell joined me for some savasana.
A lavender eye bag did double duty over the eyes and to settle wiggly hands.
Even Mr. Piggy joined in acting like a bolster for his feet...
(Yes it probably should have gone under his knees but he only spent a few moments like this)

I decided it was time to be proactive. I dug deep into what I needed and I knew the answers weren't going to be on one level like I'd tried in the past. I felt dark and hopeless more days than not. I had stomach pain so bad that it felt like my stomach was ripping apart from my esophagus and no supplements, medicine, oils, or anything would fix it. I started to have numbness and tingling in my hands, legs, and face that started to hurt and almost paralyze my hands and this was happening every single day. I had headaches, my body hurt, I felt weak and winded just doing the most simple activities. Enough was enough. I found a therapist, went to my primary care physician (who after all the testing she could do referred me to a gastroenterologist and a neurologist), I saw both of them and ended up getting referred to a physical therapist, and I spent my time listening to motivational podcasts, reading good books, and joined a five day challenge on Facebook. 

In me, there is a light that lights the whole world. It radiates truth; boundless will, action, and knowledge. - Rod Stryker

It was as if the stars aligned and finally I could break through. I was aligning the needs of my mind, body, and soul. It wasn't an overnight change either, I'd been seeing my therapist for about a year when I decided to address my physical health issues and as soon as I started making progress there it was as if I could start connecting the dots to what I needed and wanted in my life. I started feeling better physically and mentally and found that I had the courage to let go of past issues and heal the things that were still bothering me. I found out I am lactose intolerant (my body makes zero of the enzyme that breaks down lactose) and stopping my consumption of dairy further helped my body. The physical therapist helped me address issues that were giving me frequent headaches and my numbness and tingling only happens if I don't eat regularly and stay hydrated. I have confidence this will continue to improve over time. I found that as I was continuing my personal development work that often I would find myself going ok I know that so I realized if I know all these things it's time to start sharing what I know to get into the "help others heal" part of my journey.

Russell and Kira joined me after a yoga session.

Through the five day Becoming Fearless challenge (hosted by Bridgit Norris of Lioness Rising) I stepped out of my comfort zone and pushed hard to keep up with the challenge. There were late nights and lots of chatting with other strong and amazing women who had been through tough stuff and it made me realize :
  • How much I love that space of vulnerability and growth. 
  • How much I want to share that experience with other women who have struggled like me. 
  • How I wanted to become the best wife, mom, and friend I could be to support as many people as I can because NO ONE deserves to sit in darkness alone. 
I believe we are all unique and have something special to bring to this world and I don't want to regret my whole life because I wasn't brave enough to just step out there and see what happens. I'm committed to speaking up and having my voice heard because if I can help one other person understand they are not alone I want to do that! I am digging into yoga as a support for Russell and Kira too. I feel that yoga can be even more beneficial for kids as they try and navigate our fast paced digital world. Having time to connect and quiet our minds will be critical to keeping our peace of mind and mental clarity. 

I serve women who are struggling with self-doubt and want to align mind, body, and soul to create a life of purpose once and for all!
This is my mission and my vision for how I want to share my talents and voice with the world.

Anyway, this is now really long but it's my truth. If you've managed to read through all of this I invite you to join me on my Facebook page or Instagram page for updates on what's going on and to learn more about me and my business I'm building. I'm doing a fun Getting to Know You series this month to share more about me and not hide behind motivational quotes and pretty pictures (not that there isn't a place for that it's just I want more for me and for the people who are joining me on my journey.

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