My Yoga & Movement Story
So many of us feel the need to be perfect and not reveal flaws, and I have felt that same way. However, I believe that honesty is so important for a yoga practice. So here is a little of my real and raw story: I grew up feeling a lot of shame towards myself that manifested in an eating disorder in high school. Throughout my college experience, I also dealt with deep anxiety and depression to the level that for a season I did not want to even leave my room for fear of the outside world. I was also diagnosed with Lyme Disease my senior year in college, and that added even more complications on to how I viewed myself and the world. After navigating several hard traumatic events in my 20s—like losing my best friend and Kindred Spirit to suicide, as well as a deep heartbreak and more loss—I was at the end of my rope.
I began my journey into movement in 2013 with two years of dance in the form of ballet. I was 24 at the time, and I did it solely for the joy of movement and to begin a healing journey I somehow knew included the body. While I enjoyed ballet, I actually found more interest in modern dance, freeform expression, and somatic movement.
Becoming an RYT 200 Yoga Teacher & Expressive Arts Facilitator
But yoga became my solace. It was one of the tools to help me learn to embrace myself, face anxiety and fear, and heal from trauma and heartbreak. In 2015, I dedicated myself to a regular yoga and meditation practice. Two years later in 2017, I began the process of becoming a 200-hour registered yoga teacher with the Yoga Alliance because of the powerful impact it had on my life. I graduated from the nationally recognized Colorado School of Yoga led by Gina Caputo. I’ve also done additional teacher trainings for Restorative Yoga—which helps people learn to calm their nervous system down and and begin to cope with stress, anxiety, depression, or bodily injury.
In 2018, I moved to NY to help teach yoga at a studio and because I knew deep down it was time for another adventure. In the summer of 2018, I was able to take a course at Salve Regina University in Rhode Island called The Expressive Arts Institute to become an Expressive Arts Facilitator. At this institute, they showed us how movement, art, and sound all are profoundly healing and can help us express our deepest emotions and reconnect with the joy of creativity even as an adult. This Institute gave me some of the deepest hope and joy I have experienced in some time, and it confirmed the path I want to be on for the rest of my life. The somatic movement and dance that I embraced during this time changed my life.
Becoming an Experienced Yoga Teacher & RYT 300 Yoga Teacher
In December of 2018, I was hired by The Lodge at Woodloch as an Advanced Yoga Teacher, which is one of the top 10 destination spas in the country. Their goal is to revitalize and refresh people despite the modern chaos and business of life by offering a hidden oasis in the beautiful forests and mountains of Hawley, PA. I taught hundreds and hundreds of students yoga. It was truly an honor to serve the people who walked into this spa and needed time away to destress, process, heal, and reconnect with themselves. I was honored to be part of that process with our guests.
In 2019, I began my 300-Hour Foundations in Yoga Therapy training with Inner Peace Yoga Therapy, which is a step into the IAYT-accredited 800-Hour yoga therapy certification program. I hope to become a yoga therapist as well as eventually get a master’s degree in holistic mental health counseling at Salve Regina University in Rhode Island so I can blend both Eastern and Western modules for healing for people who want to find hope.
Now I’m a fully confident woman who loves myself, my body, and the way I am made. Sure, I’m not perfect–but who is, really? I’m committed to the healing journey and hardly recognize who I was ten years ago. I have fought through many layers of healing to become a fully loving, courageous person who has traveled the world instead of being afraid to open her front door. I have researched and learned so much about healing from trauma and am so excited to help others find healing and hope despite hard circumstances.
My story has been rewritten. And so can yours.
Featured Photos by Kristal Anita Studios