I was terribly overweight and uncomfortable in my own skin.

I was seriously considering leaving my 15-year marriage💍 that was punctured with addiction, dysfunction, and pain, and I had no idea where to turn or what to do.

My mind, body, and spirit were plagued, but I walked in anyway.

I walked in, terrified, not knowing what to do on or off the mat. The minute class began, I started to feel the stretch and movement of my body as I awkwardly moved through the guided poses. The breath, movement, and stillness stirred my soul. A light sparked💥 inside me, and I’ve never been the same since.

Fast forward more than a decade…

Recently, I celebrated my 1,000 class in the hot studio I’ve attended for years. I’ve probably taken 10x’s that many classes in different places. I’ll practice when and wherever I get a chance. I’ve practiced through a broken leg, a torn hamstring, a shoulder injury, and even Covid (Yes, masked yoga 😷 in 105-degree rooms for a whole year). I couldn’t live without it, so I always found away.

just breathe

I’ve stuck with something that is hard, messy, and really time consuming. I’ve gotten out of bed 🛏️ in the wee hours of the morning and sat in traffic🚦 to get to class. It’s been cold, dark, and rainy, and there are many, many days I haven’t felt like going at all. But I go anyway because I’m better because of it. The rewards are immeasurable!

Why the obsession? Why am I so in love ❤️ with this?

My mat has held me through some of my darkest days. The outside transformation may be obvious, but the internal progression is by far the most remarkable. My practice cultivated the strength, capability, and flexibility I needed to walk through many personal circumstances. I was shown the skills and wisdom I needed to prove that I’m capable of so much more than I knew I could handle. No matter what, the stillness, breath, and movement have been consistent guiding forces that that have imprinted a mindset of how to be in the world 🌎 that extend far beyond the studio.

Let me explain just a few of the lessons I’ve learned.

1– Just breathe.

When things are hard and uncomfortable, remember to breathe. When you think you can’t go any further, take a breath, recenter, and gather yourself. Stopping for a moment to breathe, reset, and recoup allows you to move beyond anything you ever thought you were capable of. Just breathe. 😮‍💨

2– Listen to your body.

Are you listening? Really listening? 👂

Your body always knows and will speak to you in different ways. Everyone is different. Every day is different. Every move, each side of the body, comes with its own ability and its own limitation. It’s important to listen and respect both. Your body is so wise. It will intuitively tell you what it needs, what feels good, and what doesn’t.

Listen to your body.

3– You are allowed to rest when you need to.

Did you know that when things get hard, you’re allowed to rest?

Can you believe you’re allowed to take it easy and do less when you need to?

Huh… I didn’t, either, until I learned yoga.

Did you know that lying flat on your back in stillness is an actual pose, perhaps one of the hardest ones? It’s called Shavasana, and it’s totally a legit pose!

When you experience pain or discomfort, you can back off and do less. For real!

Pushing beyond your limits will cause harm (Trust me, I’ve learned the hard way!)

You are allowed to rest when you need to. 💤

4- It is a practice.

You don’t have to be perfect; it’s just practice.

Don’t take things so seriously, all we’re ever really doing in life is practicing.

No one is an expert at life, and no one gets it right 100% of the time.

You’re allowed to struggle, get messy, and learn along the way.

It’s a practice.

5– Focus.

Life can get very deep sometimes and the deep movement forces you to be present. There’s no room for distraction, drama, or the mental story. One breath, one move, one step at a time. Distraction will cause you to fall out every time.

When things get complicated, focus on what’s right in front of you. It’s your mat, your practice, and your body. Don’t even bother comparing yourself to someone else. Honor where you are at any given moment and appreciate what your body has to offer.

Be present with what’s in front of you. There’s no sense arguing with what is or forcing yourself to go where you’re not ready to go. All that matters is what’s right in front of you. Move from there. There’s nothing relevant too far in front of you or behind you.


6– Embrace the wobble.

Life gets messy, and we get knocked off balance. You don’t have to have it all together. We’re not meant to walk a straight line or be perfect.

The more you pretend or try to force your way through, the more likely you are to fall. When things are hard and you’re knocked off kilter, embrace it. Breathe and know that you’ll find your center soon enough.

Most things aren’t really that important. And besides, no one cares! (I mean that in the nicest way!) We make a lot of fuss about what other people might be thinking, but quite frankly, most people are simply concerned with themselves. You’re mistaken if you think other people are paying that much attention to you. Don’t worry so much. Have your experience, do what you need to do, and enjoy it along the way.

Embrace the wobble.

7– When things are hard, lean into others.

I was injured, but I was still showing up. I was frustrated by all the things I couldn’t do, comparing myself to what I used to be able to do and what I should be capable of.

My teacher sensed my struggle, and in my moment of frustration and weakness, she simply stepped onto my mat and put her body next to mine to stabilize me.

“You can do this,” she whispered. “I’m not going to let you fall. I’ve got you.”

I’ve never felt more supported in my whole life.

When you can’t, who can you lean into?

Who are you allowing to help you?

No one is meant to do life alone and you don’t have to have it all together.

You need a community of people to lean into.

When things are too hard, lean into others.

So, there you have it, my little yogi wisdom. Life is just a practice so don’t take it so seriously. Usually, all you need to do is breathe, rest, and reset so you can get back at it when the time is right. If you need someone to lean into, please know I’ve got you!

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