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It all began in February 2012.
Flashback to my first yoga teacher training in 2011.
My first training was an Ashtanga-based Vinyasa teacher training; I learned how to teach asana and practice meditation. I learned in depth yoga history and philosophy. I discovered new things about myself that I knew needed work but I was stuck on how to work through them. I knew I wanted to be physically and mentally healthy again, I wanted to be yoga studio owner and I wanted to fall in love again.
I found myself lost. I had no tools.
In February 2012, I took my first training with Baron Baptiste completely by fluke. I had heard his name mentioned in a random Vinyasa class by a teacher I really liked, so I went online and found Baptiste Yoga! Baron was coming to Toronto to do a 3-day Immersion called Foundations In Action. I signed up right away. I knew no one! In 2013, I completed Level One Training, Level Two Training and Art of Assisting. In 2014, I became a Certified Baptiste Teacher.
What was different about Baptiste Yoga? INQUIRY
> I had to get really clear on what I wanted in my life.
> What did I need to give up to make space for the things I really wanted?
> Where in my life was I playing small?
> Where in my life did I feel stuck?
It’s March 2016 and here are the results of my Baptiste journey.
I am physically and mentally healthy!
Without my health I knew I had nothing.
For a long time I suffered from anxiety. I moved to Canada in 1996, from Zimbabwe, Africa. Navigating through a foreign land at age 18 and trying to find my way was a pretty daunting task. Being away from my parents and family at such a vulnerable age left me scared and anxious and I put a lot of pressure on myself to succeed. I developed anxiety and this made me ill. The stress induced some “weird” illnesses in my body. At one point I had a skin disease that was only ever found in 60 year olds or older. It was a blistering of my skin that my dermatologist was puzzled by. Doctors pored over me and I was a research subject! I was also diagnosed with colitis – an autoimmune and chronic disease, which is described simply as an inflammation of the small intestines.
I got on my mat, day in and day out and sometimes twice a day. I used yoga as my “medicine” to heal myself. I sweat out fear, I breathed in love, I breathed out anxiety, I created space; space for the new me that I wanted to be. I did the work; and the work never stops.
Today, I do not suffer from anxiety anymore and I do not use meds. Yoga is my meds! I have not had any symptoms of colitis or flare-ups in the past 5 years. Yoga worked for me. My gastroenterologist tried to put me on meds for life because colitis is chronic; I said NO. We fight about it to this day!
Am I physically and mentally healthy? YES. Check.
I am a yoga studio owner!
For 7 seven years I talked myself out of owning a studio. I convinced myself that no one would come. I did not have enough money. I know nothing about running a business. Who did I think I was? I was just some African girl! This was not my country. What did I have to share that was so special? I will fail!
I opened Yoga On Seven on December 10, 2014. I stopped playing small, I stopped being mediocre; I was on a mission to be “world-class” at whatever I put my mind to. The studio is doing well and we are getting ready to host the first ever Expand Your Power: 200-hour Baptiste Immersion Program in Canada!
Baptiste Yoga taught me to ALWAYS be in the realm of POSSIBILITY and to BE A YES!
Am I a yoga studio owner? YES. Check!
I fell in love again!
After many toxic and painful relationships, a lot of self-work, and trial and error, I fell in love again! At some point in my life I stopped believing in romantic love.
My first love died in a car accident at age 19.
I was physically abused by a boyfriend in my early 20’s and not only did that scar me emotionally, I allowed it to diminish my self worth. In an effort to find my self worth again I ended up in what I considered “relationships I deserved;” toxic ones where no feelings and no commitment were involved.
Then I met Danny! I met him at a time I was OPEN to the POSSIBILITY of falling in love again.
Our wedding is on April 26, 2016. Danny just completed his Baptiste Level One Training in August 2015 and he is a very passionate teacher at my studio. Before he met me he could only spell the word yoga! Danny has been an amazing support for my yoga dreams and now he is hooked.
My new way of being is that I am LOVEABLE.
Am I in love? YES. Check!
My work and continuous work with Baptiste Yoga has given me the power to lead my life the way I want to. Baptiste Yoga has given me the best life tools and I am so eager to continue to share and create new leaders in my community.
In hindsight, I used the 3 Source Principles of Baptiste Yoga to create space for something NEW.
I would like to acknowledge the following people for playing an integral part in my journey:
Danny Braga, Baron Baptiste, Denise Vargo Musgrave, Marina Mukandala, Kinndli McCollum, Paige Elenson, Leandra Antonutti, Johanne Walker, Bethany Lyons Murray, Pauline Caballero, Laura Tropea, Renee Canzoneri, Irene Auma, Ewa Gutowska, Danielle Jokinen, Lidia DiCarlo
This blog was written by Sharon Mudavanhu, owner of Yoga On Seven in Toronto, Canada.