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When I began practicing yoga at Power Yoga Buffalo several years ago, it did not take me long to realize that part of the magic was the experience of being truly seen. In turn, I was able to more clearly see myself. Something about this practice clicked for me as a psychologist but also appealed to me as a historical non-athlete. Like many women, my only relationship with exercise was to use it as a weapon against myself. I can now see that I had become disconnected from my body and was saddled with negative beliefs, fear, judgement, and guilt. Little by little, I am learning how to shift from operating in that space into an observer of these. I love the message of this practice, which is that it is ok to be the mess that you are – but at the very same time – that you can get lit up to be your most amazing self. Not from a place of less than, but from a place of abundance.
The physical practice of yoga is what allows me to strip so much away, allowing me to find split seconds of a quiet mind I have never experienced before. The hours of sweating onto my mat became a peeling away of emotional and physical things that do not need to be there. I learned that I do not need discomfort to leave in order to be happy. It holds up a mirror, to let me know what my work is. It reminds me to be brave, accepting, and to have compassion. If I can be with the discomfort, rather than focusing my energy on getting rid of it, I can get someplace new.
Sharing this practice with people, especially young people, has become a passion for me. I am inspired to share some of the things I have learned in a way that can benefit people, particularly early in their lives. It is an enormous privilege to embody one of my favorite sayings: Be the person you needed when you were younger.