"Getting to know you. Getting to know all about you!"
Those are my musical theater roots showing! Being new to the Syracuse community and even newer to the Syracuse Yoga community, I wanted to share a little bit about how I came to yoga and how my practice has transformed my life.
Eight years ago, I left the Broadway theater community of New York City that I had known for fifteen years, and moved with my husband and daughter to Oklahoma City. It was a challenging transition. My husband had an immediate social network through his new job, and I was a stay at home mom to a not quite potty trained 3 year old daughter. About 4 months into my new life in OKC, I met this goddess, artist, amazing mom at the playground. Our kids hit it off and so did we. I felt like I had found someone who understood my creative soul. She moved away. (Don’t forget about her, though, because she is important in this story!)
My husband's colleague opened a yoga studio and I took advantage of the new student deal. The studio had this all-inclusive vibe and I felt like the people practicing there were interesting and fun. I dabbled as a yogi there, off and on, and then on a working vacation out of state, I found out I was pregnant. We approached this news optimistically but cautiously, as we had already had a miscarriage right before our move. Away from my doctors, far from family, I had another miscarriage. When I arrived back in Oklahoma, my goddess friend, my yoga angel, called me. “I bought you two months of unlimited yoga at your studio. Go grieve on your mat.”
I went. I still to this day believe this was one of the most valuable gifts I have ever been given. My mat became a place to be okay to feel vulnerable. In that vulnerability, I found my strength. It was a place to be inspired by the breath of the others around me when I felt like I could barely breathe. Oh how the tears would flow in savasana! They were tears of loss, release and healing. I slowly and very gently found my way back to hope. I continued my practice and was approached by the owner about getting my certification and teaching. It felt like I had a home and I was no longer lost.
A week before I went away to complete my 200 hr RYT certification, I found out I was pregnant again. I came home from Aruba and a week later was faced with my third miscarriage. The sadness was heavy. The emptiness was dark. Surrounded by the support of my friends and family, I also had a bigger bag of tools from my yoga practice to sustain me. Stillness. Breath. Movement. Breath. Strength. Flexibility. Breath. I didn’t know how I was going to survive so much heartache, but I knew that I would. It took time- a long time. But the community of my yoga studio, students, and teachers, most who had no idea what was going on with me, took care of me just by showing up on their mats and inspiring me to do the same.
Three years ago, at age 43, I gave birth to my sweet boy. I taught and practiced yoga during my entire pregnancy. Yoga has continued to sustain me in the face of some of life’s biggest challenges.