How did you find yoga?
My yoga story is two-fold. Initially, I approached my practice with purely physical intentions. Throughout my late teens and early adulthood I struggled with health issues. I was clinically labeled “obese” and I had high cholesterol. It was difficult for me to engage high impact exercise, so I decided to give yoga a try. I continued practicing and over time my practice evolved in a way that supported me mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
In 2004, I lost my best friend to a violent death and I was reintroduced to yoga through my spiritual community Kashi Atlanta Urban Ashram. It was through exploration of a meditation practice that I really felt whole within my practice and my body.
How have you overcome fear?
I don’t know if I have quite yet overcome fear because this is a constant practice for me. Although I have been practicing yoga for over a decade, I still struggle with fears both on and off the mat. The only response I really have to that fear is love. So each time fear creeps in, I remind myself to love in the process, whether it is loving myself, or the action I am resisting. Each moment of fear is an opportunity to practice love.
On a more practical level, my yoga practice helped me with a recent surgery that brought a lot of fear into my physical and subtle body. During the time of my diagnosis, pre and post operation, I was afraid. My yoga practice provided a framework for me throughout the entire process. In the most simplest ways it provided solace for me through the breath. My yoga practice teaches me courage.
What are the benefits of your practice?
My yoga practice keeps me humble. Just when I think I have a pose (or life) figured out, my practice reminds me to never cease being curious. My yoga practice teaches me non-attachment and unconditional love for myself. My yoga practice allows me to practice what my teacher Swami Jaya Devi calls, “finding the balance between effort and ease.” My yoga practice teaches me balance, strength, and surrender.