I first came to yoga while in college, in response to a sexual assault and an eating disorder. I kept coming back for superficial reasons: weight loss, poor body, image, etc. but in the process it transformed me into someone strong, healthy, compassionate, and someone who loves ME.
Having scoliosis, yoga also transformed my spine.
My yoga practice for me is an act of love. Love of self and love of others. It frees me from the whirlwind of thoughts that pass through my head, connects me to the present moment, and allows me to show up and feel what is happening in my body and around me.
What did you think yoga was before you tried?
When I started yoga in 2003 as a freshman in College, the language, props, and intensity scared me. But then I realized that wasn’t what it is at all. Yes, there is a physical practice. Yes, there is some funky lingo and feet going behind the head, but that’s not what it is about. Yoga is a celebration of life. Yoga is a connection to YOU.
I sometimes still can get caught up in the physical, but then I take a deep yogic breath and do what my yoga has taught me and LET IT GO. Yoga isn’t about a handstand, the perfect body, or being cool. It’s about being you.
How do you identify as being Audacious?
I love the Goethe quote, “Whatever you do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius and power and magic in it.” We can do what we dream we can do. I believe in making this world a better place. The sky’s not the limit. There IS no limit. When something stirs a fire in my belly, I go after it.
I believe the best in people. I believe the best in me. This world is a magical place. And there is the potential for so much happiness, so much love, so much joy. We just have to step up with our most truthful and authentic versions of ourselves. Every single day. And that’s what I aim to do.
Advice for intimidated beginners?
The only way to start is to START. It doesn’t matter what it looks like. It doesn’t matter if you can touch your toes. Grab a friend, find a beginners class, and have fun. We only get one life on this earth…it’s important to enjoy it.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Be it asking a teacher to clarify an instruction, getting support for an inversion, or simply using blocks to help lengthen your arms. It’s okay to get assistance. No one is perfect, no matter how they may appear. And we can only get better when others lend a helping hand and TEACH us how.