I began practicing yoga in 1998 in my search to find relief from a serious back injury. As a young mother, I was facing a future of ongoing surgeries and the likelihood that I would not be able to physically carry or care for future children. I was devastated at the prospects of my life’s goals being limited by physical impairment. During the weeks I was awaiting a surgical consult, I found a short, simple yoga video at my library that was 20 minutes long. After a month of consistent practice for pain relief, I had regained enough mobility that my surgeon dismissed me as a surgical candidate. I practiced that short video for many months and could finally do the more advanced practice on the video. After a year of slow, steady work, my pain began to dissipate and my mobility fully returned. Thus began my lifelong exploration of the healing practices of yoga.
After twenty years of seemingly disassociated heath problems, and countless doctor visits with little to no relief, I recently learned I have a genetic connective tissue disorder that causes hypermobility and a host of other exciting challenges. My injuries and ailments over the decades have consistently brought me back to my mat. Many times it is the only place I can find peace and freedom from pain, especially in my meditation practice. My physical asana practice has become focused on building strength gently and safely to bring it into balance by decreasing my over responsive flexibility. My meditation practice has allowed me to connect with the deeper part of myself that is not my pain. As I have learned to see my body as uniquely designed, instead of flawed, I have come to a deeper appreciation for the many ways it serves me. I have come to a place of compassion with myself that allows me to maintain healthy boundaries without guilt.
I find deep joy and satisfaction in sharing the teachings and practices of yoga with others. My practice has brought me to myself again and again and I love seeing the light of relief, the easing of pain, and the decrease in suffering that can occur in others lives and they make their own path along the journey of life. I am honored that you joined me here today. May your practice lighten your burdens, may your journey bring you peace.