Looking down the line of my body, I see my bare feet beneath me on my green yoga mat. I’ve done yoga for 4 years, and my mat has almost always been green. Right now it’s a dirty green because it’s well used- even after this past year of an intermittent practice. That was 2015 though, and now it’s 2016. It’s a new year, and today I start my official training with Asana Studio’s, Give Peace a Chance Yoga Teacher Training.
I’m thrilled for 2 reasons. One because I absolutely love yoga. Two, because I’ve always struggled with my body image and with gaining weight. In 2005 I was 230 pounds. While changing my diet was the biggest thing that got me through that initial chunk of weight I had to lose, it was yoga that brought me into a body I began to feel myself in. For anyone who has ever struggled with weight loss, you know what it’s like to feel like you are trapped in someone else’s body. Of course yoga is an amazing tool for exercise, but it’s also an amazing way to fall in love with your own body.
It’s been a long road to get me here. In 2011 I found myself back at the previous Golden location of Asana Studio, with my dear friend Becca. She said she found a teacher she loved and that I should come with her. I don’t know what possessed me to be brave enough, it must have been her, it must have been a little piece of me knowing I really did need it. It was then I found a home for myself in that studio.
A few years later in 2014 one of my biggest goals was to become a yoga teacher. I had realized that yoga was more than a hobby. I wanted the chance to share with others and to spread the peace and clarity that a yoga practice offers. I gave myself 6 months to start saving up the money to do the training. However, life happened, and I combatted a hard transition to 2015- I was in between jobs after needing to leave my studio photography job, I had just moved back home, and I had to live off of the money I had saved to do this Yoga Teacher Training (YTT).
2015 was a truly phenomenal year, but 2 things happened that I’m not proud of. First, I stopped eating the way I know I should. Unhealthy carbs and sugars started sneaking their way in to my diet. Part of it was that I was happy. I was dating, and we were going to amazing places, and I wanted to experience everything. I truly love food- and sometimes you can get into a rut with delicious addictive foods. I did this… and it began to show on my body. I also stopped going to yoga class. Maybe it was the combination of focusing on my brand new business, and also maybe a tiny bit of disappointment in myself for where I found myself in life. It’s strange how 2 things can be true. You can be so proud of yourself for where you’ve come, and at the same time be really frustrated that you aren’t where you thought you should or want to be. For me, watching my body start to lose everything I gained through healthy eating and a consistent yoga practice took a major toll on my self image and my mental strength.
Then, a few weeks ago I was given a green light that I never saw coming! The opportunity to be a part of the 2015 class of students in the Give Peace a Chance Yoga Teacher Training! Hours away from the start of it, I am finding myself nervous and excited, maybe still a little in denial that it was all able to come together. It was truly the answer to a prayer. I believe that this structure and deepening of my knowledge is going to be a huge turn in my life. I’m so excited to have the chance to reconnect to a huge part of myself that went missing. Now it’s me, a new learning environment, wise teachers, a new community, my mat, and a deep intention to discovery my strength and to thrive. The best part about it, is that I get to document my journey through photos! Yoga + my camera?! What in the world could be better.
I’ve been dreaming for a long time to show the world what yoga looks like from on and off the mat. It’s going to be wonderful.
Don’t worry, I’m still going to be doing all of my photography! I’ve already got 5 weddings booked for this year, and even kicked off January with a stunning Red Rocks Engagement session. (Wait for the blog! You’ll love the sunkissed winter morning at Red Rocks.) I’ll also be doing plenty of baby photos, maternities, and families throughout this spring during the training. The scheduling may be a little tricky, but nothing we haven’t been able to work out before.
My final thought is: I am so blessed. No matter the twists and turns of the expected or unexpected- I get to do what I love. I get to come home with a camera card full of photos I got to take, I get to edit them, I get to share with my clients and their families. I get to meet with amazing people and capture them in a beautiful way that represents who they are. Now I get to learn about the body, spirit, mind, yoga, ayurveda, history, and so much more. Every year my life continues to unfold with opportunities to fill up my heart. Life is wonderful. Through loss and gain, through periods of scarcity and of abundance, learning to be with yourself and to simplify your heart and mind…. that’s a true gift.
Can’t wait for you to take this journey with me, and to show you how much more my heart can grow.
Most of these photos are credit to Hannah Medoff, my dear friend and colleague.