I was 22, working as a carpenter, and more like an old man than a young woman. My back ached, my knees creaked, my shoulders hunched, I was tired all the time and living in Boca Raton, Florida - Heaven's Waiting Room. I fit right in with all my elderly neighbors.
Then one morning I woke up with tears streaming sideways across my face, my back spasming so intensely I could hardly move. I realized that I needed a change, and I knew that stepping up my yoga practice to more than "sometimes" would help. I couldn't afford indefinite yoga classes, but I found a teacher training program I could afford and started a few days later. The program taught us about all paths of yoga, and vegetarianism was mandatory. After just a few weeks my aches and pains were gone, my digestion was phenomenal, I had tons of energy and I was learning how to work through some major issues in my life. Yoga became my home. I couldn't stay I also loved that incredible high that came at the end of each class.
Over the next year, I transitioned from vegetarian to vegan to raw. I enrolled in Life Coaching school, taught yoga nearly full time, and took classes all over town, with as many teachers as I could find. I opened raw and vegan restaurants and started hosting retreats. I studied (and taught) pre/post-natal yoga, kid's yoga, Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Sivananda, acrobatic/partner yoga, senior's yoga, yoga for MS, adaptive yoga and more. I traveled to India to get my 500 hour training with Yogi Sivadas in the Himalayas.
And now, ten years since that tearful morning, I am still teaching yoga, still eating veggies, still coaching people to find their bliss, and still grateful for all the joy, clarity, direction and relief that yoga has brought to my life. I like to remind my students to stop waiting for the good parts of life - this moment is your life. Make it fun, or happy, or blissful - or miserable. It's up to you; you are in control.
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