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How Yoga Transformed Me, and Can Benefit You

Practicing yoga was one of the best decisions I've ever made, and has ultimately altered the course of my life.

I turned to yoga 12 years ago to help me heal from my first knee surgery. I couldn't do any of my usual forms of exercise for nine months, so I reluctantly agreed to try yoga out of desperation to move my body. I didn't embrace yoga with open arms, but rather with skepticism and resistance.

I signed up for private classes with a local teacher, who quickly became my friend. In each class, I laughed, I cried, and I nurtured my knee (and hips, neck, back, and shoulders - all areas that were tight from my work and play).

I fell in love. The practice of yoga was a tool to get to know myself in a new way. I grew stronger, more flexible, and improved my posture and balance. Having yoga as part of my routine allowed me to recover more quickly after swimming, running, and biking.

While the physical benefits were undeniable, I was surprised to find that yoga also impacted my mental, emotional, and spiritual health. As someone with an over-active, monkey-mind, it was challenging to stay in postures without my mind running wild. However, the opportunity to slow down and sit with my thoughts helped me to tap into the messages of what I needed to let go of, and what I wanted to make more space for in my life.

When I took a deeper dive into yoga through teacher training and retreats, the old stories and limiting beliefs that I thought I had already dealt with, didn't know were there, or thought I had buried deep enough that they didn't stand a chance of resurfacing, were brought to light to be faced and ultimately addressed in a healthy way.

I've been teaching yoga for over 10 years, and leading yoga retreats for eight years. In this time, I've been trained in multiple styles of yoga, taught more than 2,000 classes, and practiced with teachers from many lineages. I've seen first hand how yoga can transform a person (myself included).

In the U.S., yoga is often thought of as a form of exercise, but there's more to it than the asanas (physical postures). The eight limbs of yoga cover everything from how you relate to others to finding bliss. If those parts of yoga are not as familiar to you, watch for more posts from me this summer about the eight limbs of yoga.

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