In December of 2014, I found myself on a yoga mat for the first time in my life – at none other than River Rock. A few weeks prior I had been involved in a very serious car crash; one that left my car totaled, my body battered and bruised, and my spirits lower than low. I defined myself as a runner – an amazing runner – and this accident had changed all of that within an instant. Running hurt now. It was too painful. And I wasn’t amazing anymore. My foster sister had recommended trying yoga to work on strengthening my body. So there I was.
I had always thought of yoga as “not real exercise.” I never knew what it actually entailed, but I never entertained the idea because running was my workout. I remember that first class so vividly. I was not as strong as I thought I was. Yoga was hard. It was challenging. But most importantly, it was beautiful.
I started attending regularly. I started really connecting with my body. Seeing my body heal. Seeing it grow stronger. For TWENTY-THREE years I could not sit with my legs crossed because of the caused pain it caused my hips, and then all of a sudden I was SITTING WITH MY LEGS CROSSED. No problem. Then I could sit up on my heels. Then I could kneel without blankets. Then I could do SIDE CROW.
Here I am now 16 months later, in the middle of Yoga Teacher Training. Practicing yoga on almost a daily basis. It feels like it’s been something I always have done. That it was ALWAYS me. Yoga not only shifted my physical state, but it also transformed my emotional and spiritual life. I have found myself. I have intentions, purpose, and presence. I have a community of wonderful beings who support each others journeys. I have love.
Sixteen months ago I would have laughed if you told me I would be doing chaturangas on a yoga mat. I was so angry when the accident ruined my running career. Now, words cannot express how ecstatic I am that it did. I cannot even imagine where my life would be if I had not found yoga – if I had not found River Rock. So thank you for holding space for me, and for my story to unfold.