I discovered yoga 3 summers ago after thirsting for inner peace & forgiveness  from enduring an emotionally & mentally draining relationship. Initially, I tried confiding in several school counselors and professors, professional people who I thought would be able to help me stay afloat from drowning in this vast, dark sea, but I felt like they just didn’t “get” me. The interventions they gave me seemed superficial and did not dig deep into what was the underlying cause of this exhausting emotional stress. After sitting under the stars many nights just contemplating, I began to growing fonder of nature and found a pure truth and trust in it: a spiritual epiphany that everyone, everything in this universe is all interconnected. It was such a fancy thought for me and was quite unbelievable at how simple and true it is and how it’s always been like that, but I’ve never paid any attention to it until that moment.

 

Going with the flow, I thought about how meditation works for many people. What is it? How does it work? Who can teach me? I had no clue who on my college campus  did, my family and friends are very unfamiliar with this because church and prayer is their way to ask for peace that didn’t work for me, and being even more introverted & shy at this time to ask and seek around was a minor hindrance. Soon, yoga came to mind and I naively figured somehow yoga was like meditation, and so I set out to begin my yoga journey.

 

Initially, I was most concerned with trying how to get the poses “right” by fumbling and looking all around to see how everyone else is doing it. But after learning that yoga practice is not a competition and that we’re all on own our journey, the poses will come to us when you are ready. And I’ve applied that concept to many aspects of my life eventually learning about (with surprise of discovering the origin) this Buddhist proverb: “The teacher will appear when the student is ready.” Thus, I have learned to strengthen my patience, to forgive myself for having expectations and hopes that are not conducive to my growth, and to accept what I do and who I am right now.

 

Enter Yogi’s Heart. Being able to have a consistent practice has given me something special that I’ve never experienced before: feeling like there is something that I am good at. This practice has been healing and building the most important parts of me… within. Yoga has been the perfect remedy for the emptiness and the hole that was once inside, nurturing and supporting my growth and unleashing my potential as a warrior. It has helped sow and bloom self confidence, self-esteem, self respect, and most importantly self love which I have finally been able to begin understanding and appreciating through venturing on my journey so far.

 

When I first began,  I never forgot what Trella, the founder of Yogi’s Heart, wished for me after receiving the scholarship… which was growth. I didn’t quite understand what she meant, but it stayed in the back of my mind. I remember my first month being introduced to bakasana, crow pose, and it was scary! I couldn’t do it, either from lack of focused muscle strength or just fear and felt a muscle strain in my triceps. My headstand required wall assistance and I so badly wanted to pike it down as I had seen fellow yogi’s were able to. I didn’t understand what it meant to “square your hips” and why it was important to constantly focus on breath.

 

It has been 8 months since I began my consistent practice, and I can now do bakasana without a faceplant, headstand without assistance and a soft landing pike, working on forearm balance now, being able to square my hips in warrior poses, and delving into inner peace and bliss as I listen to the sound of my every breath, and the feeling is definitely breathtaking.

 

Looking back is such a great feeling, bearing witness to my growth not only physically, but also spiritually. I have learned so much more as I practice yoga to accept things as they are, forgive, letting go, and embracing the power of now. Being able to experience this personal growth has without a doubt added more color and purpose in my life, making me feel and believe in beauty and my worthiness as a young woman, a human being in this wild universe.

And for those who, like me, once thirsted for peace and love… just take a seat there, be quiet, go within, and breathe. What you seek is all within you. Namaste warrior.

 

Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu

“May all beings everywhere be happy and free, and may the thoughts, words, and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and to that freedom for all.”

~ Kathleen Capiroso