Like most people I have spent a lot of time wondering what my true purpose is on this Earth. I went through struggles in my childhood that had left me confused and often feeling like no matter what I did I would never be "enough." I proceeded to go through all of the motions that were expected of me with the hope of finding my true self and feeling fulfilled; In high school I joined clubs and chose my extracurricular activities based off of what I thought would allow me to meet people that would like me. I picked my degree and university primarily based off of what I thought would family happy, afraid to break the mold of what was expected of me. My first job out of college put me in a position of being disrespected and put down on a daily basis, but I because I felt like my coworkers saw me for who I was and liked me it took me almost five years to leave.
None of these decisions gave me any sense of fulfillment - don't get me wrong I have no regrets about the path that I've chosen. In my journey I crossed paths with a man who is strong, kind-hearted, understanding and loves me for who I am. He has supported my personal growth journey and in turn we have grown closer together since meeting in 2007 and I am proud to be his wife.
Thankfully I was introduced to yoga at a very young age through a "Yoga for Kids" VHS tape that my younger sisters and I would watch daily for an entire summer in San Diego. That same summer my mother was reading Deepak Chopra's "The Seven Spiritual Laws for Success," and was so inspired by it she had me read it with her. As a ten year old I had no idea what half of the content meant, but it planted a seed in me that left me curious for more. My own personal yoga practice continued to develop through the years, although I mostly found that I did not have the time or money to continue my practice - at least that's what I told myself. I often grew frustrated when attending yoga classes because I could feel my alignment not being correct or my strength being not enough in certain poses. I listened to the yoga teachers say things like "be kind to yourself on your mat," and "let the wandering thoughts pass you by during class so you can focus on the present." These statements constantly reminded me of that seed planted in my brain by Dr. Chopra and I grew more and more curious with every class I took.
In July 2015 I attended a class at Southtown Yoga Loft in San Antonio with an instructor that I felt like I could really relate to. After class I asked her about becoming a yoga instructor and as it turned out she would be co-leading a Yoga Alliance certification course starting in January. I wanted to sign up right then and there, but I was worried I was making a rash decision. I talked it over with my family and gave it lots of thought over the next few months, and finally the day after Thanksgiving I decided to go for it.
The first day of class was very intimidating - I didn't know any of the 24 other students there and was worried I would not be flexible, strong or knowledgable enough the keep up with the others. However, in the next five months I connected with people I would have never had more than basic small talk conversations with. These perfect strangers soon knew more about me than most of my close friends and family and I was very comfortable being so vulnerable and open. We bonded over topics like the Yoga Sutras, the Bhagavad Gita and Chakras while delving into the different practices of yoga and even Ayurveda. In this short time I was able to make sense of a lot of pending questions and doubts in my life and became ready to start teach group classes.
The main lesson I took away from this 200 hour teacher training is to conserve faith and humility in all situations to help separate my true self from emotional afflictions that cause me to make jaded decisions. I am excited to share yoga with others because it has allowed me to grow physically, mentally and emotionally while discovering my dharma (life purpose), and I hope that I can create that space for others to do the same.
"Seeds of unhappiness,
sources of fear, cause conflict and strife.
Roast them with the flame of awareness
and clearly hear,
the inner essence of life."
If you compare yourself to others, you may become
vain or bitter, for always there will be greater
and lesser persons than yourself.
In darkness unawakened, they make foolishness cover their wisdom and overflow. One remembrance of illumination can break through and leap out of the dust.