My Yoga Story

When I came to Yoga, I was overweight, severely depressed and lost. My marriage was coming to an end, I had two teenagers and I didn’t know who I was supposed to be anymore. I had been: mom, wife, church lady, lunch lady, lady trying to be the perfect everything and none of it had worked. I ended up lying on the floor of my house, crying every day for a year. I finally went to the doctor for help after several scary months of not wanting to breathe anymore.

My doctor told me to take some antidepressants, get a counselor and get some exercise. I did all of those. I took anti-depressants, got a great counselor and picked yoga – because I thought, “It’s only stretching right?” Ha! Boy was I wrong!

At the end of my third class, during Savasana I had an epiphany – what Oprah calls “a light bulb moment.” It was that I was in charge! I was valuable and I was enough just the way I am! I can choose to make the decisions for the direction of my life. And everything started getting better from that point on. It wasn’t easy though. I had a lot of tough decision ahead of me and days where I would question every choice I was making.

I kept practicing and then started Yoga Teacher Training. I cried every day in class – I mean EVERY day. I don’t know how my teachers dealt with it. I’m sure the other students thought I was losing it. But it is now four years later and I am a dedicated yoga teacher/lover of myself/bringer of light and I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my job!

It’s more than a job really – It’s my life and It’s a calling. For me, the most important part of a yoga practice is getting in touch with who you really are, on the inside. It’s being able to hear that little quiet voice inside that is your heart telling you which way to turn, telling you what you REALLY want to be and do. It’s learning that you are stronger than you think – because you REALLY are! It’s learning that you areworthwhile and lovely and special – or remembering that you are. That YOU are in charge of making your life what you want it to be!

We forget somewhere along in life that it’s ok to listen to that voice. The one that says it’s ok to take care of ourselves – that it’s ok to jump in rain puddles even if we are 60 – that we don’t have to live our life exactly like everyone else – and for me, that you don’t have to be unhappy, overweight and lost forever.

At 44 I saw the light. It was as though someone flicked my forehead and said “You have the Power!” You have the right to be happier. You have the tools to be healthier. You can find your way. Yoga set me free. And I want YOU to be free too.

YOU are lovely and special and you have gifts and talents that no one else has! You have a light inside of you that only you can shine! You have the power to be healthier, happier and free! We create our reality and it all starts in our mind. We get to choose positivity and light or….not. We get to choose our actions – actions that affect ourselves and others for good…….or bad. We get to choose our words that uplift, love and encourage others….or not.

As we begin to make those choices our lives will begin to change. Some people will fall away as you become more aligned with the true you. New people will be drawn to you because of your outlook and positivity. Those who truly love you will stay right by your side and hold your hand and say, “You go girl!”

For those of you who may be struggling today I want you to know you are not alone. You may be struggling with your weight, or with depression, addiction to perfectionism, a need to please every one else. You may be feeling worthless and hopeless. I’ve been there and may I just say…..reach out for help, tell someone, create a circle of friends that will support you, open your heart and tell them the real stuff – don’t keep it hidden.

Go to your doctor if that’s an option, take the stupid meds for a while even if you don’t really want to, and find a way to exercise – go walk, ride a bike or even try Yoga. You might find a community there of loving, real, broken and challenged human beings – just like YOU!!! Who knows? You might even find a calling.

From My Heart to Yours, Dawn