“The key is to keep company only with people who uplift you, whose presence calls forth your best.”―
Every morning I wake up and step out into the world, surrounded by people who uplift me. Their presence calls forth MY best. Every. Single. Day. As you know, I preach the value of “going to your pain” to find where you can most be of service. I could fill the pages of a very thick book with stories of how our students have taken this on. Here are 3 stories to uplift YOU…may they inspire you and call forth your best.
I struggled for most of my life with low self-esteem, which led me to abusive relationships, criminal behavior and eventually a debilitating addiction to drugs. Detoxing in the Salt Lake County jail, surrounded by a sea of women all in their own phases of detox is what finally urged a change in me: I did not want to be part of this overwhelming problem anymore, I wanted to be part of the solution. I dedicated myself to a daily practice of yoga, and within a week I could feel my mind and body begin to heal. It was life changing, it was a miracle, it was working! I wanted immediately to share this gift with those who struggle as I did. 1 month into my 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training and I have been gifted the opportunity to share this beautiful, ancient practice with people like myself, in the same state funded rehab where I first went, almost exactly 10 years ago. I see myself soon teaching a daily yoga practice in the county jail, a place where I can personally testify of the need and the incredible potential for change. My big dream however is to run a home, a Yoga Ashram, where the justice system can send individuals in need of nothing more than a chance to pause and be provided an opportunity to learn self care and healthy living. Follow Tannith on IG: @TjL0v3 and on her website: Devotedyogi.net
Looking back about twelve years ago, I learned that I had an abnormal lateral curvature of my spine; Scoliosis. As a child, I didn’t’ know how to process this information. I was told that something was wrong with me. That I was different. That we needed to fix it. Living as this young, twelve-year-old girl, already going through many physical changes, I interpreted this information as this is who I am. Somewhere along the way I, unknowingly, made the association that ‘something is wrong with me’ so ‘I am wrong’. That I need to be fixed therefore I am broken. Fast forward now one spinal fusion and twelve years later, I sit in my very first Yoga Assets class with new people and new surroundings. Yet, it felt right. It felt like home. Like I was in the right place. Exactly where I was supposed to be. I then made the realization that every single thing in my past that had happened had brought me to this point. Every decision. Every action. So, I began to see my spine differently. I have only ever thought bad thoughts about my spine. But, maybe, all along my spine was meant to be this way so that I may find yoga. So that I may share my experience with others to help educate. So that I may find physical and emotional healing. All the pain and all the joy had brought me to that room. With those people. To learn more about yoga.
Through the internal work of yoga, I feel as if I have been awakened. As if I have been living inside a dark cloud my entire life and now, I can breathe. Like a weight on my shoulders that has been there forever is suddenly gone. My world is starting to look different, colors have more depth, smells are different, even my hearing is different. It’s almost as if all of my senses have been switched on to full power. Here in the present moment, I know that I am this magical being living inside this body who has the privilege to explore, and learn from this place we call ‘The World’.
I have found that I am able to heal both physically and emotionally through the practice of yoga, and can now bring that healing to the lives of others through teaching. Follow Cortnie on IG @cortnie_nicole
“My brain surgery happened a little over 3 years ago and that is when my life changed forever. Accepting the fact that my snowboard career was over and the unknown of my capabilities to snowboard again crushed me. Anger raged over me and down I went into the dark hole called depression. This went on for months and I couldn’t seem to find a way out… then I found yoga.
Yoga became my medicine to replace all of the medication that they wanted to put me on. I stopped seeing red and I started seeing light again and that is why I signed up for a 200-Hour Yoga Teacher Training course. I came into the experience nervous, unexperienced and didn’t know what to remotely expect. The weeks flew by and the girl I am now is different than the girl I was at the beginning. I keep asking… how can someone make change so quickly? Naive Kelsey had NO idea that the training would be such a self exploration path. I’ve always been my worst enemy and I was so unhappy with myself after I lost my sense of identity. I thought I was healed from my injury but it wasn’t real, I am now starting the healing process
I’ve had an idea for a very long time on how to help the TBI community in the action sports world and my yoga training has pushed me to create it. I bought the LLC for Save A Brain. Hopefully I can save a brain (or many) by educating and bringing awareness to our brain and mental health through the outdoors, yoga and sense of community.
Follow Kelsey on IG: @kelseyboyer and her Save-A Brain page @saveabrain