A year ago today I walked into a studio to teach my first yoga class. The 18 months prior had been some of my darkest days, some of my darkest months. I had lost my job, almost everything that I thought I was. I had walked away from my yoga practice, the studio that had become my home. I walked away from life. I was in the beginning stages of a federal lawsuit and I was completely drained of all of my self-confidence and self-worth.
On my worst day, yoga was the only thing I thought I was still capable of. My mind wasnt functioning but my body still moved. I walked into a little Hot Yoga studio in Rocky Point, found the darkest corner, and unrolled my old friend. The “Jade” label was worn, peeling up on the edges from age and lack of use.
My stiff muscles quickly remember the poses, the 105 degrees kept my tears hidden in my sweat. I realized that day yoga would be how I would rebuild myself, the first block in my new foundation. Matt McCambridge welcomed me with a simple smile and allowed me to fumble at my own pace. His studio felt safe, his practice began to wake me up.
Coco Teodoro was the name on the schedule for Thursday nights with the words “Advanced” right next to it. Each week I would look at the schedule with a mix of fear and motivation. After about two months, my Thursday night came.
I always say I don’t know if it was sweat, snot, or vomit that I left covered in that night. The next morning when I woke up unable to move a muscle, I couldn’t wait for next Thursday night to practice again.
Shortly after that the studio closed. I was panicked when I asked Coco where to practice, even more panicked at his response, “Practice? Come teach for me.”
A few weeks later, some teacher training, and there I was. Standing in a brand new studio, huge space, tall ceilings, and Mind Body apps I couldn’t use. And my first class wasn’t perfect, neither was my second or third. There was a full blown panic attack somewhere around the 10th…I began questioning myself again, a little darkness creeping in.
The next day, once again wondering what I was doing, where I was going, what had become of my life and my self-confidence, I went for a walk in my favorite set of trails. And there she was, Christine Cirolli, my little woodland fairy, walking over a hill like a scene from a movie. She was my first yogi, she was the studio where I practiced my first vinyasa, the home I disappeared from; where Kelly first corrected my chaturanga, where Tiffany taught me that unmatching socks and a loving sadistic laugh belong in a yoga studio.
“I’m teaching now, but I suck.” The first words out of my mouth.
“No you don’t, come teach for me.”
Again, another beautiful yogi who saw more in me than I was able to see in myself.
I teach 8 classes a week now with Gentle Strength Yoga. I still have so much to learn, but I don’t suck as much as I used to. ??
And I love it. I love seeing the “me’s” walk in. The ones that find the darkest corner, but slowly work their way up into the light. I love the tears that escape as we work through our shit. I love watching Souls grow. I love yoga and every deep beautiful breath it has taught me to take.
My most humble gratitude to Matt, Coco, Chris, Tiffany, and Kelly. Thank you for this beautiful day!
❤???❤ Light and Love to all!