Yoga Journey (Part 2 – present)

So, on Valentines day 2016 I signed myself up to become a Yoga instructor.  Everything about it felt right.  Though financially I was really wondering if I was losing my marbles.  I went for it…without much hesitation.  I knew at very minimum it would be a source of therapy and way to deepen my practice of Yoga.  And really what more could I lose…it was better than all those days on the closet floor.  Yoga was a safe and beautiful place for me, where i connected.  So, it felt right and I went with it.  I was excited for the first time in a really long time.  Strange not picking up the phone to share with Eric.  My kids thought I was losing it…but in the end I think they are pretty amazed at all I have accomplished.  I didn’t give up…even when it got tough.

What I gained in those months learning about Yoga I will never sum up in one blog.  In fact, I find it’s on going.  Yoga is a way of life.  It’s not just poses or a work out.  Although, yes Asana is one part – the work out part where you do the beautiful poses.  But, underneath all that there are 8 limbs of Yoga.  I began doing private lessons with a beautiful soul and she helped prepare me for the unknowns of training.  What a beautiful friend and amazing Yoga instructor she is!  So, I was making beautiful friendships…and what better friends than fellow Yogi’s!

During training I met some of the most amazing people, our group became very close.  It was nice to pull myself into a totally different dimension and learn about something outside of myself.  Which ironically, was really all about myself.  Part of the learning became painful (emotionally) at times.  At other times I found myself laughing at how practical and present Yoga really is in my life – when I allow it.  Like lunch in the park and eating spontaneous chicken Schwarma wraps from the mediterranean cafe, below the studio.  We had so many laughs and heartfelt sharing in my Yoga group, it was just a special place for bonding.  And lord knows I needed that.  Ironic how I went into it so blindly and came out with so much more than I ever expected!  Getting out and being part of a group in fresh air made all the difference and that was a bonus in my training.

The painful part reached a peak for me towards the end of training.  And sadly it hit me with one of those tsunami sized grief waves.  Something about using all I had learned on another person…giving them that genuine touch and presence brought me back to my loss.  I can’t explain it.  Some of my PTSD (that night Eric passed) I just went into a bit of shock and blacked out.  I had to step outside of myself and check in…was it me…do I push through, do I quit?  I had worked so hard to come to this point and quitting seemed like the most unreasonable answer.  Thankfully the directors were very understanding and allowed me to finish my training (last 2 weekends) on my own time.

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This part sounds sad – right?  Not graduating with my Yoga group, all these people I had bonded so closely with.  It was a bit of heartache.  But, I knew I needed to tend to my needs and get in check with that before forcing something that brought up deep sadness and anxiety.  I had even finished my paper on Taoism with a fun play doh activity (I didn’t get to share).  I was honestly feeling very mixed about where I was and how I get over the hurdle I had stumbled upon.  I saw this out of no where.  Strange how grief works and shows it self when least expect it.

Well, strangely this is where is all gets really great!  After a couple of month break – continuing to practice, but contacted from Director to finish training, and she was hooking me up with Sue – another friend that also didn’t finish in our group.  At the time, I didn’t really recall getting to know Sue so well during training.  I recall her shy and quiet and reserved.  I was a bit hesitant when I saw we would finish together…but in the end I was so glad to not finish on my own.  I was actually surprised she didn’t finish!  So, suddenly I felt less alone. And I was excited to meet up with her to move forward in this Yoga journey.

16178914_1431888756844194_4129611563997029640_oAnd so for several months Sue and I met…we would practice, go through our notes, videos and practice more.  We created our playlists, worked on cueing, sequencing and we helped each other in so many ways I can’t even begin to tell you.  We started meeting at Sue’s place and every time she would make a lunch for us.  Or we would walk over across the street for a yummy wrap and then we would sit and laugh and talk about life stuff.  We even encouraged each other to offer a free Yoga class in our community.  It was a small turnout but so awesome down by the lakes in my community.  As a bonus I met a neighbor and had friends join along.  It was a chilly but beautiful sunny Sunday!

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So, here i was finishing my yoga certification, with little hands on from the director…just me and Sue.  We had to dig in and learn on our own.  With some guidance, but it was up to us.  She and I delved into it all.  We studied and laughed and ironically shared personal struggles in our lives.  Things just come up, as we went through the sequence, my sciatica, a call from Kailie (car accident one day)…we would get interrupted but Sue would always find a way to just sit and listen and bring around the positive.  We became such good friends.  It’s amazing to think who I saw Sue as during training, so much more of a beautiful human being underneath it all.  What a precious soul.  I was able to connect to her on a level I can not describe.  Let’s just say we are all working our own underground struggles.  Most don’t talk or share about so openly.  Sue shared with me and I shared with her.  I felt so normal with Sue, where we could relate and laugh and then practice Yoga, bringing all our real life situations into the picture.  It was more than I ever expected from finishing out the certification.  She and I observed over 15 extra classes and boy that was a huge help.  I was able to understand sequencing better and it just all came together in a bigger picture.

So, looking back, I think God set my path exactly as I needed it to be.  I needed to take a break and get my head together, realize it’s okay to share my heart like this with others and not always be reminded of Eric…it’s a good thing to share the heart.  But, I had to come to terms with that….it’s ultimate “acceptance” and that’s all I’ll say about that.  And I didn’t expect that to ever be a problem for me.  Grief works in mysterious ways.  And this was a real lesson for me.  I’m thankful everyday it worked out the way it did.  Because Sue and I became such close friends.  She is such an amazing spirit and has shared with me so much more out there in this big world than just Yoga.  Gaining her friendship through this process was more than a bonus ….it was a blessing.  She taught me so much about life and living with joy.

So, it took me longer to finish…but in the end I believe my certification is so much more sacred and special the way it ended.  Sue and I embarked on a special friendship and Yoga journey together and a bond was created.  Just at the time I needed it.  She didn’t know it, but in some ways working one on one with her helped me take time that I needed to come to terms with the acceptance part, sharing my heart genuinely.  I am capable of that…but I want to be genuine.  I needed time to sort that out…and turns out Sue was the person that was ready to move my speed and vice versa.  It was a compliment to each of us.  Sue had her strengths and I had mine…and it was so good to share feedback honestly with one another as we went along.

During this journey, I created a very small space in my home for practicing Yoga.  It was kind of big deal…as at the time there were very little areas in my home I could go without reminder of Eric.  Setting  up my little space gave me encouragement to keep moving forward against all fears.  And I spent any occasion or opportunity practicing my meditation and practice.  On my terms.  It turned into a small slice of heaven.

I’m just so glad everything worked out the way it did and YES I’m a certified Yoga instrucotr…who knew?  I’m proud of my accomplishment, and even more proud of a very special formed friendship. Sue and I celebrated at a little lunch spot only she would know about (because she knows all the good places) and it was perfect, just she and I.  I’m looking forward to learning more yoga with Sue as we go along, try new things, like rock climbing, holy yoga…Sue has so much she wants to introduce me to and I am just beyond grateful thinking about how lucky I am to have been hooked up with Sue on this Yoga journey.  My heart is full.  and I am beyond to have the certification completed now, so I can share my passion for teaching with others.  My heart is fully capable and that part makes me so happy.

Reflections:

  1.  I learned Yoga is an ongoing process of learning about oneself.  Part observing and part acceptance.
  2. I learned Yoga is a healing and meditative place that is always open for me to retreat to in times of stress or just to find focus away from the chaotic world that surrounds me. It is the one thing that roots me to the earth, to find balance when life is a bit wonky.
  3. I learned I am strong and determined.  I had to be patient with my 45-year-old body.  I learned it is still very capable, but needs extra care.  And that’s okay – because I will attract those people who desire the extra care too.
  4. I learned I don’t have to be upside down in crazy poses to be a good teacher.  I can just be original, be myself through my heart and genuine nature connect.
  5. I learned Yoga is a way for me to connect with people, which come from all walks of life and situations.  Allowing myself a place to reflect and empathize on an entire different level after loss.
  6. I learned the heart is gentle.  It can not be rushed.  I had to give it extra time to accept its ability to give and receive from a sacred place, with no tears or regrets that I can’t share this with Eric.  He would be proud of me!
  7. I learned that Yoga tapped me back in touch with my deep passion for teaching, connecting with people and being surround by young souls (and old).
  8. I gained a community of non-judgemental friends that are open and loving and embrace difference.
  9. I learned I am not the only one traveling a rocky road…we all are…and in the end we are all connected.  Traveling this road through training was part of me taking steps in to the new future…and it has helped me tap into “Kimberly”  that girl…she’s unique and special in her own way.
  10. I learned sharing this practice with others fills me up, that part of my heart that I have void (for Eric) and now it feels good to release this to others, that may be just like I was that first time I walked into a Yoga workshop.  It’s not the same, but it will do and makes my heart warm.
  11. I can be a light in someone’s life.  I can be bright and a source of inspiration.
  12. I can laugh and be human and show my true colors through teaching, and I think people will connect with me!
  13. Yoga is healing…it is a mindful practice, always forcing you to face the root of where you are.  Where you need to be and be okay with it.  There is never any hurry.  And I suppose this is some of what I love most about Yoga.
  14. Bonus!  My new house has a special room all for me – and practicing Yoga, bigger than the old house.  Can’t wait to share more about that beautiful space.  It’s a bit of a retreat and good for checking into the present moment.

I am so excited about the continuation of this journey.  I will stay updated on my blog – so hopefully some of you can come follow me and try my classes.  I would love to share our connections and grow friendships through our joys and sorrows.  There is always light, the more we share and connect the better a world we live in.

Be a light….find your spark and never think you are too old to try.  Yoga was a bit of therapy for me.  But, in the end I discovered it’s so much more….I will continue to share my learnings along the way.  My Yoga journey will go on and on and on….in all parts of my life. It will continue to spark my light, to slow down, discover inner strength and peace and focus on present moments. My hope and goal is to teach yoga, connect with young and old.  And a real bonus would be for me to bring yoga into the classroom one day soon.  What a beautiful fun thing to share with kids!

Yoga is healing and I recommend it to anyone and everyone.  It will embrace you and force you to face all that lies within you and most importantly the present moment…the only moment that really exists.

Whatever you are facing in your life…the one part I take away from my loss is that jumping in feet first (into the unknown) is sometimes a good thing.  New beginnings are necessary to moving forward, creating a new life and carrying the best parts of my previous life (prior to loss) with me in the process.  Facing my fears has been mandatory in healing (though painful at times).  And I am still working on that part.  But, come so far, thankful for following my heart.

Thank you as always for reading and encouraging me through this journey.  It has been a beautiful unexpected discovery of self.

Namaste’

Kimberly

P.S.  Free Yoga led by the one and only – me!  This Sunday, message me or reply in comments if interested in attending.  9-10 am.  It will be a beautiful class and maybe even a few laughs.

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