We all have our own story to tell and in this last year, my students have inspired me in more ways than one. Through sharing our experiences together, we’ve helped each other through some difficult times. And in those moments, we’ve inspired each other to become stronger and more resilient.
So today, I’d like to share my story with you…
I began my journey over ten years ago, starting as a Bikram Yoga student. While I practiced on and off, it wasn’t until three years ago that I found Vinyasa Yoga. In Fall 2015, I decided to leave my corporate career to rediscover myself and pursue my passion as a blogger. While this was a difficult decision, I wanted to slow down, take a breath and find myself.
After graduating college, I spent my time focused on working around the clock, dedicating myself to work and no time on taking care of myself. I was stubborn and valued career success over my own health and wellbeing, and at the end, I realized that this path was more destructive than good.
It wasn’t an easy decision to leave everything I had worked for behind but it was a necessary change to guide me into a new stage of life. I didn’t know what I was going to do next or how but I started with taking a few months off to spend time with my family in Taiwan. When I returned to the States, I took it slow by working part time in retail, freelancing as a copywriter and blogger, and practicing yoga and meditation every day.
This step down from my corporate career was challenging for me because I had to set aside my pride and habits of speeding through life at 200 miles per hour. So at first, slowing down was very unsettling for me. I felt extremely lost, frustrated and even doubted myself. But through yoga and meditation, I learned how to turn my attention inwards by focusing on my breath and staying in the present moment. The process of finding that stillness was a challenge in itself because I wasn’t used to shutting my mind down and letting myself relax. But the more I resisted, the more frustrated and anxious I became. So I eventually surrendered myself and just let everything in so that I could work through it instead of pushing it aside.
Each time I opened myself up in practice, the more I healed from within. I would find myself in tears as we released our body and it surprised me how safe I felt in the presence of my teacher and peers to just let go. And it was during these times that I learned patience and compassion to oneself. I learned to embrace my vulnerability as a strength. I learned to give myself time to breathe, to reflect and to be so that I could heal, process and move on. But most importantly, I learned that the hardest yet most beautiful thing we can do for ourselves is to be human: to set aside our own judgment so that we may love ourselves for everything we are.
This positive impact yoga has made in my life is the reason why I became a yoga teacher. I hope to create a space and practice for my students to feel comfortable and let themselves release in whatever way they need at that time.
It definitely has not been an easy journey but I am grateful for the life lessons I’ve gained in the process. I believe that our lives begin when we start taking care of ourselves and loving who we are from the inside out. And in doing so, we will find and create the life we want.
So no matter where you are in your life, don’t rush yourself. Give yourself permission to step back, take a breath and live because at the end of the day, your life is not defined by academic or career advancements. It is defined by how you lived, how you loved, how you laughed, and ultimately, if through it all, you are happy.
Thank you for listening to my story! And I hope you will tell your stories to others because you never know how your experiences can inspire another. Namaste.