After my first yoga class, something amazing happened. I realized that everything I needed I had. Being in competitive sports throughout most my life, I was always training. When I began yoga, I started practicing. The difference between training and practice became clear to me, and instead of training for the future I started practicing for the now. I would leave the studio feeling immediate results throughout my whole body and mind. I was empowered. Before I knew it, yoga became part of my way of being.
About two years ago, I suffered from staphylococcal pneumonia, which lead to acute respiratory distress syndrome. I was in an induced coma for a month and a half, fighting for my life. When I awoke, I had to relearn how to do what many of us take for granted, such as walking, talking, eating and so on. Months went by and my recovery was not where it should have been. My doctors sent me to Cleveland Clinic where I was diagnosed with a chronic lung disease, bronchiolitis obliterans. After many tests were done, it was confirmed that I am working with 37 percent lung capacity. This was a hard thing to grasp back in 2011.
As of 2012, I honestly could not be in a better, happier place. My yoga practice brought me back to life. As I was no longer able to partake in vigorous activities, I wanted to find some way to be active. A close friend of mine is an instructor and asked me to come to one of her classes. From there on out I knew that yoga was what I wanted to do.
In August of 2012 I headed off to Baron Baptiste’s Level One Teacher Training in the Catskills of New York. It was a life changing experience and in that week I realized how I wanted to share with others the gift of yoga. Shortly after level one, I went back to the Catskills for Baron’s Level Two Teacher Training in September. I came back eager to start teaching.
My training in the Baptiste Yoga style opened my eyes to a world of possibilities. This style of yoga allowed me to achieve not only physical, but mental results. I am empowered, fit, and energized. Yoga has transformed my body, mind and life. Accepting the present moment and living in the now is how I live my life. A year ago when I was diagnosed, I felt powerless over my disease. Now I embrace my experience and use it to inspire others.
I am a student of life. My practice is continually changing. The passion for what I do is evident on and off the mat. When I am not practicing, I am enjoying time with my family and friends. Music is a huge part of my life and I am always planning to go see a concert. I recently graduated from University at Buffalo with my B.A. in Health and Human Services, Community Mental Health.
Come join me on the mat and experience where it can take you. Reward yourself in empowering ways. You are ready now.