STUDIO sound off

my road to yoga

Some people have asked why I decided to get my yoga certification. Why yoga is such a big part of my life. And why I am continuing to make it an even bigger part. It’s hard to explain in a sentence, and it’s not easy to talk entirely through. But I hope that this not only answers the questions I get, but also helps others that have been through similar situations, whether with yoga, or with life.

My road to yoga was bumpy. In 2008, I woke up, as I usually did, but this morning I ended up on the bathroom floor with intense pain through my spine. An ambulance ride, 8 hours, and 3 different hardcore medications later, I was diagnosed with 2 bulging discs in my lower spine. This resulted in 2 weeks of bed rest, and 4 months of physical therapy. After this ordeal, I went back to my doctor for a check-up and she asked “what did you used to do to work out?” I answered “Run on the treadmill and lift weights. Why?” She told me that none of those things would be possible anymore. My spine was fragile and weakened, and this same injury could happen at any time if I wasn’t careful. That meant sayonara to my workout routine (which wasn’t really a routine to begin with). She recommended a gentler workout, but encouraged that I start something that built strength in my core and spine. That’s when she said yoga. At the time, I heard yoga, and saw hippies smoking pot and dancing around a field of flowers. But I figured I’d give it a chance.

My first yoga class was with Ame Wren at North End Yoga. And she transformed my life. I left that class feeling strong, sweaty, and a little confused. But I was rejuvenated. I had taken control of my body back. I wasn’t stuck on a treadmill, or stuck in bed. I was up, moving, gaining more and more strength, and now my mind was telling my body what to do – not the other way around. I continued to do yoga once or twice a week, keeping myself grounded, less stressed, and back injury free.

Fast forward 5 years later to October 2013. My 30th birthday was ahead, and I was almost 3 months pregnant with my first child. Everything felt like it was falling into place.

Then my entire world crashed down. My 24-year-old cousin unexpectedly passed away, causing a feeling of catastrophic loss for my whole family. Four days after his wake and funeral, which was the hardest weekend of me and my family’s lives, I was at the doctor for a regular check-up when we found out that there was no heartbeat and that we had lost the baby. The week was devastating, coping not only with the loss of my cousin, but the loss of my unborn child. When I pictured the future I saw my cousin at family reunions, and I saw myself in the nursery with our baby. Now I was forced to ground myself in the present to grieve, recognize how the future had drastically changed, and cry. A lot.

That next week I was driving with my husband and said, out of nowhere, “This week is going to change my life forever.” And how it has. Life is short and unexpected. But it’s those people, those moments, those bumps in the road that make you who you are and who you will become.

So January 2014 I started a new job, started yoga teacher training, and found positivity and strength that I didn’t think was possible anymore. Since then, I have completed by 200-hour Yoga Alliance certification, my husband and I moved to our dream house in Scituate, and I see a future that wouldn’t have been possible without some amazing love down here and up there.