For as long as I can remember, my mother has always tried to get me to participate in a yoga class, but I pushed the idea aside at every mention of it. I have been a dancer, and now a professional dancer, for as long as I have been walking, so the idea of adding an extra workout to my weekly schedule didn’t sit too right with me. It wasn’t until I became sick and had to quit dancing for a year that I considered the thought.
During my year off, I lost a father, my boyfriend at the time joined the Navy, and one of my organs had begun to fail. All of those events led me into a deep depression surrounded by a sea of anxiety. I couldn’t leave my house or go into any store without panicking and I hated that I had become such a fragile human. Medications weren’t helping and I had tried to go back to dance, but I just couldn’t manage it. One day, during a class at Cape Fear, I fell to the floor in a panic. I couldn’t move and I couldn’t bring myself to breathe right. My teacher walked me to the campus security office and had an officer walk with me to Disability Services where one of the employees mentioned the idea of yoga to me. After doing a breathing exercise with me, the woman told me that it was actually a yoga practice, and so I decided to give yoga a try.
During the fall semester of 2016, I had started dancing with a group in Wilmington and I was trying to go to school full time. I was finally on a thyroid medication and an antidepressant to help treat my disease, but I still wasn’t fully treated. Around Christmas time of that year, I noticed that Cape Fear was offering a yoga class and I jumped at the opportunity. In spring of 2017, I joined my first ever yoga class and I fell in love with it. So much so that I ended up getting my certification to teach. I learned so much during that semester and I was finally able to leave my house and become the “independent adult” that I had always wanted to be. Since taking Yoga I and becoming certified myself, I have learned tools to help myself in everyday life as well as help others. I want to share my experience of yoga with everyone I meet and I hope to continue to teach in the future. My friends and other students that I have taught have mentioned to me how much their lives have changed since they started the practice of yoga.
I’m not sure what I would have done with myself if I had not taken the Yoga II course offered during one of the five week summer sessions. I have grown so much as a person and I have helped so many along the way. Because of yoga, my anxiety has subsided and I have been able to start working. I honestly have no idea where I would be today, mentally and physically, if I had never taken the opportunity to try yoga. I know for a fact that I would not have succeeded this much in my academic life and my mental health without it and I hope to continue to introduce others to the wonderful practice of yoga. I would like to thank my school and my teacher for helping me to discover this amazing practice.
This is the start of a new set of stories shared by my students on their yoga experience. Tara has transitioned from a student of yoga to a yoga teacher beautifully. She has a talent for reaching people in a unique way and I expect we will all see great things from her on her yoga journey. Thank You to Amanda for the Think Out Loud Thursday space to tell these stories.