A Reluctant Love Affair
Yoga has helped Rebecca cope on the difficult and uncertain days that always follow a move, and this time, it’ll once again help her find her community.
Rebecca gets a kick out of telling her students, “I hated yoga the first time I tried it!” “Hate” is probably too strong a word, she admits, but she definitely did not think that yoga was something she’d ever do more than once.
Her first yoga experience could not have been better—a private lesson with a dear friend in her sunny living room. “Practicing that day was hard,” she says. “I’d never participated in a physical activity that required upper body strength, and my ego wasn’t at all agreeable to accept an easier option.” After their class, Rebecca thanked her friend, rolled up her mat and went home. She didn’t try yoga again for at least five years. Nonetheless, she looks back on that day with gratitude, knowing that it planted the seed for a practice that would be life-changing and affirming.
Fast-forward to January of 2014. Rebecca and her husband and their two children were six months into their second move in three years. It had been a difficult move for them and life was extra stressful. “My youngest child, Pearson, was about to turn 2, and I was ready to get back in shape,” she remembers. “In the past I’d turn to running or hit the gym, but raising my son was proving to be a bit more challenging than raising my daughter. While pushing my cart through the local buy-in-bulk store, I remembered that yoga was supposed to help me relax.” She bought a video so that she could work out at home while her son napped. A few months into her experience, she decided to find a class, and was surprised to find she thoroughly enjoyed herself. “I even cried at the end of the class, just so touched by the experience.”
The class that really changed Rebecca’s mind about yoga met on Friday at 10:30 am and was taught by a kind, funny, and confident teacher named Chrissy Smith. Judging by her youthful manner and easygoing style, she assumed Chrissy was a college student teaching yoga in her free time. “I’d soon learn that she was just about my age, married with children, and navigating life with the help of yoga, just like me,” Rebecca said. “I had no idea at the time that I’d be gaining both a teacher and best friend.”
Before long, Rebecca was attending multiple classes a week, and even exploring classes at studios around town on the weekends. “It wasn’t just my practice that was growing,” she admits, “but my heart also. For the first time since leaving home, I was forming friendships and finding community.”
Other things were happening also. As a lifetime sufferer of anxiety and depression, Rebecca saw improvements in her symptoms. “I was also feeling connected to something greater than myself, and finding peace and strength in a personal spiritual practice for the first time in ages.” After much encouragement from Chrissy, Rebecca began her YogaFit teacher training in February of 2016, just one day after her 34th birthday. An extra special bonus: Chrissy was doing her own Level One Retrain at the same time and Rebecca really enjoyed having her dear friend and mentor with her that weekend.
Rebecca’s love letter to YogaFit
I’ve learned so much more than poses and how to cue them from YogaFit. Early in my journey, I remember Chrissy saying something to the effect that we come to class for the poses and fitness, but stay for the way yoga and meditation change us. For the first time in my life, I’m really discovering who I am and how to love, accept, and care for myself completely. I’m now about halfway to my 200-hour certification now. I look forward to and enjoy every YogaFit training I attend in much the same way one enjoys a vacation. Each trainer I’ve had has added something special to my journey, and the entire YogaFit community is always supportive and a blast to hang out with.
Remember that first 10:30 am Yoga with Chrissy? I’m proud to say I have now taught that class for her. Just as my friend did for me that day years ago, I’m grateful for the opportunity to plant the seed of yoga in those students who have come to the mat for the first time.
Life is changing again for my family and me. This summer we will relocate to Phoenix. I’m so glad to be a part of a training system that travels with me (I’m already signed up for Level Three in California this November!). I’m also thankful for my practice, which will not only help sustain me on the difficult and uncertain days that follow a move, but will help me once again find my community.