Mission: YOGA

yoga

Soon I’ll be going off on an adventure. What type of adventure, you may wonder? Well, I’m chasing my dreams. They’ve been beckoning me for some time now. In a mere month, I’ll be living and learning at the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health in the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts. I’ll leave my hometown behind for awhile, as well as my corporate job (hopefully forever), to pursue what my spirit wants and what the world needs. This 200-hr program for my yoga teaching certification will be intense. From 6:30 am to 9:00 pm, 6 days a week, I will be quite literally living and breathing yoga.

Embarking on something like this ignites passion in my heart, and inspires me to draw on all my faculties to soak in all the knowledge and wisdom I can. As I draw more and more inward to prepare for this experience, I continue to consider my personal values and mission.

Completing the application for entrance into Kripalu’s Yoga Teacher Training program required much self-reflection and deep thought into why I want to pursue this path. I wanted to share some of my answers to the questions on the application. These will help me in the future, as I compose my vision and mission statements for a studio one day.

Why do you want to be certified as a yoga teacher at this time in your life?

There is a great deal of suffering in the world, and in our communities. I’ve witnessed the transformative power of yoga, and its ability to create a sense of peace, understanding, compassion, and love in people of all walks of life. If I could offer a small piece of solace through yoga practice, and a safe space for people to gather and feel welcomed and accepted, that would be an invaluable life skill to me. I would be living a life of true purpose and meaning, and helping people on a level where they could empower themselves, and find comfort in the deepest part of themselves that perhaps they didn’t even know existed.

I’d like to help others let go of perfectionism, quiet their inner critic, and feel able to live as they were intended – free of anxiety and discomfort. And when they are feeling anxiety, discomfort, depression, and anger, they should be able to use yoga to validate these feelings and perhaps be able to let them go.

When I walk through the hallway of the insurance office I work for, I’ve observed that many people hang their heads low, struggling to make eye contact, or smile, or say “hello.” These people can benefit from yoga. Almost anyone can. If I can offer the gift of potentially guiding someone to find peace in themselves, easing their tension and anxiety, that is awareness I’d like to create for people. Manifesting the peace that is within us, bringing it to the surface, and sharing it with others contributes to an outpouring of kindness in our communities that I hope to see more of.

How do you plan to apply your yoga skills to your life and work?

I’ve always had the innate desire to reach people in a healing sense. Ever since I was a little girl, I struggled with an anxiety that I didn’t understand. As a result, I was shy, awkward, and just felt different, or somehow separate. I want to help people understand that what makes us different is what makes us beautiful.

I suffered from an eating disorder as a teenager and received outpatient treatment; in the rehabilitation center I attended, I met many wonderful, talented, lovely, spirited young women who unfortunately buckled under the pressure of society’s skewed standards of beauty. It was heart-wrenching to be surrounded by these young ladies (and gentlemen) who to me, were gorgeous inside and out, but weren’t able to see it through their own eyes or hearts. I’m grateful for that experience, because a deeper sense of compassion was born out of it. It became my mission to help people find their beauty and truly accept themselves and be kind to their bodies.

Yoga fosters self-love. Yoga helps us cultivate understanding, patience, poise, and presence (among innumerable other benefits). It is a powerful tool that largely contributes to self-actualization, and gently leads us to becoming the best version of ourselves. Applying yoga skills to life and work comes naturally when we nurture a lifestyle of devotion and dedication to practice. The application of yoga comes through our countenance and in the way we carry ourselves, the way we communicate with family members, coworkers, strangers; it changes our perspective on daily life, allowing us to let go of trivial issues and focus on the bigger picture.

Om Shanti

Namaste.

xo Steph

9 thoughts on “Mission: YOGA

  1. Not gonna lie, I really want to do this too! I’ve been trying to muster up the courage to take off and dive head first into a training program ^^ excited for you! It’s so inspiring 🙂

  2. Congratulations and good luck! Yoga is something that I know I need to introduce myself to, but I never seem to be able to make it a priority. When I go to the gym, I get so focused on high intensity workouts, partly because I’m so type A and always in a rush to accomplish as much as possible- all the more reason to make chill the ef out with some yoga haha.

    1. Thank you! I hear you, and this is not uncommon. Many people would agree with you, and say that since they have such busy schedules with hardly any time to squeeze in exercise, they want to get the most intense workout in!

      If you do have the urge to try yoga one day, I suggest a Vinyasa flow class or perhaps even Bikram (hot) yoga. These tend to be more intense/athletic/strength-building. Keep up your healthy lifestyle and kudos for finding the time to workout! Namaste!

  3. Congratulations Steph! I cannot wait to hear about your adventures along this path. You are doing a wonderful thing not only for yourself but for others who will benefit from your teachings and insight. You are a special person and very inspirational. I will you all the best!

    Namaste!

    1. Thank you from the bottom of my heart! The outpouring of support and encouraging words I’ve received from fellow bloggers really reinforces my decision. I can’t wait to share my love of yoga with others so that they may benefit from it as well! Keep up the great work with your yoga & meditation. Namaste!

  4. Steph, congratulations. It takes courage to make such a significant change. I look forward to hearing about your process. As a partner in change, you have my full support!

    1. Thank you immensely for the support! It’s natural when taking a leap of faith to feel doubt, so words of encouragement like yours are deeply appreciated. Namaste, Steph.

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