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After co-founding a digital publication in 2014, I prioritized work above all else. My career in media had me constantly on the go and I found myself engulfed in the constant churning of news cycles, which became overwhelming. Something as simple as finding time to center myself with my breath became just another daunting task among others during the daily hustle and bustle.
It wasn’t until almost a year later that I began to take my mental and spiritual health seriously. During that time, I was attending regular therapy sessions and was diagnosed with anxiety and depression. I was 30 and felt like I was running into an invisible brick wall. I was at the pinnacle of my career, engaged to a long-term partner, and yet I found myself extremely unhappy and alone. My psychiatrist suggested yoga and meditation as a way to help me manage my mood. The practice eventually had me asking some deep questions about the trajectory of my life and it exposed me to some deep hidden truths. I eventually broke off my engagement and left my company to focus on more heart-centered healing work.
After a year of incorporating a daily asana practice, I knew I wanted to share this sacred healing modality with others and enrolled in a yoga teacher training where I live in Oakland. It was during my training that I discovered the full spectrum of yoga beyond asana through the study of the eight limbs of yoga. For me, yoga has been an invitation to find stillness, go with the flow of whatever comes my way to know that I’m fully supported.
My relationship with yoga started as a college football player. The injuries I sustained on the field led me to research ways in which I could heal my body naturally. I came across a handful of professional football players who gave testimonials on how yoga transformed their careers. At first, I used the practice solely as a tool to become a better player, but quickly learned that there was much more to being an athlete than knocking people over and using an excessive amount of willpower to shift things outside of myself.
Years later I found myself working at a behavioral facility for emotionally and mentally troubled youth. The hostile environment, lengthy hours, and high-stress situations left me depleted. I was left with a very small capacity to connect in my personal relationships and focus on my own physical health.
One day a co-worker invited me to go to a “spirit fest,” where I attended a yoga lecture. To my surprise, no one was doing poses. That was my introduction to pranayama. Following the class, the teacher introduced me to the eight limbs of yoga, changing the way I viewed yoga. I learned I could practice most of the limbs at any moment in time. Yoga was bigger than any other discipline I’d engaged in prior; it encompassed my entire life.
I started to teach astrology workshops, and the more I coupled my astrological practice with yoga, the more it assisted me in seeing the unity in all things. I am now enrolled in Delta Groove Yoga Kundalini training, to receive my 200-hour teacher training
What We’re Most Excited About
This year, the Live Be Yoga Tour is called The Decompression. When we started dreaming up this concept, related to stillness and rest, we couldn’t have imagined how relevant it would be in the current moment. But recently we’ve all been asked to journey inwards—to take a moment of pause and stillness, and to slow down, rest, and prioritize the things we value. What has excited us most about this tour is the ability to tap in and share the stories of changemakers and wellness practitioners around the country shifting the paradigm for our collective care—whether it’s through digital activations or in-person connection when time and space allow.
Stay connected with us at @livebeyoga on social and join the movement by sharing how you decompress using the hashtag #TheDecompressionSeries.