Gratitude | iHanuman


Love, Service, Devotion, Yoga


My journey of yoga is one of Gratitude; for the insights, healing, blessings, and the complete transformation of my life. I cherish every moment, every breath, all the experiences it has taken to get here.
I found my first yoga class at a church in Ocean Springs, Mississippi, where yoga was anything but mainstream. I was unhealthy, worked in a casino, smoked 3 packs of cigarettes a day, ate a terrible diet and wore a hard brace on my neck due to an accident. Yoga was a last resort. I was willing to try anything to get out of the pain - even yoga. If I also found flexibility and stress relief, I would take it but I was skeptical. BUT, I wasn't turning off my pager or my phone! The teacher smiled and handed me a yoga mat.
I joined the circle and tried to sit upright, I tried to breathe deeply and bend over. It was frustrating and humbling and even painful but in the end, I felt better. I kept going back and in a month the brace was off my neck. I was sleeping and not as edgy. Gratitude began.
The practice seemed to stay the same but I was different. Each time there was a slight shift. Not huge, possibly not even perceivable to others but I knew I was changing from the inside out. Over the years, my practice deepened and so did my life; there was sweetness, a sense of joy that was new. I wanted more.
The casino business wasn't right livelihood but could I teach yoga? I went to an Ashram, yoga conferences, found teachers who opened my heart, showed me the way to see my own beauty, find my own voice. I practiced and studied and then thought maybe I could teach, why not?
In the coming years there were hardships. The loss of both parents and my partner left. All the while, gratitude carried me forward. The practice was my source of strength and my joy. I moved from a wellspring of love and peace. I started teaching at the local community center and then one day made the decision to open a yoga studio. Life was beautiful and I was having a great time. Grace brought me to my current teacher, John Friend and my new family; the Anusara Kula. Three years later I moved to Maryland. Even losing my Mississippi home to Hurricane Katrina couldn't break my spirit. I was safe and life as I knew it did not change. Gratitude showed me I truly held all I needed.
I have found a new home in a vibrant Kula. Every day I get to do what I love most; return to my mat and share with my students. For this and for all the blessings of my life I am deeply grateful. l bow to my teachers, my teacher's teachers and most of all, my students - my greatest teachers.


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