Earlier today, a new student came in to my class and said, “I’ve heard a lot about you from my (our) teacher”, she being a recent graduate from that teachers YTT. A little bit later, we got to talking more and she said with a smile that she was glad she was able to finally catch my class because, like me, she is a teacher who leans over on the heavier side. It was nice to know, she said, that she wasn’t alone. She then asked me if I was always comfortable in my body and if my size ever got to be an issue in my teaching path. Of course I said my weight was a big (pun intended) issue in the beginning of my teaching especially because I didn’t look like all my classmates or the idea of what a yoga instructor would be like.

Then I paused and realized, as I shared my story to her, that things have indeed changed from the time when I graduated my YTT to now. I do have my Yoga+ and White Space families to thank for that, because it is through the welcome and space they have given me that I truly found my voice. As I shared my story today I realized that what has changed immensely is the fact that the voices in my head that worried I didn’t look like a yoga teacher or that I couldn’t do it because of my size (and of course the attached issues that come with it, such as I can’t do certain poses because of my body limitations) have quieted down. I guess I can say I am comfortable in this body I inhabit. Suffice it to say, this does not mean I will not make efforts to lose weight or manage my weight issues for that matter. All I know, however, is that I have learned to honor my body by giving it the respect it deserves by not putting myself down or beating myself up unnecessarily. And I have come to believe that this is what yoga really is, not just the asana.

Yes, all is quiet in the homefront now. I am grateful for that.

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I have come to believe is great power in silence. In depth. In stillness. In yin.

And perhaps, unconsciously, this is why my blog has gone silent for so long. Because I needed to reclaim that power to be found when I sit and converse with my soul, free from the distractions of the world. I needed the time to consolidate and maybe even fester in this space so as to allow to flesh out what I need and burn away what I don’t.

In my absence, I found my voice not in the words that once flowed so eloquently, either in this blog, or in my other blogs where I wrote about anything and everything, but in the depths that lie within me, in the quiet cocoon of my bedroom, and the distance from the outside world that social media presented.

In the past few weeks, however, the tides began to shift, and I found myself coming out of hibernation. I began to not just find my voice, but to trust it and not be afraid of its consequences.

At times, however, that need to emerge seemed to come with a vengeance and with so much impulsivity that I wanted to jump into the unknown, throwing everything to the wind (to be fair, I have learned, too, that there are amazing things that can happen in the freefall).But I willed myself to remain still and wait, allow the feeling to settle, much like how you stay by the edge of the water at the end of a summer storm and wait for the murkiness in the water that got stirred up to settle so you can see clearly to the bottom.

Then today, serendipitously, I ran into my sage, and we got to talking and in our conversation, she said, and I paraphrase, before you make a choice, ask yourself, is this soul-enriching or soul-deadening? Look beyond the seeming benefits, the “logical reason”, and the apparent outcome of what it is you want to do, because what good would all that do if your soul (and your passion) is gone? They will all be meaningless if your soul is crushed.

So today I saw the bottom of the sea where everything is clear. It may not make sense, but I know what to do.

And tonight, like that proverbial phoenix rising from the ashes, I allow myself to rise up, reclaim my voice, and find my rebirth out of the depths of yin.

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