One afternoon in 2014, while perusing my computer with the windows covered by a dusty curtain, my lungs jumped out of my chest. I just so happened to push an annoying ad the size of a fist on my internet’s sidebar. But — with slight reluctance — I began reading the words: “Yoga Teacher Training Certification”.
My eyes glazed at the sight of fruition. I began reminiscing about all of those silly afternoons spent in middle school on the yoga mat at lunch. I went to a private school from kindergarten to the 8th grade and my teacher(s) felt it was necessary to incorporate zen philosophies into everyday teachings. My principal would guide us little youngins through a Vinyasa flow and calm our hearts in svasana nearly every week. My mother first bought me a mat in the 7th grade, and I’ve kept it ever since… my sweet little purple best friend.
Feeling utterly defeated by all of life’s faults and mishaps, I envisioned myself teaching yoga in some remote tropical paradise sipping on salt-rimmed margaritas and laughing up a storm with local strangers. These simple, yet overly pretentious and highly jaded dream-like thoughts warmed my heart nonetheless. I felt like maybe, just maybe, I could revive my at-the-time broken soul by doing something for me.
And only for me.
Yoga, personally, has always been about self-love. A warming sense of peace washes over me each time I set out my mat. It’s like I was made to be there at that exact moment of time and nowhere else. Self-love is so fucking important, you guys. I encourage all of my brothers and sisters to be selfish once in a while and focus on nourishing your heart, body, and mind. I’m not talking in poetic prose in fake profound Rupi Kaur vignettes (oops, I went there), this is me begging my readers to allow openness in your hearts and find that one thing that is for you — something that no one else could take away.
For me, that one thing was yoga. No one was able to yell at me for not getting my life together, no one denied me touching my toes, and not a single soul bashed me for my anger management issues as I laid there on the mat in the complete silence of mediation. I allowed myself to only be the best version of who I already was, the version I so desperately longed to meet again.
The day grew a little a brighter that afternoon. I shut my computer, rolled out the mat I so rudely stashed in the back of my closet, and boldly stretched my tight-as-hell hamstrings. I felt… effortless. My body sang and sunk in stillness as I nourished each muscle with a little bit of love with each push and pull I took. God, I love being on my mat. And it was in this exact moment — this beautiful, heart-wrenching moment — I knew I needed to get that certification.