I was first introduced to yoga by my mother when she was 22 year old. I was 4 ½ years old. I suspect my mother had no idea what yoga was all about or that she was introducing me to something that would later become such a joyful part of my life. Instead, she was just following her mother’s intuition to get through a horrific time in our lives. You see when I was 4 I got really sick. I had no energy, didn’t want to eat and just laid around all the time. This was the complete opposite of my normal feisty, on-the-go state of being. My mom and grandparents took me to lots of doctors and at one point I was treated for pneumonia. Turns out I had Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL), a form of cancer mostly found in children. At the time, treatment for ALL was not regimented and I was one of the only children in my hospital wing to live. My mom advocated for an experimental drug program that is now used to treat ALL. But, the treatments were brutal for this feisty little body. I had spinal taps, bone marrows, blood transfusions, I was poked, prodded, put on steroids that made me fat (and made fun of at school). I was told I may never be able to have children. And yet, I survived and healed. Why? In big part I believe it was my mother’s dedication to getting and giving me what I needed: medical care along with breath practices and a form meditation.
What calmed me down during treatments and put my mind and body in a place of acceptance? My mother began an eye-to-eye contact with me while I received my treatments. She got up close to my face and kept a singular focus for me. And we breathed-together. This became our thing. I got through the treatments as well as the days after treatments and lived. So, many years later, after the birth of my second healthy child I walked into a yoga studio and felt an instant connection with myself. My body was beat up from post partum and I had the ‘baby blues’ pretty bad, but after my second class, I started feeling better emotionally and eventually my body caught up. Yoga would become my long standing hOMe in me. It’s that place I can go to calm my mind by breathing. It’s that place I go to make my aching, aging body feel less cranky. It’s that place I go to bring myself back to center. It’s also that thing I get to share with others that lets me live my dharma.
I normally ask my students to tell readers what they love most about Om Prana Yoga. I will tell you what I love best. It’s a healing place. A place of acceptance where people can come and do the best they can to take care of themselves and their best is good enough. It’s a place where there is support for one another and a place where true healing can take place. I love that this is a place where I get to give my best. I love that I get to share yoga therapeutics and celebrate people feeling better and living better. I love I get to share my passion for yoga therapy with others at Om Prana Yoga and the Kansas City community. ~Namaste