We all have had the gut feeling before right? That deep in our bellies, sometimes butterfly-like sensation, guiding our instincts and intuition either toward something or away from something? Yes, that one.
That gut feeling is one human phenomenon that I have a love hate relationship with. When it's the instinct of, "this is not right, walk away, walk away now". I hate it. Because more often than not, it is in direct conflict of what I want, or what I think I need. I never realize until much later in these instances, that my gut saved me. Now, on the other hand, I LOVE when my gut tells me, "YES! This is it. This is the thing. The thing you have been waiting for". And everything in my body melts and tingles and butterflies fill my insides. These gut feelings are rare, but oh so special.
Yoga has been one of those loving gut feelings for me since my first in studio class. I knew it was something bigger than I, but I wasn't sure what that looked like yet. Two short years after I began practicing, the idea of going through teacher training began circling in my head. I was torn on whether to take the leap, whether or not it was the right path to take. It was such an investment of finances, time and energy along with everything else going on in life. But, my body, my heart and my spirit whispered yes, do this for you. I was still holding back even with that whisper, until something bigger, something clearer happened.
Just this past New Years Eve, my date and I sat by the window of this beautiful restaurant I used to work at in Fort Lauderdale Beach, Florida. In order to get the discounted rate into the training program, I had to have my application in by the stroke of midnight - the start of the new year. I swear I'm not making up these details. It was about ten minutes until the ball drop, kisses and confetti, when an old associate came over to our table. We exchanged niceties and hugs. When I sat down, he looked me in the eyes and said, (almost verbatim), "I remember it all. I remember the girl you were when you were here and I had no faith in you. None. I have watched your journey these past few years and you are one of my living heroes. You are an inspiration." He said, "keep going".
In utter shock of this human exchange that just happened, I sat back in my chair and looked at my date across the table. "Keep going, he said". There it was, that gut feeling. I have to do this. I have to sign up for this training. This is it. This is what I'm made for. To carry my message and share my journey with others. And even if it speaks to just one person and shifts something inside of them to keep going too, I'll know I've taken the right path.
With just a couple minutes left until midnight, the deadline, my date and I scurried outside to find cell service and send the application I had prepared in.
Happy New Year.
Kisses and confetti, and a new chapter. It was the start of something new and I had no idea it where it would take me next.
Fast forward to a few months later. A gal pal of mine put a bug in my ear about Y12SR. Y12-a-what? Yoga and 12-step recovery. Now, if you have read my blog, or know me, I am very open about my recovery. Just my choice to be, as it is my journey. And I truly believe, and KNOW I have helped others by being open about it. Not for everyone though.
As a brief overview, Y12SR draws together the ancient wisdoms of yoga philosophy and the 12-step aprroach used in a variety of recovery programs. The parallels between the two are so abundant, the thought to make this connection is nothing short of genius. The format of a Y12SR class starts with a 30-minute guided discussion surrounding the 12 steps, and continues on into the yoga practice as students "take it to the mat". This program pretty much sums up my experience in yoga as I took many of my issues to my mat to sweat it out, cry it out, confront it or sit and meditate with it. Genius. And there is whole room of people doing the same thing with you! YES! I am never alone in this fight.
I emailed the South Carolina contact for Y12SR right away and said, "this is my calling! How do I do this here?!" What a God moment, or combination of moments really. I received a lighthearted email from a woman locally here in Charleston. She said, Kate, I am so glad to hear you are interested. Let's have coffee. [Insert gut feeling here].
Well, I tell you the woman is just everything I want to be in life. So down to earth and wise and giving. She is yoga. She is light and love.
I have had the pleasure of being mentored by this woman for the last few months as she began the first meeting and class of Y12SR at the local studio, Reverb, owned by the wonderful Ashley Bell (another yoga and community giving goddess). I have had the pleasure of attending almost every session, schedule permitting, and have even substituted a few times. Reverb and the teacher have developed a system that assists getting patients of the Charleston Center, a local detox and rehabilitation center, to and from the Y12SR sessions to introduce them to yoga and this method. The Charleston Center also receives 1/3 of the donations from this donation based class.
In the little experience I have had with these sessions and teaching, I will tell you, there is nothing more gratifying than a person brand new to recovery approaching you after a yoga class with tears in their eyes, full of life and hope that there is a better way to live. Nothing better than having a woman tell you she can feel something shifting on her mat. It is a beautiful thing. It is life changing.
Now, to bring you to present day, I am on a mission to spread this further in Charleston. Because one class, for one hour a week, on one day of the week, in one specific area is not enough. I want to reach different demographics in different parts of town on nights they can make it. I want to give others in recovery the experiences I have on my mat everyday: moving and praying and meditating to find the easier, softer way in recovery by getting to know my body, mind and spirit through movement.
So, I am heading to Boston. This week. I reached out to people, made it known what I needed to do this not only for me, but for my community and I am making it happen.
I will come home next week with the proper certifications to teach Y12SR and spread it to those I can. Who knows what the reaction will be. Perhaps it will be slow, perhaps quick, or maybe there is no reaction at all. But, I am damn determined to give it my all and at least give people the option to feel what I have felt.
I can't wait to share the journey with you.
to be continued...