“Starting Where You Are”
Happy New Year Everyone!! If you’re reading this, you most likely saw the video recently posted on our social media sites. With the start of the new year, I saw this video as a great opportunity to share my own yoga journey and how the practice has transformed my life and lead me to where I am today. I cannot tell you how many times I have heard, “I can’t do yoga. I’m not flexible or strong enough.” If you take anything away from this blog post, I want you to know that yoga truly is for EVERYONE.
Yoga is a personal experience that anyone can begin at any stage of their lives. It does not matter what age you are, what past injuries you have, or any other doubts filling your head. When I took my very first yoga class, I was 38 years old, and I had many doubts. I was very much your typical “beginner case.” I knew NOTHING about yoga. And, at the time, I was battling some injuries that I just could not heal no matter what I tried or what doctor I saw. One day, I came across an article that really caught my attention. The article went into depth on the healing benefits that yoga can bring to a person both mentally and physically, which is what lead me to try my first class.
Walking into class, I was nervous but I thought , “Well, I have nothing to lose. If I don’t like it, I don’t have to take another class.” Being the “total beginner” that I was, my first class was a class that was beyond my level. It wasn’t a beginner class. It was hard! I was sweating! I didn’t know the names of the poses! But I made it through the class and left the class thinking, “Wow, even thought I was lost, that was amazing!” I immediately recognized that the practice offered limitless benefits. However, I did research the class levels before I signed up for my next class and found a “beginner class,” which suited my level much better. LOL!
My yoga practice didn’t “happen overnight.” It developed over years and with consistent practice. Did I fall? Yes. Did I struggle? Yes. But as my practice developed, I recognized changes that I liked – both mentally and physically. I was becoming stronger, and my injuries were improving. Mentally, I was calmer, which gave me more patience with myself and allowed me to “lighten up” on myself and let my practice evolve. I was getting stronger and improving.
As I attended classes consistently, I only became more interested in the details of the practice. I began to feel like I needed something more. I wanted to know more, and I wanted to practice more so I knew it was time to attend teacher training. Upon entering the training, I had no intention of ever teaching. I simply just wanted to become more knowledgeable about the practice. After completing the training and becoming a 200 hour Registered Yoga Teacher through Yoga Alliance, the teaching aspect found me. Because parts of my life were transformed through practicing yoga, I realized that I did have the desire to teach and to share the benefits of yoga with others. I wanted to bring people to the practice and help them experience a transformation similar to what I had experienced. In a roundabout way, my yoga practice lead me to the discovery of barre fitness. Like yoga, I can’t imagine my life without barre! I love doing and teaching barre. I truly believe yoga and barre complement each other very well.
So, today, January 1, 2019, as I am looking back on my very humble yoga beginning, I never imagined in my wildest dreams that I would ever own a studio! I also never imagined that I would post a video of me doing yoga! The video was created by my daughter, Heather Gillich. Her exact words to me were, “Mom, you should post this. You’ve gotten so much better than when you started practicing upstairs at the old house.” LOL!
Wishing you all the best in the new year!