I believe that yoga has a way of finding people when they need it most, and that was exactly the case for me five years ago. Just a few months out of college, I was facing the harsh reality that college was over and the idea of living on my own and working a “real job” wasn’t all I’d dreamed it would be. I found myself working behind a desk, doing a job that didn’t challenge me or incite any kind of passion. After three months that felt like three years, I started toying with the idea of going back to graduate school, changing careers, and becoming a high school English teacher. While many important people in my life supported this idea, many doubted, questioned, and even criticized my thought process. Not so coincidentally at the time, I was required to attend a promotional yoga class for a client I was representing at my current job. The class I attended was for a new studio opening up in Atlanta called Thunderbolt Power Yoga, and the teacher was Carly Grace. I didn’t know it at the time, but that class I was forced to take for a job I didn’t like changed my life.
“I always loved the reward of physical exercise done in the community of a group”
When Thunderbolt opened its doors a few months later, I was in the midst of transitioning back to being a student and also trying to maintain my sanity through bouts of self-doubt, fear, and insecurity. Being a college athlete, I always loved the reward of physical exercise done in the community of a group, I but struggled to find group fitness classes that didn’t leave me feeling totally depleted. Remembering my one class with Carly Grace in a hotel courtyard, I decided to visit Thunderbolt one day and take a class with a new teacher, Tina Reale, because it was only $5. For the first 30 minutes of class, I seriously considered walking out. I had no idea it was hot yoga, and I thought anyone was crazy to pay for this, but then, once we got to the restorative part of class, I felt a release like I’d never experienced before. To conclude the class, the teacher, who still to this day is one of my favorites in Atlanta, left us with a message to “trust our instincts,” and
“I knew at that moment that yoga was exactly what I needed.”
Fast-forward five years and I have practiced countless hours all across the country, completed a 200-hour teacher training at my first yoga home, Thunderbolt Power Yoga, earned an Art of Assisting Certificate from Baron Baptiste, co-lead Yonder’s very first Teacher Training, and now, I am leading classes at my forever yoga home, Yonder Yoga. All of this only further strengthened and enabled me to be where I am today: teaching high school English at Pace Academy and opening my own studio with the best team imaginable.
“I know that there is still so much more left to uncover.”
It sounds like a cliché, but what keeps me coming back to yoga is the practice. There is never a day that I walk out of the studio and feel that I have mastered yoga. Sure, my handstands get stronger, my patience has improved (mostly), and I’ve learned more than I ever imagined about myself through sharing yoga with others, but what I love about yoga is that I know that there is still so much more left to uncover. I am honored to have the opportunity to share this beautiful practice with the Yonder community, so join our journey as we #wanderyonder.