How My Yoga Practice Has Evolved Over the Years
In honor of National Yoga Month, I want to share with you all a personal story of how my yoga practice has evolved over the years. Yoga has taken me on quite the journey from when I first started in college to where I am now, and when I reflect on this evolution, I can’t help but feel immense gratitude.
It is rather funny to think I used to loathe going to yoga. When I was a teenager, I had more energy than I knew what to do with. So, I gravitated towards cardio workouts like kickboxing and zumba. Thinking back to when I first tried yoga, I remember feeling uncomfortable in more ways than one. I couldn’t handle the silence – it made me bust out into laughter, which was embarrassing! Downward-Facing Dog felt all sorts of wrong, and the pace was way too slow for my taste.
I never would have guessed my life would flip a switch, and yoga would eventually become a huge pillar in my life, leading me into the career path I have today. My practice would ebb and flow with the different seasons of my life, but no matter what my mat would always be there for me when I needed it. So, let’s rewind to a time when I needed it most...
THE GOOD, THE BAD & THE TRANSFORMATIONAL
Yoga came back into my life at a time of uttermost vulnerability. I was getting over an eating disorder I had developed back in high school and was dealing with the depression that lingered from it. I was at a standstill. It was my third year in college, and I was taking 21 credit hours on top of juggling two internships. Fatefully, one of my internships had me running social media for a yoga studio (ironic, right?!). The perks of the job granted me unlimited access to yoga classes at the studio.
One day of yoga a week turned into three which turned into five to six days a week of hot vinyasa flow. My passion was ignited, and I saw such a transformation in my physical self as much as my mental state of mind. Yoga was no longer a workout to me – it was a way of living. My yoga practice began to embody the life I never knew I had waiting for me.
FROM YOGA BLOGGER TO WELLNESS ENTREPRENEUR
When I started my blog in 2014, it was all about the writing… my one true passion in life. But, when I started utilizing social media in 2016 to reach a broader audience, it no longer cut it to just be a strong writer. I had to also become a photographer, model, marketer, strategist, publicist, bookkeeper, and more all wrapped up into this one-woman-show. It was intense, and I had no idea what I was doing back then. I absolutely love reflecting on this time in my life, because things were changing, expanding, and I learned SO much.
If you scroll back in my Insta, you’ll find yoga pose after yoga pose after yoga pose. I wore activewear almost 24/7 (mostly Athleta), I participated and ran Instagram yoga challenges, and I’d stop drop and yoga anywhere for a good shot + a good time. It was fun to challenge myself into poses I didn’t think I could do before.
Thinking back, Athleta was the very first clothing brand to ever “gift” me product. I went from being a newbie yogi and genuine Athleta consumer to a certified instructor, yoga blogger, and now an Athleta influencer and wellness entrepreneur… all with this brand right there beside me each step of the way.
These days, my biz and my content have expanded as I’ve explored my own interests. I’m not just doing bendy poses all over Brooklyn anymore! I’ve written a guidebook, launched a program for Mindful Entrepreneurs, I speak and host events in the wellness space, I’m creating an app, and Athleta continues to support and cheer me on as they have for the last four years.
I’ve become increasingly passionate about simplifying & sustainability, and these are the core values that I hold onto as a consumer and a conscious biz owner. Who I choose to work with is very limited as they must uphold my high standards that I simply won’t compromise even for money. It has been exciting for me to watch Athleta, as a huge corporation, mindfully leading the charge in the sustainability movement. They’ve changed their entire business model and are continuing to change in an effort to constantly improve their practices and have a positive impact on the planet (read all about it here). Their clothes are consciously created and made to last. It goes WAY beyond the greenwashing and hiding behind buzzwords that have become all too prevalent in fast fashion. Athleta walks the walk as a Certified B Corporation with impressive goals like having 80% of their materials made from sustainable fibers (they’re currently at 60%) by 2020. It feels empowering for me to support brands that share similar values and know that we’re all growing in the right direction too.
Take a trip down memory lane with me… below are some fun throwback shots of me in Athleta throughout the last four years:
WHERE I STAND TODAY
My world has evolved, and I hope that shows in the content I share. I’ve allowed myself to change, and I want to encourage others to embrace life’s changes as well. Growth is important. Just because you started in one place, doesn’t mean you can’t embrace new aspects of yourself.
Things are always shifting with the seasons of our lives. I can't always do a backbend. I don't always have the same amount of time to devote to my yoga practice. But I do know I'm stronger now than I was before. While yoga is no longer “my life”, it is still a big part of it, and it’s where I turn when I need to get out of my head and into my body. When I get in the groove and connect my breath to my movement, it's how I let go of the worries of the day. Yoga is my foundation and always will be. Happy National Yoga Month!