My Story: How Yoga Pulled Me Through My Dark Storm and Back into the Light

My Story: How Yoga Pulled Me Through My Dark Storm and Back into the Light
Canadian born and raised, I’m always inspired with the never ending scenes. The changing weather/seasons and inspiration right outside your window.
Growing up in the country allowed me to be one with nature. I grew up before technology was glued to your eyeballs! It was nothing for me to spend the day in the forest, exploring, getting into trouble and getting down and dirty!  This all taught me to appreciate all living things, to touch and feel with your whole beginning.  All living things are a gift. We are a gift. Our breathe, our body, our mind.  We choice how to use them.  Chosen wisely, and you can overcome many things, big or small.
We have all had to overcome troubles in our lives.  That is, after all what being human is.  Ups and downs, the good with the bad, just trying to figure it all out.
Like many youngsters, I had a hard time in school.  Bullied, picked on, alienated. I just wanted the 4 years to be done and over with so I could start my life away from the small town that I was raised in. Where everyone knew your business before you knew your business.
At the end of grade 11, I fell in with the wrong people.  I had been friends with this group for most of my high school career, but never really “hung out” with them.  I started dating a guy that I liked, but liked more because people were afraid of him.  It made me feel safe.  No one would touch me, call me names or treat me poorly, in fear of him.  Now looking back on all that I know now, these are MASSIVE red flags.  Believe me when I say: If I could go back and tell my high school self one thing, it would be to walk the other way. Stay the hell away from this guy.
I graduate high school with 3 possible collages interested in me attending their schools.  I was “bullied” into attending the one in his city.  At the ago of 18, for the first time in my life, I packed all my belongings and made the 6 hour trip across the 401 to my new home.
If ever there was time in your life that you wanted to be free from your parents, believe me, this was not it.  Moving 6 hours away to a city that is 10 times bigger and faster than you are use to will wake you up!
For the first time in my life, I had to be an adult, and fast.  Things became clearer as the days progressed.  I began to see the person I had moved across the Province for.  The person I once knew was not the person I lived with.  My personal safety was being threatened.  I feared for my life.  I would wake up wishing I hadn’t been given the chance to wake up.
I got a full time job to support myself and his addictions.  I would get woken up at all hours of the night to either provide money or to just get yelled at and abused.
I followed through with my promise to myself and my parents and applied for College.  I  managed to get a loan from the bank, with my parents help.  I attended my first year of college with no one knowing the battles that I faced at home.  The bruises were always covered, both physical and emotional.
I started to get further into debt do to his addictions and was forced to quiet working when I was denied a vacation request. (He went to my work and went mad at the manger.  I was fired for his actions).  Now having no income of my own, I needed to depend on him for support and payments of all my purchases.  More control over me.
Nearing the end of my first year at College, my class had a trip planned for NYC.  I was super excited to go.  My parents scrapped money together to make the trip happen for me.  He, did not agree.  For the first time in our “relationship” me left a mark on me that could not be easly covered up.  I went to class the next 2 weeks, with a black eye.  A visable mark of abuse.  And I am here to tell you that NO ONE asked if I was ok.  NO ONE asked if I needed help.  NO ONE showed a concern for the fact that I had a black eye.  I went to NYC with a black eye and it wasn’t until that trip that I found my strength to leave him.
We were walking through Central Park, doing touristy things, when I saw a class out on the grass practicing Yoga. Now, I had done a few classes here and there, but with my financial status, I was unable to take classes regularly.  It hasn’t even accrued to me that you didn’t need a class to do yoga.  I found a bench, sat and just watched.  In just watching, I felt the weight of the world come off my shoulders. My fears and doubts were slowly leaving my mind and body.  I knew that I was strong enough to overcome this hurdle that had been put into my hands.  I was going to come out of this trip a new person, a new strong independent woman.
The rest of the trip was amazing but it flew by.  When I arrived home, a new person, I had to face my demons and get rid of them once and for all.  I hadn’t even been home for an hour and he was already verbally abusing me.  I hadn’t been able to call him every day like he told me I had to because it was either cell phone minutes or food. I, of course, choice food.  He raised his hand to me and right then and there something powerful took over my body.  I told him I was leaving him, moving out.  I couldn’t keep “living” this life of fear.
I called my parents and told them I needed help moving out.  My father took a long weekend, drove down and moved me out of the last place I ever felt threaten and alone.
I got my own apartment.  Continued going to college.  Started my life over.  It was a slow process.  I was a young girl, living in the same city as my abusive ex.  I didn’t have a car, hardly any money and had to protect myself. With the help of a great friend and yoga/meditation, I was able to over come most of the scars that were put on my soul.
I’m not perfect.  There are still things that set me off.  I have a temper and get angry very fast. All things that have stemmed from my past.  I’m not proud of these flaws.  They are not helpful in any way in my life.
Yoga and Meditation have always been a consent in my life.  A light at the end of the tunnel when I needed an escape.  I have strayed from my Practice. I left the mat for years, but always end up back at the top of the mat ready to learn and let go.
Through breathing, meditation and my practice, I have been able to “Let it all Go” and forgive myself for what my past did to me.  It took a long time for me to forgive.  Not him, not for what he did to me, but forgive myself.  Once I was able to see past my past and understand that my past does  not define who I am today.  I was able to start fresh, be “reborn” if you will.
I am not a religious person.  I am spiritual.  I believe in a higher power, in ghosts and spirts. I believe in healing abilities and Mother Earth as a Doctor.
Yoga is YOUR practice, YOUR time, YOUR journey.  Let it be what YOU need it to be.  Step on your mat and Let it all Go.
Namaste
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*All thoughts and opinions are my own. I am not a doctor or health practitioner. Please consult your doctor before starting any new workout. If you know of anyone that is suffering, Please be the voice that they need.  Sometimes the person in the situation can not speak for themselves because of fear.    

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