During my yoga practice this weekend, my teacher Jess shared something that got me thinking. She said that at the end of her pregnancy with her twins, she was up 80 pounds and feeling out of sorts with her body. I can only imagine. Jess’ friend, whom I assume is another yogi, commented on how wonderful this was. Jess must have looked at her dumbfounded. What could be great about all this weight gain? About feeling like her body was alien to her? About knowing what lay ahead to get back in shape once she gave birth? Jess’ friend explained further. She said that now Jess had the gift of understanding her ill, overweight and out of shape students in a new and profound way because she herself had experienced something similar. Looking at Jess today you’d never know what she went through. When she teaches though, she shares her experiences from the heart, relates from a place of purity and connection to all of her students no matter where they are with their practice, their body, their mind. It doesn’t matter. It hit me that this level of empathy and ability to support her students through the actual asana and the emotional blocks is possible because of Jess’ journey, not in spite of it. No training or book could have prepared Jess the way personal experience has. So why do I share this story you may wonder? Simply put, I see my own journey in Jess’.
In June of 2010, my 5 year old daughter was diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome. The diagnosis came after months of desperately trying to figure out what was wrong with her. The months leading up to the diagnosis were filled with doctor’s visits, conversations with other parents, reading books and of course MANY Google searches on tics, anxiety, rage disorder, neurologists, vitamin regiments, dietary changes… I felt alone, petrified of the future, dreading the diagnosis I was pretty sure we’d be getting. Continue reading