continuing on my journey.

A little over a year ago, I was writing my application essay for the Fall 2014 Teacher Training program at Red Lotus Yoga. As I sit here reflecting on that essay, and this past year in general, I can see how so many things in my life have changed. I have had a regular yoga practice since 2012. What initially started as a way for me to relieve stress and introduce mindful-based activity into my life, became an exciting journey that continues to teach me more about myself and the world around me every day.

In 2014, I decided to pursue Yoga teacher training to advance my own practice and strengthen my understanding of the "yoga lifestyle" in hopes of some day becoming a teacher. Red Lotus (the Studio), and especially the Teacher Training program have not only brought my yoga practice to an entirely new level, but also changed the way I see the world.

"I am thankful for my struggle, because without it I wouldn't have stumbled across my strength."

I use this quote as a frequent reminder that the hardships in life are there to teach us invaluable lessons about ourselves. I hate to admit, but have come to accept, that I have been struggling on and off for several years with disordered eating and over exercising. As focused and disciplined as I have tried to be in pursuing my goals and living my life to the fullest, these struggles have been present, taking my attention away and distracting me from reaching my full potential.

Unfortunately, these hardships did not discriminate on when and where they were present in my life. Which unfortunately leads me to admit that they were vaguely present during Teacher Training last year. Despite the countless benefits I gained from my time studying and in training, I believe that these personal struggles have distracted me from getting everything I wanted to out of the program.

This past spring, I realized that I was truly "sick and tired of being sick and tired". I took a huge leap of faith, and made a drastic decision to seek help to overcome my struggles once and for all. I removed myself from my comfort zone, my home, my life, and went across the country to get the help that I deserved (which was long overdue). Over the course of the past several months, I have done extensive personal work towards living a happy, healthy life and reaching my full potential. I am continuing to work hard every day, and I am finding myself in a much stronger place, both mentally and physically. As I continue on my personal journey, I feel a strong calling to pursue my yogic path. I long to learn more and get an even deeper understanding of the yoga practice and lifestyle.

I am ready to pursue Yoga Teacher Training a second time with a healthy state of mind and an open heart. I am in a different place in my life this time around, and I am truly ready to receive and understand the lessons in their entirety. I believe repeating this program will help to solidify the knowledge I already possess and will open my eyes to even more opportunities to grow. I believe it will continue to make me a stronger person and future teacher.

My ultimate goal upon completing this program a second time is to truly understand and live out the life-changing benefits of yoga. I want to use the lessons, the mental and the physical practice as a way to continue on my recovery journey and live my life to the fullest. Everyone has a unique story, and there is something beautiful about embracing that. I want to be an influential teacher, and I want to use my experiences as an inspiration that can someday be a benefit to others. I have found yoga to be one of the best things that I can do for my mind, body and overall wellbeing, and it would being able to share that would be an honor.

Here is one of my Yoga pictures, just for fun :) headstandDDHeadstand and a Downward Facing Dog

Namaste <3