I Am A Yoga Girl - Andrea Lopez-Yianilos

Yoga is the union of mind, body, and soul; a definition that often gets lost in our culture’s obsession with the physical body and asana. I am a yoga girl because I strive to not only have yoga, in its entirety, introspectively but also with my clients, friends, family, and all of humanity.

Working with individuals who suffer from chronic sleep problems, chronic health conditions, and survivors of trauma is honestly a privilege. I rely on mindful attention and reflections to serve my clients. I am grateful for yoga, which has taught me to create a union with my clients in order to join them in their personal journey toward healing.

It is unfortunate that attention towards and recognition of the importance of mental health has been left by the wayside for decades. I work towards creating yoga between mental health, physical health, and the emotional self in my professional practice. I am a yoga girl because I incorporate this union in my practice to better assess, understand, and treat those individuals who suffer from mental health conditions.

At times it is challenging to work with such a vulnerable population. This population is full of people who have been hurt by others—people who refuse to share their emotions with others because they have endured so much pain in the past. I am sure this feeling is something that most of us can related to. Yoga, in my personal life, gives me the strength to continue to do what I love because yoga takes care of me. I am a yoga girl means that I also allow myself to be vulnerable and be taken care of—by yoga and by those who join me in the journey of life.

Allow yourself to feel. Allow yourself to be vulnerable. Just as mental health has been stigmatized, so has vulnerability. But the truth is that without vulnerability, strength cannot exist. Through yoga, balance is created and will endure. A balance between vulnerable and strong, happy and sad, good and less good. As we work through past traumas or issues, we must share our journey with others because it enhances our healing process. It creates yoga, or that union between you and another human being. I am a yoga girl means that I work to tear down the walls that exist between my strength and vulnerability. And yes, the use of the word “work” is deliberate because it DOES takes work, but it is worth it. Embracing the entirety of yoga has given me a more fruitful life and subsequently, more space to help others.

So, if you are someone who is pained by the past or present, ask yourself if you are ready to let yoga permeate your life. The union of strength, vulnerability, beauty, disaster, mind, body, and emotions is OKAY, and better yet, it’s human! It means that you too, are a yoga girl!

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