In the 4th grade I had one of my favorite teachers. She did yoga and she would sprinkle it within daily classroom routine. I loved how happy and giggly the poses made us feel. I was fascinated by yoga.
In the 5th grade, I had to have a hip surgery due to an issue with the growth plate attached to my femur. This left me with a long, 2 year recovery. I could no longer do the contact sports I loved (soccer!), couldn’t go out for recess, or participate in physical education class. My doctor suggested yoga. My 4th grade teacher was in the midst of planning a yoga club after school. The timing couldn’t have been better. I began yoga.
Fast forward a few years. High school comes and I am back in the full swing of contact sports. My lacrosse coach happens to be a yoga lover who imbedded the practice throughout our conditioning and time off the field. I began to feel the physical benefits of yoga.
College time. I feel I no longer need yoga for recovery or sports conditioning. But it is calling my name again. This time, I’m a year into grieving the loss of my dad who passed unexpectedly in my home. Cardiac arrest. The rock of our family. Heartbroken is an understatement. I’m away from home, my entire support system, for the first time. I am running all of the time. Running became my “therapy”. It still is. I even became an avid half marathoner, to eventually a marathoner. Grief.... running. I desperately needed yoga more than ever.
Summer, midway through my college years, I stumble across @yoga_girl on Instagram. I immediately buy her book. I am inspired to take yoga classes. Ah! Finally. My grief is pretty suppressed. Life feels good. And I’m doing some yoga!
But somehow, even with the yoga I was doing... I needed more.
Fast forward to my senior year of college...mental break down. Panic attacks. Anxiety. Waves of grief I never expected. I broke down constantly. I felt out of control. My body and mind were crying...And I was lead to yoga once more.
But again, this wave passed, winter ended, life felt good again.
Still. Not enough.
Now we are in the present. December 10, 2018, I committed to yoga. I committed to doing #yogaeverydamnday. I committed to seeing a holistic therapist that will help me grow and feel my grief and pain, as well as guide me to grow through yoga. There is no coincidence to the times that yoga has come up in my life in pivotal points of my journey. And what I’ve realized is, it’s been begging me to stay and continue with it. Commit to a practice. I am confident that yoga will be the most important tool I will ever use. It already is.
It’s feels like a new beginning to what’s been a life long journey. Yoga has come and gone but now it is here to stay. That little girl I was in 4th grade could not be happier. Or calmer. Or more at peace.
My name is Nicole. I am a 20-something, middle school health and physical education teacher, unified sports coach, Rob’s daughter, a marathoner, a spirit junkie, and I am a Yoga Girl.