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After great pain and loss, it had become clear that the competitive mindset that once allowed me to feel good about myself was the same thing used in tearing myself and the people around me apart. Continuing down this path of competition and comparison no longer felt right, but I felt stuck; unsure of how to move away from the destructive thoughts and actions that had taken over my experience. A few friends had started taking classes at the Lab and asked if I would join them… A bit nervous, I walked in with an overactive mind, an under active body, and a broken spirit. I finished class feeling calm, extremely sweaty, and joyful in the work that had begun (during a time when joy seemed hard to come by.) To feel such a positive transformation in just an hour was certainly a welcome experience, and one that I wanted more of! With consistent practice, I found reason to trust what I was doing and where I was coming from. Listening to my body, and accepting where my edge is on any given day, I began to truly appreciate the energy that other yogis brought to the studio, instead of only seeing them as the proverbial yardstick by which I measured my success. Yoga has revealed to me my most urgent lesson – to be as I am, and to feel what I feel. In letting go of the constant judgement of what is happening around me, within me, and without me, I’ve discovered self acceptance. In moving compassionately from whatever position I may find myself in, I’ve discovered a sense of peace and accomplishment that is no longer based on what others can’t do, but on what we all can do together. Thank you Detroit Yoga Lab for showing me a way to find a deeper, more honest connection with myself; and for fostering a sense of community with so many beautiful Detroit yogis!