Maya, Wisconsin

“I can’t say I ever truly loved my body. It was too curvy, too flat, too short, too round, too brown, too muscular, too chunky, too weak…and the list goes on. When I was encouraged to try yoga, I fought it. I felt awkward, unsure of myself and didn’t want to look stupid. I wasn’t good enough. But when I was struggling with a tough life transition, I found myself going as often as I could.

Slowly yoga became my safe place. A place where my perceived shortcomings didn’t matter and all emotions were welcome. I noticed no one was critiquing me, or even looking at me, the way I did towards myself. I learned it was ok to be unsure, even clueless, and that the world wouldn’t crumble. And in those moments of vulnerability I began connecting to myself in the most genuine way I ever had.

After lots of practice, I began to develop an appreciation for my soul and my body. No longer did I see my body as flawed but for the first time appreciated its strength and grace.

Now that I’ve been practicing regularly for several years, I can do some of the “pretty” poses and still don’t even comprehend others. But mostly, the practice for me remains the same; I continue to cultivate love, empathy, respect, and gratitude for myself and everyone around me.”

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