Yoga Mat Confessions: A Personal Story

I am often asked about my path to yoga after yoga students or retreat attendees hear the words I use to help them go deeper into their practice. They wonder where these words come from, so I decided to write a very intimate blog post about it.

Being a love addict with abandonment issues, I’ve experienced plenty of drama; I can honestly say that the fact that I am alive and sharing this with you is nothing short of a miracle. Whether it was a break up with a best friend in my youth, the end of a romantic relationship in my teenage or adult years, or a family rift, I was left feeling abandoned and devastated. There were times I literally thought my heart would stop because of the heartbreak. And believe it or not, there were times I wished it would stop.

Sometime back, my heart was broken once again and I was brought to my knees (a familiar place). This time, however, it was different. Yoga was nothing new to me at this point, but something inside of me began to shift. This time, instead of continuing to look down at the devastation that lay around me, my thoughts rose up and I looked within.

From that fetal position, writhing in pain on the floor and feeling imminent death, I felt the grace of God.

I got up.

From that moment I chose to walk the path that allowed me to be aligned with Source, God – whatever omnipotent power you want to call it. This newly-found strength led me to attend my first yoga teacher training. And instead of my original intention to attend the training for personal growth and healing, I realized I now had the power to offer a gift to others: the gift of yoga. To serve and help others became a reason for being – a way to help others find their way out of the darkness as well.

It’s not as if I haven’t experienced pain and suffering since this shift took place, but things are different now. Instead of finding ways to numb my pain, I allow myself to feel it and I have embraced the practice of letting go. I can’t say this is always easy, but I feel secure in the idea that as long as I have faith, I will have the strength to get back up.

I am never alone. You are never alone. We are safe and we are loved as long as we believe in the strength and goodness that lie within us.

Posted in Andi Redden Yoga