A wise yoga instructor knows the value in properly sequencing a yoga practice. He/she will use the warm up and beginning poses to stretch or strengthen specific parts of the body, as well as patterning movements to prepare the body for the poses ahead, and ultimately for the apex pose or series of apex poses they are working toward.

What if God uses every experience we have, from a young age, to prepare us for our apex moment or series of moments?

In a warm up it is certainly uncomfortable when a teacher puts us on our back, asks us to draw our knee to our chest and take a hand to foot pose as we gently push our foot into the resistance of our hand stretching our hamstring with integrity.

I look back and observe how small, seemingly insignificant, but uncomfortable situations have presented themselves repeatedly in my life in a variety of ways, and I’ve asked myself … why, or at times have just accepted them and thought, “such is life”, believing them to be random or inconsequential.

Perhaps after our hamstrings are stretched the instructor may ask us to bent the knee and allow the knee to fall outward or maybe move to all fours, round through the back and draw our knee toward our nose. In those moments of discomfort it is doubtful, without knowing the instructors plan, that we are moving the hip into external rotation to prepare for warrior two or that in drawing our knee to our nose on all fours, we are strengthening our transverse abdominal muscles to enable us to step our foot forward as we move through sun salutations.

Each time our bodies are challenged in yoga, as an instructor, I often ask my students to allow themselves to notice the sensations, to soften their body, offer compassion to self, and to kindly ask themselves to “choose to stay”.

Our life experiences often present challenging and uncomfortable experiences, school, work, missions, parenting, loss of work, illness, and a slew of any variety of trials. So many times when life gets difficult or uncomfortable I have not wanted to feel certain emotions and so I have used a variety of techniques to run, to check out, or to numb out. What if I were to apply what I have learned on the mat to my life? What if rather than turning to my “drug of choice”, whether it be alcohol, exercise, food, tv, social media, or any number of distractions, I allowed myself to notice the emotions I was feeling and rather than being afraid of them, I softened in my body, offered compassion to myself, and kindly asked myself to “choose to stay”?

In most yoga classes we do a series of sun salutations… a repeated pattern with variations that takes you from standing to face down on the mat and back to standing. This can be strenuous and tiring and one may ask the question why, what’s the point?

Throughout my life, as trials have presented them selves in a variety of challenging ways, I have questioned the purpose. I have questioned jobs I’ve had or jobs I’ve lost, people I’ve met or people I don’t see as often as I used to, or talents I’ve been given, thinking quite often my life was mundane, typical and without purpose. What I’m starting to discover is that I’ve been being prepared for my “apex pose”, or my apex moments in life, the ones that matter. I’m seeing the purpose in the hamstring stretches, the hip openers and the core strengthening exercises. I’m seeing the purpose of the life lessons I’ve learned in the way I’ve learned them. I’m seeing the Divine purpose in the jobs I’ve had, the skills I’ve developed, the people I’ve met and the spiritual gifts I’ve been blessed with. I believe I am starting to see the purpose of the sequencing of my life, I’m beginning to see my apex moments on the horizon.

My desire to create, my love of teaching, my gift of articulating experiences into words and teaching in a way people relate with, combined with an overwhelming and questioned impression I had years ago not to quit teaching yoga even though I felt it was not good for my body, (I was doing it wrong!) is all beginning to make sense… it’s all coming together.

I have been practicing what I’ve learned in the mindfulness aspect of yoga to correct my incorrect beliefs about myself and about the way I believed life to be. I have become aware that I was living in a space of ego, fear, thinking small, not trusting myself and always believing that everyone else was better than me.

I have become passionate about helping other discover themselves and find joy in life regardless of circumstance as well as having the “Courage to BE” their very best self, this is why I acted promptly on an impression to transform my basement into a yoga studio. I want to offer the peace and joy I have found through living in the moment, staying present in my body, and through conscious living, to anyone who is searching for those things.

I am grateful for a loving God who knows me better than I know myself. I am grateful for my ability to know He exists and that He has a plan for me. I’m so thankful I have learned to feel truth in my body and trust myself. It is an incredible feeling!

“Courage to BE” Yoga Studio will open it’s doors on November 5th for a week of free yoga classes. The following week I will begin sharing what I’ve learned through 8-week workshops that include moving in your body, meditation, learning and discussion, as well as an opportunity to share what we are learning.

It is an incredible feeling when life starts to make sense. As I have come to this place where I get to do all the things I love while giving something of value to the world, I am experiencing so much joy it’s hard to contain…. (sorry Riley for jumping up and down on your bed with excitement yesterday! Haha)

Come join me – let’s continue to practice having the “Courage to BE”!