I’ll let you in on a little secret: I rewrote this blog four times. Not just minor edits, but completely different words strung together. The first was a generic write-up with nothing personal. The second was way too personal. The third was about three pages long after feeling extremely competitive. And here is the fourth and final (a combination of all of the above), so here goes.
I took my very first yoga class in 2012 as an elective at Clemson and not knowing anything about yoga, I chose a vinyasa class. I had heard about the benefits of yoga, so I decided to see what all the hype was about. With a background in ballet and pilates, I walked into my first class thinking it’d be a breeze – how different could it really be? Well, I got a little dose of reality and was humbled quite quickly. Little did I know, it wasn’t about the flexibility at all – it was so much more.
Around this time, I was beginning to come more into myself after a very trying few years. As a senior in high school, I had been plagued by a traumatic event that that left me so distanced from myself I was actually thinking about taking my own life. At the time, I wasn’t respecting my mind or body and was also in a really negative relationship – which left me on a downward spiral until eventually l I hit rock bottom. Thankfully that was only the beginning, and I’m so grateful to all the people in my life that have helped me along my journey.
So back to my yoga classes at Clemson… I ended up really disliking yoga because I just wasn’t ready to face all the emotions it was stirring up inside me. I didn’t even know what vinyasa meant, and I was looking around at all of the other yogis “mastering” these poses all the while feeling extremely self conscious. I was “FINE”: frustrated, insecure, neurotic, and emotional. Always a great combination, right? Not really.
Fast forward a year and a half and here I am, completing the Summer of Yoga challenge! I began my adventure at Be after my mother bought my sister and I gift cards for Christmas. I was so apprehensive and dead-set against going due to my prior experience, but my somehow my sister managed to drag me to a deep stretch class. Struck with a ton of anxiety and even a panic attack, it seemed that I STILL wasn’t ready. Then I saw that Be offered aerial classes and was curious enough to give it a try. Immediately, I fell in LOVE and have been to almost every class I can attend. It’s given me so much strength physically, and I feel more confident in my body than I ever have before. I signed up for the Aerial Immersion and am now qualified to teach!
Around May, I kicked some bad habits to the curb and decided that it was time for me to try yoga yet again. They always say third time’s a charm, right? Well, they are right! I’ve completely immersed myself into my practice and it has brought me more into myself than I could have ever imagined. I’ve realized how amazing we are as human beings and just how much we are capable of. I have learned so much through yoga and could not be more grateful to be a part of the Be community. Each instructor and each class has a different flair, and I absolutely love it. I pick up something new from every class, which is of the utmost importance. I walk out of each class completely drenched in sweat, but almost always smiling because of the power it has created within me. It has rejuvenated the fire within my soul, and I now know that I am 100% alive and it feels amazing. While my past may have been a bit rocky, it has led me to the wonderful journey that I am on now, which includes Be. I have met so many amazing people whose friendships I will treasure forever. Through all of you I have formed my own practice that has brought me so much light. I’m almost 21 and this journey has come at the most important time in my life, because I feel so sturdy and can now allow my practice to translate into my everyday life. I love you all.