Why I stopped doing Yoga and started doing Me

I've told the story many times of how Yoga saved my life. When I found Yoga, I was 27 and living life very dangerously in the fast lane. I was working beyond my limits, partying beyond my limits, making stupid choices and not respecting my mind, body or spirit in any way at all.

I was lost. I was scared. I was vulnerable but could not admit it. I was choosing to eat, drink and sleep my way into hiding what really plagued me- No sense of self. No sense of worth. No sense of purpose. By all means I had everything that anyone could desire- a 6 figure salary with all the perks, a large group of 'friends', an active dating life {some may say too active at times}. But I was sick... ulcers by 26? Chronic Long Term Lymes Disease beginning to run out of control? IBS? Yup- I had them all. And I knew all to well the 'no-diagnosis' diagnosis so common in today's medical world.

But one day, I stumbled into a real yoga class, and all of that changed. Armed with practices that burst open my heart, released a flood-gate of emotions and tears, connected me to my body in ways I never imagined possible, my life shifted in such a grand way that it's only now, 4 years later, that I am able to stop and appreciate all that I have been through- all the transformation, growth and healing.

In the midst of this transition- leaving my job & starting my own business (which has now grown into 3 companies); seeing who my friends really were when I became who I really am- and the resulting loss of many of them; travelling the world studying with master yoga and bodywork teachers & healing on many deep levels- I managed to meet the one person who always eluded me- Myself.

And what an amazing and wonderful journey it has been. For those of you who knew me before, you know how much changed has transpired in my life in 4 short years that sometimes feel like an eternity. I look at pictures of myself even 3-4 years ago, and I have no idea who that person is. Because she had no idea who she was either.

Throughout all this time, Yoga was my constant. I travelled to be with the masters- Shiva, Paul, Janet, Les, Ana. To have shared meals with them, stayed in exotic places, been given the opportunity to not only call some of them teachers, but also friends. To say I've been blessed to be touched in my soul by such masters is an understatement.

But the past year or so, I have felt a pull away from the sanghas- communities- away from the group classes, trainings, retreats. I even stopped teaching public classes, and started only offering private yoga within the context of my premium program, the Radiance Revolution. At first, this pulling away worried me. Why do I not want to go to class anymore? Why did I want to stop training? And a million questions just like it. Am I giving up? Am I resisting?

In the midst of this, the Yoga world has gone through it's own transformation as well. Master teachers have become Rockstars- with the scandals and hoards of followers that come with that type of fame. Teacher Trainings are as common as classes it seems, and everyone is jumping on the boat to get a piece of the action. Names are being trademarked, workshops are being trademarked. Lawsuits are running rampant. Whole schools are falling to scandals and teachers are being shamed....

It's beginning to remind me of something that I left behind- corporate finance. The competition, the money, the conferences, the drive to get more more more. To always be devouring more and hiding that behind spiritual terms- to mask what it really is. Is that really any better than what is happening in the banks, who at least admit it is what they are doing?

See, when I set out on this healing path, I was seeking 4 things: Freedom. Radiance. The ability to Surrender. And the courage to get to know Who I Am. I found those things, all of them, in some capacity over the past 4 years.

Except one has continued to elude me this whole time: Freedom.

And then I realized it while sitting on a beach in Costa Rica a few weeks ago, utterly exhausted and burnt out from 4 straight years of healing, change and growth. In my quest for Freedom above all else, I found myself trapped in just another system to follow.

So I made a decision sitting on that beach, the sun setting a shade of pink I've never seen before. Going forward, I'm taking a break. A conscious break from the world of Yoga.

Yoga taught me I am more than just a body, and that my Radiance would come through once I embraced this. Yoga taught me how to let go and surrender. Yoga gave me the courage to ask myself the question Who Am I- and the resolve to hear the real answer. Yoga taught me Love- of others, the Divine, and above all, Love of Myself.

And now, Yoga is giving me the gift of freedom, from even it's own grasp. It may just be a little break. It may be a long one- I have no idea. But after a year of struggle with why I don't want to practice anymore, I finally know what it is to be free at last. And do whatever it is that makes my heart sing on a daily basis (including down dog when needed).