I woke up shaking. My hands, my chest, my heart… this wasn’t the first time. This was every day for me. Something terrible had happened to me. Anxiety. Have you ever been so stressed out that you could feel it in your body? I let it go too far. I was so stressed out, that anxiety took over. I couldn’t think. All I could do was shake and cry. And I did the hardest thing possible, because I knew… I knew somewhere inside me, that I was still a happy person. So I got help. I called my family. I called my doctor. I called a therapist.
My family helped. They nurtured me when I needed it most. I was 32 years old and cuddling in my dad’s lap because I needed to be held. My therapist helped. I was a good student. She guided me. She identified where my stress was coming from and why. She gave me homework, and I did every single bit of it. I wanted the pain to go away. I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. What do you want to do when you grow up? I still didn’t have an answer to that question. I loved being a mom. It was the first thing in my life I felt like I was really really good at. And I felt horribly guilty, but it wasn’t enough. So my therapist guided me toward the things that made me feel, not just happy, but complete.
She asked me, “What did you do as a child in school that you loved?” I ran. I was a pretty decent cross country and track runner. It wasn’t just the running. It was the bond I shared with my fellow teammates. “What do you wish you could do with your life now?” I wish I could help people; people just like me with debilitating anxiety and also children to help them prevent themselves from ever feeling like this. “What do you do now that you love?” I do yoga. It makes me feel great. *GASP* I could become a yoga teacher! How did I never think of that before?
I’d like to say that I instantly transformed. No. My anxiety is a life-long struggle. It took me 6 months to start feeling like a human being again, and I worked hard at it. I never gave up, though I thought about it a couple times. I had a new direction in life. I started taking yoga seriously and began attending several classes a week. I found a mentor who had a very similar path to mine, and she took me under her wing. I signed up for Yoga teacher training.
One month later, I was learning how to become a yoga instructor, and five months later, I graduated. One week later, I took a Kidding Around Yoga teacher training. I was determined to teach yoga to children, but I didn’t know how. Kids are a lot different from adults. I tried teaching Kids’ Yoga classes before. I got advice from books and websites, yet I really couldn’t get it to work right. My Kidding Around Yoga training fixed that problem—and did so much more. Everyone involved in Kidding Around Yoga has this spirit, this magnificent magnetic spirit. You want to be with them. You want to be a part of it. You know you’re doing something great.
When I came home after that training, I knew I had found the missing link. I knew what I wanted to do with my life. So I taught. I taught a lot. And I participated in the Kidding Around Yoga community. I shared ideas. I answered questions. I organized. I made friends. I built up the teammates that I had missed so much from my childhood. And I attended more training sessions. Sharing this with SO many other people in the world who need it became my focus, and I’m not just talking about the children who will grow up knowing how to deal with stress and anxiety. After all, stress management for kids is what Kidding Around Yoga is all about. I also want to share this experience with the mothers, yoga teachers, school teachers, PE teachers, therapists, friends, and all-around good people who want to make the world a little bit better by experiencing the joy of teaching yoga to children. Attending a Kids’ Yoga teacher training gives you the independence to do something that makes a difference, something you love, something you can feel really good about doing.
It’s an amazing community. It’s an amazing journey. There are always obstacles, of course. I won’t act like life is perfect from this point on; but when you’re doing something you love, and you feel like you are making a small difference in this crazy, pressure-filled world, life is meaningful and a whole lotta fun!