Psssssst….. Hey, you. I feel you there. I feel you. I’ve been there many times before. You know, reading. Namaste, reader. Come closer – how much more intimate can we be than that we recognize we are each other?
Let me tell you a secret. Yoga is a gateway drug, and I’ve been a heavy user for nearly 20 years.
Before yoga, I was on a different path. I had a life. It was a good life. I was a well loved, highly respected teacher at a top International Baccalaureate elementary school. I loved my job and my students. But then, there was yoga. I got hooked on the euphoric highs found on my mat. Craving more, I went deeper. In the year 2000, I took my first 200 hour yoga teacher training. I told myself that I was just going to teach children’s yoga – and I did, but that was only the beginning. Then there were camps, parent/child and partner classes, AcroYoga, and the real kicker, a Yoga Trance Dance training with Shiva Rea. I brought Yoga Trance Dance back to my community leading weekly classes and creating a tight knit tribe of dancing yogis.
I received many gifts from students and their families over the years. One has stayed with me – a silver pendant inscribed with INSPIRER. When purchased, the artist commented, “For Miss Keller? It’s totally her!”
Yes. That was me – known for encouraging and cheering my students on. Believing in their brilliance, I’d tell them, “You can do and be anything.” Yet I realized that I wasn’t holding the same vision for myself. After 15 rewarding years, it was time to graduate, to expand beyond my classroom walls. I could not stay to be an uninspired inspirer.
In 2008 I quit my job. I quit my marriage. I quit my ordinary, comfortable, but too small for me life. I gave myself over to the fierce, profound and necessary work of knowing and loving myself. It’s been a tumultuous ride with many highs and lows. But with yoga riding shotgun, I knew there was no turning back.
“One can go back toward safety or forward toward growth. Growth must be chosen again and again. Fear must be overcome again and again.” –Abraham Maslow
Now at 45, I am living the life of my dreams. I am writing a book, and making a film titled Mid-life Revolution – Ordinary People Extraordinary Change.
I’ve had the honor of sharing yoga around the globe at preschool and elementary schools, hospitals, a psychiatric treatment center, a homeless shelter, yoga studios, health clubs, festivals, and corporate and private offices, and homes.
Home for me is now Fog City – San Francisco. Fog – a sweet metaphor for life as a yogi.
Fog demands adaptability to uncertainty and lack of clarity. Various microclimates require adding and shedding layers. With practice, age and wisdom I’ve learned to embrace the spontaneous arising of life, while learning loving through living yoga.