LISA'S JOURNEY INTO YOGA
Lisa has been practicing yoga for almost 4 years now, her first experience with yoga was walking by yoga on the bluff in Long Beach. Before yoga she was living in a close to 300 pound body, controlled by alcohol, cigarettes, and toxic relationships to help me make it through the day. She woke up on most days extremely disappointed that she had not perished through the night. Uncomfortable in her skin, hopeless, hiding my secret depression because as a black woman and in her culture mental health was not a topic of discussion, she just learned to adapt to unhappiness. Lisa smiled and was an extreme people pleaser to the tenth power and did her best to just survive everyday.
Lisa's first time practicing yoga was with Dharma Shakti, and she can recall the first time Dharma ended the class with affirmations. Lisa was sitting there telling herself that I loved myself. Lisa collapsed on her mat, sobbing, as if someone had peeled back the veil that she had nestled over her heart for so long. To this day she still feel that soft loving compassion she felt for herself for the first time. Not because Dharma told her to love herself and believed it, but because someone just like Lisa, in a different skin, felt that feeling of wanting love and it was the first time she felt like it was possible to feel deep love for herself and it be ok. That it was ok even with her bad choices, even with her bad habits, that it was ok that she didn't like herself so much, and could still feel love.
Lisa admits that it felt silly at first but it also felt very real. She never stopped rolling her mat out after that, and every time she have had some deep discoveries about herself from that day on have been with her on her mat. She learned in a very real way that yoga is not a work OUT, it is in fact a work IN. You can say yoga saved her life and in essence the lives of both her kids (now adults), because they get a new mom. Lisa is now 2 years sober, smoke free, 112 pounds lighter, and while she is still on her journey to learning to be comfortable in her skin, she loves being an ambassador of peace and self love. She truly DOES LOVE HERSELF.