Author: Jenn Moore – PYC Oshawa Yogi
When I arrived in Canada last spring, I spent much of my first week in bed absorbing the whirlwind that was previous year. I had left my home, relationship, and career in Northern California and was backpacking through Thailand when my mom called to let me know my grandmother’s health was rapidly declining. I had planned on staying in Southeast Asia to teach English for another year, but I just knew I would regret it if I didn’t come. So here I was, in Whitby, one week after my 26th birthday, a time I had expected to be advancing my career and planning a family. When that didn’t pan out, traveling the world and teaching seemed a great alternative, but I hadn’t anticipated feeling this lonely and directionless. I felt like a failure.
My mom went back home to California and I cared for my grandmother, which forced me out of bed and out of my reeling mind. I went for many jogs, because that’s what I always did when I slipped on life’s banana peels. I’d slip into my Nikes, pop in my earbuds on full-blast, and hit the pavement until my pulse reached my toes and the shaky, nervous energy in my chest became heaving exhaustion. It worked until it didn’t. I couldn’t seem to get tired enough or get the music loud enough to drown out my own noise. I began to feel pain in my right knee and lower back, but continued to run through it; I couldn’t stop.
One day I drove by a big red sign for HOT YOGA and breathed the first of what would be many sighs of relief. My practice was derailed with the rest of my routines, and I knew I needed to ground & centre. I signed up for the intro month mid-April even though I thought I’d be back in California by the end of May.
I knew this studio was different than any other from the get-go. Steve read something from Rumi that spoke directly to my soul in the end of shavasana. A few different people reached out and asked me about my practice afterward and when I would be back. Also, this was by far and away the most physically challenging yoga I had ever experienced, which unwound the knots in my stomach. Leaving the studio that first night, I felt more at peace than I had in a very long time.
Over the next few months, I let hundreds of silent tears fall while sitting in pigeon, cursed almost every teacher while sitting in my chair, melted tension into sweat and let it pour onto my mat, and breathed through poses when all I wanted to do was run out. I stayed and I felt stronger and more powerful for staying. I regained confidence, knowing that no matter the circumstances, I shape my own experience based on my reactions.
I made friends! My hand touched a cute guy’s during shavasana and he turned out to be my soul’s closest companion. I joined perspective-shifting workshops like Debbie’s “Powerful Conversations” and the 40 days program. I feel immense gratitude when I walk into our brand new studio in Oshawa. I immediately see faces that warm my heart, and I’m constantly inspired by the teachers and students I am lucky enough to practice alongside. For the first time in my life, I have absolutely no desire to run.