My story is a tale of false beliefs and disconnection, and finally meeting my body, mind, and emotions in a place of balance for wellness beyond the surface.
I grew up in a caring family but, nonetheless, exposed to excess from a young age. Over consumption of food and alcohol were part of my daily life; exercise and healthy habits were as foreign as discussing spirituality over the dinner table. Mental health was not even in our family’s radar. So, I grew up convinced that I was destined to suffer the same maladies as almost the rest of my family: addiction, obesity, pain, heart disease, diabetes and of course… died young as all my siblings proofed later in life!
I married my husband Luis Victoria at age 20, my boyfriend of five years and an exceptional human being with a sense of curiosity parallel to mine. At age 35, I followed his steps into mysticism and spirituality and with that came the realization that maybe I should take a shot at becoming “victorious” over my pre-arrange destiny of poor health and pain. I started diving deeper into mysticism and philosophy, I tried all available diets, I was exercising, and even got into Cross-Fit.
Upon returning from Europe, a trip celebrating my 50th birthday, my Cross-Fit trainer closed his business, and I was compelled to step into a yoga studio that “just opened” at walking distance from my house. It was “love at first sight” and the journey of my third act in life began, leaving behind my Electronic Engineering degree, my decades of television production and my daring adventure into real estate investing when everyone was running away from that field.
It was at the end of my 300-hour yoga teacher training, two years later, when my Anusara teacher awarded me with a one-on-one session that I learned, for the first time in my life that, as I walked my legs were disconnected from my body; probably a by-product of the shame I felt around my body and my legs, as I later realized . That is how “unaware of the needs of my body” I was. That day my journey into anatomy and self-awareness began.
One day during my final resting pose after 2 hours of Ashtanga practice, a question came to my mind… If yoga is supposed to be healing, why am I feeling depleted and in pain all the time? Something was not fitting in with my inquiring engineering mind. I was starting to feel disingenuous; I was not restoring wellness neither to myself nor to my students. Yoga was making me “feel” better, but my body, my mind and my emotions were still three separate entities. My emotions were telling me “yoga makes me feel good”, my mind was telling me “and the more you practice, the better you will be”; all the while my body was “screaming at me in pain”. Something was missing. The promise of “yoga as union” was becoming more of an illusion than a reality. I am practicing yoga to heal, but yoga is recking my body. Why? That day I googled a few concepts and Yoga Therapy came across. 1150 hours of training later, I ended up where I am right now, a Certified Yoga Therapist with specialized training in a wide range of conditions, with emphasis in mental health because anxiety, depression, and trauma are very impactful in our lives, let along in the face of a chronic condition.
Yoga for wellness beyond the surface finally made sense to me as I am fully enjoying my third act with my husband, my 3 daughters, my nephew and all my pets!