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independence day

Celebrating a different kind of freedom.

17 years ago today, I took my first hot yoga class. I did it on a whim. By myself. Not really knowing why. Just a vague notion that it might “help” somehow.

I had no idea what I was getting into. I had no idea that yoga would take over my life the way it has. That it would strengthen my body, repattern my thoughts, revive my spirit.

I had no idea the grit + determination I would discover within myself. The empowerment. The softness and surrender.

I had no idea that a year and a half in, I’d become a teacher. That shy, introverted me would be up on a podium, thousands and thousands of times, leading other people through the practice.

I had no idea the yoga family I’d be adopted into. Connections forged in the familiarity of practicing next to each other over years, and then decades. And potlucks. And parties. And locker room chats.

I had no idea it would shape every major decision I made from then forward. Where to move? Do they have a hot yoga studio? Is it good?

And it is no exaggeration to say that everything I am and everything I have is because yoga prepared me for it.

It prepared me for a sobriety that finally stuck.

It prepared me for healthy relationships with depth and meaning.

It prepared me to look at my shit. My fears and insecurities. Therapy. Shadow work. Self compassion.

It prepared me for the creative, artful life I’d always wanted, building in me the emotional resilience required.

And though many of the shots shown here are in picturesque places, that is not where the yoga happens.

It is in those quiet moments on your mat. Where you meet yourself. Over and over again.

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