I found yoga at a time in my life when the bottom had fallen out and there wasn’t anywhere else to go. I was consumed by the devastation of an eating disorder that was on the brink of taking me under. Yoga saved me. It taught me how to be with the intensity and fullness of life without numbing and disconnecting. It taught me that no matter how much I tried I could not control life. People close to me would get sick, relationships would end, jobs wouldn’t work out. Yoga didn’t change any of that, but it did teach me that deep inside everything was going to be ok. Even if it wasn’t ok. When I discovered the gifts of this practice and the ways it helped me navigate the ups and downs of life I knew I had to share it with others.
As humbled as I have been by the power of yoga in my own life, and after nearly 12 years of teaching, nothing has prepared me for what I have witnessed in the past week and half. I have had the honor of holding space for someone going through the most devastating time in her life; the tragic and sudden loss of a sibling who was just 20 years old. We do these practices, read the philosophy, and maybe even get to share it with others, but it is not until the bottom falls out, and life strips away all that we think we know, do we get to truly practice. It is often only in these unexpected and unwelcome moments of life that we are bolstered by the tools we have been sharpening.
My heart is so full for this young woman and her courage, resiliency, and strength. I am humbled beyond measure to bare witness to the glimmer of light shining in her darkest moment. It is raw, ugly, unimaginable, and yet so incredibly precious that I know God is all over it.
I speak about what yoga is from my understanding almost everyday. This experience has opened me to a whole new understanding. It is living and breathing. It is a memory and an imprint that we may one day have to rely on. What I know is if we lean into it, the heartbreak, the devastation, the pure power of love, there is no where else to go. That is the yoga. And it is beautiful.
To Ally – An amazing soul who experienced so much and gave so much in return. You are forever loved.
To Emliy – I love you.
Ally will be remembered by family and friends as a vibrant and adventurous spirit, who filled her time with travel, as well as the many causes for which she was a devoted advocate. If you would like to make a donation in Ally’s memory donations can be made to Girls on the Run, or One of a Kind Pets. Ally volunteered at both places and each charity was dear to her heart.