My Health Bio

Well, it's not super interesting, but I had to write this for my application to the Hanna Somatics Educator training. And it's relevant to my life. And I haven't posted for a while...

Yoga is currently teaching me to soften the hard edges of my mind, but also the harsh movements of my physical life. After a running injury brought me to the yoga studio, I realized a strange thing : I had no idea how any parts of my body related to each other. How could I be so strong yet so prone to repeated injury? The internet helped me self-diagnose an IT band issue, but it did not explain why I felt so different on Sunday mornings when I left the yoga studio. The rabbit hole began to unfold for me : breath work leading into nervous system activations tumbling into casual relationships of certain mental conditions...it all began to make sense (rather, more sense than ever before!). This “awareness” thing was leading me towards a deeper more complete understanding of my body-mind. I didn’t even know I could feel this good!
Since then my practice has softened away from the “power” aspects of yoga and moved towards proprioception, interoception, and the natural meditation that arises from these body-based mindfulness practices.  I find myself continuously fascinated by all the magnificence and mystery contained within our skin. The need for a yoga practice that will serve me well into old age has driven my desire to now teach sustainable movements, so with my students I help develop their sensory awareness and cultivate the intellectual wonder of those things that will keep them coming back to self-exploration. Awareness leads to pattern recognition, which is the only way to instill lasting and resilient change for better function of body and brain.
Health is the realization of the integration and active respect of body-mind, leading the healthy one to act on their creative and connective desires as a normal socialized human. That may seem lofty, and by no means is it exhaustive or complete, but that is the shape that my journey towards wholeness has taken. Health for me, like yoga, is a practice. A discipline of sorts gladly undertaken every day (well, most days!) comprised of individual habits, experiments that are meant to keep me pain free, adequately challenged in body and mind, and expanding with creative energy. That means (for present me) a conscientious diet, running two times a week, yogasana three times a week, daily meditation and walking, socializing with loved ones, educational information intake, and adequate sleep. When I check those boxes, I know how I feel and I like how I feel. Health through a lifetime is a matter of changing those categories and proportions when appropriate.
While I am still recovering from an SI injury at yoga teacher training a couple years ago, I believe I am getting not only more physically competent and pain-free, but more patient and emotionally stable as well. My yoga practice started as an external device for alleviating discomfort, but the external changes have manifested internally as I continually find more patience and self compassion off the mat. I have built perspective as to the things I truly need to keep me healthy: calm and contentment.  Now I long to share my insights with others and keep learning!

As a 27 year old yoga instructor, I like to think that I am in the prime of my physical life, and by extension my mental life.  Blessed with an athletic family, I have been using my body regularly since my childhood. Whether the powerful leg exertions of ice hockey in my youth or the more fluid qualities of non-competitive dance that I have found in my adult life, I have always greatly enjoyed moving. For me, movement is meditation.

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