People start a yoga practice for a myriad of reasons; stress reduction, desire to increase flexibility, injury recovery (or prevention), or just because they are looking for a really great low-impact high calorie burning workout. Whatever that reason, it is the deeper changes that occur with a consistent practice that are what keep folks coming back to their mats for a long time. In today’s post, we are going to learn a little bit more about one of our very own Instructors, Rebecca. (or Roe Balc on social media).
Rebecca is a wonderfully gifted woman. She’s an artist and an engineer. She’s a wife and mother and an avid Aerial artist, StandUp Paddle Boarder, and, of course, a FABULOUS Power and Aerial Yoga teacher. She’s been teaching for Yoga East close to 2 years now, and in that time, has become an integral part of our family. Rebecca will greet you with a smile and encourage you to push through boundaries you never thought possible, all with the powers of a conscientious awareness of your breath. Let’s learn a little bit more about Rebecca:
If you have ever met me before, you know I love to tell stories. One that I don't tell very often is called "2016 was not a good year". It began in January of 2016 at work with my manager trying to sabotage my career. I didn't think he was making ethical decisions and I had stood up for the people in my department. Since I chose to protect my department and not support his strategic plans, he wanted to force me to quit. This was a job that I truly enjoyed and my coworkers were brilliant and dedicated people that I respected. The manager began a campaign to ruin my reputation both within the company and with our clients. I'm tougher than he imagined and managed to keep my head up despite an overload of work, a demotion, and hostile work environment.
Amid all the challenges at work, there was a more serious crisis at home. My daughter was the victim of false accusations with serious consequences. She was seriously betrayed by someone that she considered her best friend. As a parent, your worst pain is when your child is hurting. Our mother bear instinct is to protect and defend your child, but I had to let her fight her own battles in the way that was appropriate. This situation also meant knowing that you are doing the right thing even when you, or the most important person in your life, is being treated unfairly.
How did I keep going? The few people that I had opened up to were amazed at how well I coped with the struggles and how I managed to be civil to the people who had no remorse for their actions. Years ago, I would have quit that job and not without a scene. Years ago, I would have not understood how empty someone’s life could be to cause them to act so cruelly. Years ago, I just thought that yoga would be good for my body. When I went through my teacher training, I started learning that a deeper practice was not about alignment or holding poses. I learned that yoga isn’t an exercise, but a way of being.
So how did I keep going? I prayed and prayed, and practiced what I teach my students: Breathe. Feel the energy on your inhale, let go of tension on your exhale. For the next hour, the only voice is the one that says you are strong. And most of all, breathe. As many times a week as possible, I come to my mat. inhale and exhale in movement and stillness. I need to be a student and heal. I need to be a teacher and help those around me grow. Yoga East has given me an opportunity to be both. I'm so blessed to share my yoga journey with other teachers and students. In a world that isn't always perfect and fair, it’s good to know there is a place of support, laughter and inspiration.
Work hasn’t gotten any better. But I’m still doing the best job that I can, knowing that I have much to offer. My daughter is doing much better, but I’ll always worry that someone else will hurt her. So I still come to my mat, my safe place, where I find strength, where I find peace….where I breathe.
This holiday season, we encourage you to take a moment and reflect on what it is that keeps you coming back to your mat. Is it the conscious awareness of the air that you breathe? Is it the relaxation your body needs in an ever increasingly difficult, time pressed life? Is it the ability to move in ways you never thought possible? Whatever that reason, when you are enjoying the sights, sounds, foods, & family during this special time, let’s take one moment and appreciate how truly blessed we are that we have the practice. We have this training to help us deal with life—whatever may come in it—and not just DEAL, but THRIVE