When I was 23, I suffered a head injury that turned my world upside down. It wasn't that the injury itself was so bad (in fact, it was a rather run-of-the-mill concussion) - it was that it awoke a deep-seated anxiety in me. I started having panic attacks frequently, being afraid of crowds and leaving my house, sinking into depression, and even ending up in the ER multiple times.
But then my roommate Rachel, a wonderful person and talented yogi, encouraged me to get back into yoga. I'd done some yoga as a teen and occasionally in college and after, but I never had a consistent practice.
I started taking easy classes at Yoga District, the studio where Rachel practiced. Along with these classes, I worked on deep breathing techniques and therapy, and my panic attacks slowly stopped. I started feeling like myself again - a happier version of myself, in fact.
On top of the mental health benefits, I gained muscle, lost weight in a healthy way, and met some lifelong friends. As my yoga practice deepened, it became a supremely important part of my life. It was something I woke up looking forward to, and a healthier, alcohol-free way to ease stress, anxiety, and depression.
Now, after practicing for over 3 years, I have become motivated to train as a teacher. I want to share my experience with others - to bring the love and light that I feel when I practice to friends, family, and strangers alike.
The 200-hour intensive yoga teacher training at Suryalila in Arcos de la Frontera, Spain, was suggested to me by a friend who went through the program, and swears by the amazing leader, Vidya, who has been teaching for over 30 years.
The program is my dream come true - a truly isolated yogic experience from dawn to dusk every day, in which I will relearn the fundamentals of yoga and come to understand how to teach others in a safe and helpful way. Not to mention that it's held in one of my favorite countries, Spain, on a gorgeous olive orchard. Wow.
I'll also do some glorious traveling to visit friends around Spain and in Germany, and incorporate yoga into those trips as well.
I've worked about 7 different jobs this summer, including waitressing, promotional modeling, petsitting, assisting in a laboratory, and multitudes more. Despite all of this, I've only made part of the money I need for my training.
My goal is to raise the rest of the money that I still need for this trip (or at least some of it) through GoFundMe, and to document my journey in pictures on Instagram and a special Tumblr blog dedicated to this trip.
I hope you'll join me along the way <3
The Tumblr: http://danicaj1023.tumblr.com/
The Instagram: @daddymacka23
The Training: Frog Lotus Yoga - http://www.froglotusyoga.com/retreats/suryalila.htm
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