My dad tells a great story that sums up who I am at my core, reflecting on me as a little boy sawing on a large piece of wood with a hand saw. My brother had started a wedge in the wood but apparently became bored and moved on to something else. I took over the “project” and sat sawing on the wood until the job was done. When I hear this story, it reminds me that from a very young age, I have been passionate, hard working, and stubborn.
There were two events in my life that impacted my outlook on the world, shifting me away from the passionate young boy my dad describes and into a somewhat jaded young adult. My uncle died in a car wreck and my parents divorced…I never thought anything like this would happen to ME.
I moved to Chico after my senior year at Fort Lewis College in my hometown of Durango, CO. Our soccer team had just won the Division II National Championship and I was hoping to continue my athletic career professionally. I was playing soccer, coaching soccer, and partying all the time. The constant partying ultimately took me out of my beloved game of soccer and away from my core values. I injured myself, lost confidence in myself, did things that I didn’t morally agree with, and I lost touch with the hard working and determined kid that my dad describes. Even worse, I just didn’t care. I know now that I was hiding from the anger that I was carrying because of what had happened with my family.
Yoga brought me back to my core. My physical practice allows me to connect to my body and feel invigorated. My practice of meditation slows my mind down and allows me to make objective and intuitive decisions from moment to moment….most of the time! My inquiry practice (self discovery) helps me unwind the unhealthy habits I created in my past and gives me the permission to feel emotions instead of running away from them.
It is because of this work that I was able to fall in love with Katie. She is the most confident person that I know and, because she does this work too, helps hold me accountable to being the person SHE sees…a hard working and passionate man, just like the little boy my dad remembers. I am now open to being that person too! I have also confronted the anger I had towards my family, stopped blaming everyone else, and am NOW able to connect with them on a whole new level.
Katie and I are living our dream by being in love with each other and running Spotted Dog Yoga together. We are incredibly grateful that we have the opportunity to share ourselves in ways that “impacts others!” This has become possible for us only through the practice of yoga and our willingness to do the work. In order to impact others greatly, we understand that we must share ourselves authentically, which is why I am sharing my story with you.
Many times I have heard people say, “You should enroll in yoga teacher training, it will change your life.” And some of you may not want to “change your life.” Rather than looking at yoga teacher training as a way to change your life, consider it as an access to a deeper connection with yourself so that you can authentically share yourself in ways that impact others and live your dreams!
With Love and Gratitude,
Co-Founder Spotted Dog Yoga