How Yoga is changing my Life
“I have come to a point in my life where there is nothing more important to me than my own growth. I have three boys, whom I love dearly. They are my greatest joy. Yet my own growth is still more important to me. How can I say that? Because if I don't grow, they suffer. If I don't grow, the people I work with suffer. In a sense, if I don't grow, the world suffers, because we are all interconnected and impact one another in powerful ways. We grow, or we die" Baron Baptiste
I grew up in the dojo (karate school) and the gym, so discipline, fitness, health and wellness, have always been a huge part of my life. I started practicing Shotokan Karate at the age of ten and began competing shortly after. I competed locally, regionally, nationally and internationally for over twenty-five years. My faith and my Karate & Yoga practice was what helped me get through many of life’s challenges. After having my first child, I bounced back immediately and continued to compete. I juggled my role as a wife, mother, work as an educator, and partner owner of our martial arts studio (Tokon Martial Arts), while I trained to get ready for the next big karate event.
Right before we were planning for our second child, I began to think about retirement from competition. It was such a hard decision for me. It had, for as long as I could remember, been a huge part of my life. I made many sacrifices so that I could put the time into my training, but as we planned to expand our family, I knew that something would have to give. So I bowed out of competition for a short period. It was so very hard.
After our second child was born, the desire for competition started to permeate in my mind again. Getting back into the dojo, was not that hard. Although, my recovery from my C-Section was a little longer, I was able to get back into my training as soon as my doctor had cleared me.
I was competing at the Nationals just five months after giving birth and I made it to the Finals. I wasn’t too devastated. I was proud that I could make it that far in my late thirties just after having a C-Section with my second child. The following year, I decided to to compete at our Regional tournament. I was praying for direction. I was having a hard time letting go of this part of my life. What else was I going to do? I tore my meniscus and that tournament. After my MRI, I found out that I had a torn ACL as well. That is when I knew, it was time to leave my competition career behind.
My knee got surgically repaired, but I didn’t feel the same anymore. The realization that there were a lot of things that I couldn’t do any more and my yearning for an intense, sweaty workout made me depressed. But I needed to strengthen my body in order to get there, so I turned to Yoga and Pilates. These were two supplemental classes that I would take to help me with my karate training.
A year later, I found myself on a completely different journey. As we entered a brand new year, I decided I was going to embark on a 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training Program and study for my NASM (National Association for Sports Medicine) Personal Training Certification... at the same time, I was teaching 5th Grade, running a karate school and trying to be the best wife and mom I could possibly be.
When I think about it, I don’t even know what I was thinking. With the support of my magnanimous husband, I accomplished these goals within seven months. These two certifications taught me so much about myself and the journey was much needed.
People tell you all the time that when you become a parent, you cease to exist. But it’s not that. We simply love our children so much that their well being is what matters most and let’s face it. The theme of your life, this balancing act, is simply surviving the day. And sometimes, you do it well, but many times not so well. By the time the day is over, your brain is mush, or you’re completely frustrated with how things went, and you’re too tired to reflect on what went well that day!
As part of my teacher training program, I had to take sixty Yoga classes and reflect on them. Initially, this number was overwhelming. I can tell you now, that those sixty hours that I spent taking time to do something mindful for myself was profound for me. I grew so much from these self-study hours and found myself being able to handle my everyday battles with more faith and more ease. The epiphany that I came to is not a new one. I had to take time for myself. If I was not balanced, what good was I to my family, to my students and how productive was I really being with my mind in twenty different places?
My Karate and Yoga practice, along with my faith, have led to a lot of different thoughts on mindfulness and what it takes to be mindful. I can’t tell you how many times I have walked into a room and have completely forgotten what I walked in there for, or how many times I have left the house and as I am driving down the road, I can’t for the life of me remember if I turned off my curling iron.
Through my Karate and Yoga practice, I incorporated my breath work, and is becoming a habit that I am trying to incorporate in my daily life. I am a work in progress, but I have given myself little techniques to stay in the very moment that I am.
I wanted to share this with as many people as possible. It started with simply offering two classes per week at our Karate studio and quickly evolved into signing a lease to move into a bigger building so that we can offer mindful activities for the entire family! In January, 2019 Tokon Martial Arts will open a sister school, Agape Yoga and Fitness ~ Mindful practice for the entire family.
Contact us to schedule your FREE trial class
or call us at (916) 835-7717 (Tokon Martial Arts)
Agape is the #1 Power Yoga Studio in Natomas Sacramento. We are family owned so you have a non-corporate experience that you can enjoy. Our classes are for beginners and advanced practitioners. We teach Yoga, Power Yoga, Body Sculpting, and Yoga Pilates Fusion.