How Yoga Unlocked My Jaw and My Life
Walking around with my jaw locked and tongue pressed to the roof of my mouth became the norm. There were times when I realized I hadn’t inhaled or exhaled for 90 seconds as my boss stood over my shoulder. Corporate life for me was a lot of sitting, waiting, worrying and crippling anxiety. My 15 years in Pharmaceutical Sales was a blessing in many ways and I am eternally grateful for the experience. I learned so much about business and relating to all different types of people. It brought many joyful moments and life-long friends. It also brought the “hero to zero” moments and a dysfunctional view of what I thought to be a normal life. I felt my world crumbling around me and wasn’t sure what to do to make it stop. I was perpetually stressed, not sleeping, grinding my teeth and unhappy more than I should have been. It was this journey that led me to believe that there had to be a better way to do life. That’s when I was led through the big beautiful door of Shakti Power Yoga on Music Row. My life would never be the same.
Yoga started as a physical challenge and quickly turned into a life-changing journey. I started to realize that the emotions that were showing up on my mat were the emotions I was dealing with in my life. When the teachers would say ‘create ease in your breath’ while my legs were shaking, sweat was pouring off of my face and all I wanted to do was cry and tell her that not-so-nice two word phrase. Anger, frustration, self-doubt and feelings of panic came up. I also realized thatwhile I wasn’t alone in my frantic breath and frustration… there were people in the room who were quite calm and doing the same work. I wanted to feel that way; I wanted to experience that sense of peace. It was through my yoga practice I learned that peace is always accessible through my breath.
I didn’t just learn it… I believed it. When I’m focused on my breath, I can be nowhere else but present in this moment where there is ease and joy. Through linking my breath with movement I learned to stay calm in my heart, despite the world that swirled around me. This profound realization that came to me on my mat is also what sparked a change in my life off of the mat, too. The practice of yoga is about so much more than the physical work; rather, it’s more about learning how to breathe and maintain my internal sense of peace despite the frantic, stressful, and sometimes chaotic situations that surround me.
I started noticing changes in my world. My relationships with my customers grew because I learned to be truly present. I was finally sleeping through the night. My physical body no longer ached constantly and my face and jaw were relaxed for the first time in years. I still couldn’t control the hero-to-zero moments or what might happen next - but I learned how to control the way I reacted to them. I’m still human and shit still happens. Sometimes my emotions get the best of me or something triggers old emotions. The good news that I always return to is this: the sky is not falling and I get to choose to walk through life with a softened jaw and a joyful heart. There is a better way to do life. And I’ve finally learned to choose it for myself. It’s a practice and I’m choosing more joy every day. You can choose it, too.
This breakthrough in my life is impossible to ignore, and is why I’ve made it my personal mission to bring yoga to the workplace. The corporate world can be intense (to say the least), and we all have a choice how to react to that. We can choose joy. We can choose ease. We can choose the better way to live.
“Peace: it does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means
to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart”
An amazing group of new yogis at the Gulch Crossings building
If you're interested in bringing yoga to YOUR workplace, contact me!