I first rolled out my yoga mat onto the floors of Forever Om Yoga when I was 15 years old. Anyone who has practiced next to me knows how much I sweat, but those floors have also seen me fall millions of times trying to get a pose, they have seen my tears in half pigeon, and heard my laughs when my mom puts a song on her playlist that surprises me. The floors of the studio have seen so many different chapters of my own life and through it all remained a safe haven. When I had my first breakup, I went to practice yoga. When I didn’t make the field hockey team my senior year, I went to practice yoga. When I got deferred from my first choice college, I went to practice yoga. The space that Forever Om Yoga creates allows me to digest some of the heartbreaks of life in a healthy and empowering way. I was able to listen to the emotions I felt. I was able to understand how to build myself up when I felt torn down.
Yoga teaches you how to stare into the eyes of challenge and change and learn how to remain calm. Holding eagle pose and focusing on my breath was training for future turbulence I faced in my life. In short, yoga teaches you how to not loose your mind when something doesn’t go according to your plan.
Those floors also saw my successes. I stood on that floor to teach my first yoga class in 2011, with amazing support from the community my mom built. When I got my first job teaching yoga at a studio in Vermont, I came home to Chicago and practiced yoga at Forever Om. When I graduated college, ready to leave for Boston, I practiced yoga. Forever Om Yoga is home to me. All of our teachers have watched me grow up, make mistakes, and continue to learn about myself.
But most importantly, Forever Om has taught me to find a home within myself. Yoga has given me the practice to be at peace no matter what changes happen in my life. My practice, my breath, and my inner peace will always be carried with me. Our community will always be life family to me, Forever Om will always be my sanctuary, and my body will always be my home.