Molly S. - Instructor
I walked into the women’s locker room at our studio the other day and caught a glimpse of a note I had written and hung on the community bulletin board when I was first a student. I wrote, “Sumits Yoga has taught me to be grateful for my able body and my life.” To this day, years since that note was written, nothing has taught me more about myself and my life than my yoga practice.
Before beginning my yoga practice with Sumits Yoga, I was a college student struggling with anxiety, self-consciousness, and just over all doubt about who I was and where I was going in my life. I was struggling with regular panic attacks and failed to pour love and energy back into myself every day. I had lost sight of who I was and where I wanted to be in my life. During my final semester of college, a friend invited me to come to this new yoga studio that had just opened in town. I had never practiced yoga before and certainly had never done any kind of exercise in that hot of an environment, but I thought, “What the heck… I’ll give it a try!” I came into my first class completely unprepared. I had too many layers of clothing on because I was so self conscious and embarrassed of the body that I was in and I got in trouble for talking in the room before class. I had no idea how to get into one single pose and my ego was certainly getting the best of me when I would look around and see men and women years older than me moving with ease in and out of the poses. It was impossible for me to quiet my mind and just simply breathe and move. This practice was the most challenging experience of my life. For the first time in a long time, I was forced to spend time working on myself. I sweat, I fell, I cried, and even at times, I was able to laugh at myself because of how ridiculous I felt. There was lightness to this practice that made me feel comfortable, but there was also an intensity to it that made me feel challenged in ways that I had never known before. I left that first class feeling exhausted, but happy.
It wasn’t but just a few days before I was back on my mat to practice again. I came again and again and again. I couldn’t stay off of my mat. There was such a rush that came with escaping my mind and moving into my body. I couldn’t believe that I had lived my whole life without ever mindfully connecting to my breath; my life force. I found that during my practice, I was able to free my mind from worry and concentrate on setting positive intentions that would guide me through my practice. These intentions – daily mantras or reminders – allowed me to concentrate on the things in my life that served me and allowed me to try to let go of things that didn’t. I would try to bring patience, compassion, self-love and a whole lot of gratitude to my practice. I would watch myself in the front mirrors grow and change daily. I would build myself up with positive thoughts instead of saying nasty things to myself. I focused on letting go of ego, comparison, judgment, and negativity. I was trying to not compare myself or my life to anyone else, but most importantly, I was learning not to compare or compete with myself. I started to learn to accept my life’s journey as it was and not for what it used to be or what I thought it should be. I started to enjoy being completely present in all the moments of my life. As my practice grew stronger, my worry and anxiety all started to subside. I began to realize that I was in ultimate control of my well-being and happiness.
I am forever grateful for my journey and my yoga practice. To me, the true beauty of it all lies in the fact that our yoga will never be perfect… just as we will never be. There will always be room to grow and always room to fall. One of my favorite song lyrics say, “If the sun shined every day and we went our whole lives without rain, then nothing would grow.” Without the weak days, we wouldn’t have strong days. Without the hardships, we wouldn’t know how amazing it feels to be happy. We must use our practice to realize who we are and what energies we need in our lives and also learn to cut loose the energies that weigh us down and don’t serve us. I took a long time for me to see that I have all that I need within me to make the changes I want to see in myself and in my life.
In 2013, I became certified to teach this beautiful practice and now have the honor of sharing it with people every day. I couldn’t ask for a more rewarding job. I get to experience such raw and genuine beauty as I watch students connect with themselves every day. It’s such a magical thing to be a part of. Thank you to all of the instructors and students that have encouraged me to practice, teach, and become a better version of myself. I am forever grateful for all of you. Namaste.