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January 31, 2012

Embrace Your Gateway Drug & The Places It Can Take You. ~ Danielle Segobiano‏

We all know the Gateway drug theory, right?

Studies show that “hard users” generally progress from one drug to another. The initial drug that gets a person started is known as the “Gateway”. Good ol’ Mary Jane, possibly the most well known drug under this umbrella, has been shown, in many studies, to lead to harder drugs.

My gateway drug: Yoga. Am I alone here? I think not. All you junkies out there know what I am talking about, just waiting for your next fix. Maybe you like it hot and slow Bikram style, or hard and fast at your local CorePower. It does not matter. You all just dream of the next time you will feel that rush, the mental and physical release after your final Savasana (corpse pose). But soon, your weekly or daily class ceases to be enough. Your body wants to go further, and what is even more pressing is your desire to share this high with others. You need something bigger, to know everything about the mind/body connection, every single asana in Sanskrit, why some people suck at balancing postures and others do not. Before you know it, the blurb your favorite teacher spouts—while you struggle to sit up straight in “easy pose”—about the upcoming Yoga Teacher training has you salivating.  The next day you are signed up to take Yoga Teacher training, and you are planning to quit your 9 to 5 and embark on a journey towards a new you. It seems that your gateway drug has led to something bigger. And it rarely stops there.

My path over the past few years has been, well, almost exactly this. After a long stretch of lugging around the Manduka, class to class, I decided to pursue my Yoga Teacher training certification. Life changing stuff! Am I a teacher now? Nope. I taught for a bit at a small gym that closed its doors when the economy shat the bed.  I loved teaching—yes—but of course I craved more, needed another high. At that point I had not quit my day job. With a full time gig as a blood-sucking collection agent, I knew something had to change. I started thinking back to when a woman came in to teach my Yoga Teacher training crew an intro to Thai Yoga Massage. It blew my mind, and her crazy ‘sparkle fingers’ silliness stuck with me. So I decided to find her, learn Thai Yoga Massage and eventually become a licensed massage therapist. But that, of course, is not the end of it.

While training in Thai Yoga Massage, I practically begged the school director to find me a job in the field—receptionist at a spa or yoga studio, or anything. I wanted, nay needed, to quit my regular job. With the school growing like crazy, she needed help—and a lot of it. So, here I am.

I love my Gateway. Typical of any drug, it has practically made me what I am today. Yoga led me to Thai Yoga Massage, which led me into school for massage therapy, which led me to my job as Assistant and Admissions Director. Ahhhh, happiness!

So, embrace your Gateway drug. Let it take you places you never dreamed you could go. And please, be sure to inhale.

Danielle Segobiano actually enjoys doing the dirty work that is required to be the Admissions Director of a successful school! She works for Denver Integrative Massage School, is a Certified Yoga Teacher and has her own Thai Yoga Massage practice as well.

This article was prepared by Assistant Yoga Editor, Soumyajeet Chattaraj.

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