March 15, 2017

Yoga did not Save Me.

Yup, I said it.

I have been teaching yoga for seven years and practicing for over a decade. For many years, as I grew into my abilities as a teacher, I felt I was missing this essential component. One that was out of my control.

We hear, read, and watch it all the time. In fact, we are drawn to it—the hero’s journey.

In all facets of life, not just yoga, we love to hear about people braving through their struggles and coming out better for it. Nearly all of our mainstream leaders have just this story. It’s inspiring and motivating to know we aren’t alone in this, and it leads to connection and community-building.

But I have not experienced the heroine’s journey.

I found yoga out of intrigue and signed up for teacher training out of curiosity. I met yoga in a time of happiness rather than at a roadblock.

Thus, my offerings come through in an innately lighthearted lens. And because of this, I often feel inadequate as a teacher, as though I don’t have the proof to show you that this yoga thing actually works.

Even though I don’t have the experience to relate to the hero’s journey, I’ve come to realize that I can still be a light on the path for those experiencing darkness. I can still speak to the shadow side while living in the sun—because my reason for practicing yoga is the same as anyone else’s: to experience freedom.

I’ve come to understand that yoga shows up for us in darkness and in light, in happiness and in grief. It shapes the way we interact, respond, and show up to the world.

This is available to all of us, no matter our journey.

In love and light,



Author: Emily Taylor

Images: With permission from Christy Cassano & Kristen Pace

Editor: Catherine Monkman

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