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August 23, 2018

A Letter to my Yoga Students—the Beloved & Broken Ones.

I am often referred to as a yoga teacher, sometimes as a yoga instructor, and at other times, I am hollered at from across parking lots—”That’s the yoga girl!”

I like to say before classes that I am merely a guide, because I feel the term “teacher” is actually a guise. I don’t really want to teach you anything—I want to awaken you to your infinite potential.

Simple task, right?

I want to inspire you to be your best self on the yoga mat, and especially off of it. I want to guide you beyond your self-declared limits, and I want you to outgrow the perceived possibilities of who you think you are. Because I see so much more in you.

You’re hiding a lot underneath all that armour.

I want you to know and believe that you are worth more far more than a mediocre, half-lived existence.

I’m afraid that somewhere along the line you decided that “good enough” is all you deserve. And it simply isn’t.

From my experience, movement is often the catalyst for change within the whole body. From movement there comes an intrinsic pull toward wellness in your spirit and your mind.

Physical movement takes mental discipline and, yes, it will it be hard—but life is hard. You get to choose if it’s hard for your benefit or against it. It will be uncomfortable, and being uncomfortable is…uncomfortable for a reason. It’s where you expand. It’s where you create space in your body and mind where there once was useless, heavy stuff that used to serve you. But now it simply doesn’t. That sh*t is holding you back and weighing you down.

You deserve better—and more. A lot more. More joy, more happiness, more hope, more success, more passion, more love, more exhilaration, more wonder, and more room to grow into the extraordinary human being that you are. You also deserve less—less stress, fewer punishments for past mistakes, fewer complications, less compromising, less overcompensating, fewer judgments, less criticism, less caring about what others think, and a whole lot less second-guessing yourself.

I want you to hear the call of your heart, listen to your intuition, and be conscious of your space in this world. I want you to love living your life, both the highs and the lows, and I want you to throw away everyone else’s idea of what your journey should look like.

You are deserving of that shaky feeling in your stomach when you’re anticipating something thrilling, of laughing so hard your face hurts, of getting goosebumps.

There’s absolutely nothing grandiose about the concept. Excitement doesn’t have to come from miracles. In fact, most of the time, it won’t. It will be the small, unexpected moments that take your breath away.

I have a road map to walk with you through this.

I will make you stronger physically, I will tune you into your body, and I will have you face your limitations. Then slowly, with practice and discipline, you will obliterate those goals by creating new cliffs from which you will view the valleys. One by one, you will do the things you said you couldn’t do, and you’ll shake your head at the things that used to terrify you. This isn’t about your physical flexibility—it’s about your mental flexibility.

You have it in you.

You have seen glimpses of it, before you forgot who you were and what you wanted. Before the pain and the hurt of the past were seared into you. Before you assumed that part of you was broken beyond repair. Before you decided that this was it—that this is who you are.

We can change our cycle. We have so much more to do and to be. We have so much more evolving, growing, and expansion to do. We need to stop apologizing, stop fearing, and stop shrinking.

You are not broken anymore, my love—you are breaking free. You have shed your skin and emerged.

Will the sunshine hurt your eyes? For a moment—yes. Will it be a step into the unknown? Yes, it will be.

Will it be worth it? Yes. It’s always worth it to fly.

Stop. Breathe. Pause. Let this sink in, my love.

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Paula McDermid

author: Paula McDermid

Image: Kristina Flour/Unsplash

Editor: Kelsey Michal