To say that 2016 was a year of change for me would be an incredible understatement. After ten years working in higher education, running professional art galleries, I decided to leave my job and find my bliss.

One morning, while I was still working my full-time job, I woke up after having a vivid dream that I had a business teaching paddleboard yoga.  I couldn’t shake the memory of the dream, and more I thought about it, the more it became an actual real-life goal.

Having no long-term plan, and not knowing what I would do after resigning from my job, I enrolled in yoga teacher training at The Yoga Shop in West Hartford, despite having never taken a class from the studio. All I knew was that I had been profoundly unhappy and the only thing that made me feel peaceful, safe, and unburdened was yoga, so I ran straight into its arms.  Besides, the first step toward being certified to teach paddleboard yoga was becoming a certified yoga instructor.

I never intended to become a studio teacher, I felt that my studio would be on the water, but the incredible YTT process truly cracked open my heart and changed my way of thinking, and my life. I completed my certification feeling that I wanted to help the world and give yoga to everyone.  Teaching started to feel less like a terrifying performance, and more like a gift I was giving to a room full of lovely beings who needed me to tell them how to move in order to feel better in their bodies.

This month, I was proud to be added to the schedule at my home studio, Tobyoga, in Vernon. Beginning February 1, I will be teaching an all-levels vinyasa class on Wednesdays from 5-6 PM. Tobyoga is a very special, small studio where, for many years, I have practiced and healed and it is truly an honor to be teaching my first studio classes there.

After observing chair yoga classes for a YTT project on yoga in special populations, I was inspired to signed up for “Chair Warriors,” a chair yoga certification course which will enable me to better instruct seniors and people with balance issues. I look forward to teaching in senior centers, helping students to build strength and to reacquaint themselves with the freedom of movement in their bodies.

Paddleboard yoga is still my long-range goal, and I will be attending a certification weekend course in Pennsylvania this July, and although I still don’t feel comfortable planning my life out in long-range terms, and don’t know exactly where I am headed, I am completely psyched to be taking this course and learning more about the practice and business of paddleboard yoga.

2016 was all about change, and 2017 will be filled with exploration and new beginnings. Thank you for sharing it with me.

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