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I am bigger than my yoga mat - Recapping my yoga for 2015

Yoga recap for 2015 - What I learned 

I learned a big lesson this year, which I figured out through my yoga's that I am actually bigger than my mat, or at least I think I am bigger....

This year started off ROUGH, I had a torn rotator cuff (luckily no surgery needed). This put a huge damper on my practice. I couldn't even do downward facing dog, for a yogi who loves Hot Power Flow, you could only imagine how hard that hit me. But, I still went to every practice I could, and modified and modified and modified. I actually hurt my shoulder last November (2014), but didn't really realize what I did until the beginning of the year. My recovery was 9 grueling months of staying off of it and babying it, and relearning how to do a lot of the shoulder weight bearing poses such as downdog, arm balancing, inversions and so on. A HUGE part of my relearning process was that I learned to take my hands as wide as my mat in downward facing dog - actually so wide that it is more comfortable for me to have my ring and pinky fingers actually hang off the edges of my mat.

However, my shoulder injury pushed me to work harder and smarter. I finished my 200 hour yoga teacher training in the spring and started teaching at the studio right away, and then BAM I pushed and Awakened Yoga SUP was born! I worked for months to find a space for us to practice on the water, I jumped through hoops to get the boards that I wanted, rented a trailer until my custom trailer was ready for me, and I was out on the water just about every weekend in the summer.

SUP Yoga is what I wanted to do, it was a dream since I was SUP Yoga certified...I wanted it so bad I was certified in SUP before I was certified in yoga. It is the most incredible feeling when you are on a board and you are finding your edge in your practice and you get so big in your pose that you fall into the water.

SUP taught me to let go and have people actually help me when I needed it, and to drop my guard. It made me realize that the business was bigger than me, and I needed other people's help regularly...especially with loading and unloading 11 paddle boards, 12 paddles, 2 sets of anchor lines weighing in at 50 pounds a teacher line at 15 pounds, all the life jackets, fins, and all the little crap that I hoped I remembered to bring. It also made me realize that my husband was now the primary parent on the weekend, which was a big reality shock for this stay at home mom. And oh yeah, he was my biggest supporter throughout the entire process, he always brought me lunch, would help set up with me when I couldn't find someone and would always bring whatever I forgot from home. The people that surrounded me during my first SUP season were truly incredible and I feel like I owe them everything.

I began to realize the yoga community was getting bigger because of SUP and that my bubble of friends was also getting bigger because of it. I have met some INCREDIBLE people this summer because of the business I created.

As much as I love the business and I love yoga, it is seriously scary and nerve wracking to be the face of a business and be the owner of a business. Every question comes to you and you don't have that person above you that will tell you yes or no, or thats a good idea or bad idea. I am that big top person. Of course, I have people that I confide in or give me ideas along the way, or I now ask their help, but it is terrifying to have a TV News camera in your face asking you questions about your business and you hope you don't sound like a total idiot.

As my shoulder healed and my business was going and growing, I kept committed to my yoga practice. I soon started realizing that my downdogs were wider than everyone else's, and every time I lowered myself down to my belly (through chaturanga) my face wouldn't be on my mat - but the floor in front of me, my hand that touches the floor in half moon was on the floor in front of my mat and for it to touch the mat was totally weird for me.  I realized my feet always hang off the edge in half pigeon, and my feet and hands can't touch my mat in savasana. I was practicing like I was 6'4" and my mat was just too small for me.  Apparently my over confidence now applies to my height and personal space bubble. I think I'm bigger than my mat.

But I don't really think I am bigger than my mat, I know I am. I took my yoga practice and grew it from table top back to down dog, from practicing to teaching, from teaching to opening up a SUP Yoga studio and now from talking about alignment and poses to now podcasting about how to apply yoga to everyday life without using asana (poses).

Two of my really amazing friends (Tiffany and Nicky) and I will be taking our practices even bigger by starting a podcast all about how we apply what we learn on our mats and take it into our every day lives. I learned I practice bigger than my mat, which made me realize I need to BE bigger than my mat. I needed more than just a yoga practice, I needed all of the other stuff and all the other people.
They have also convinced to start running (this is after my first ever 12K).
What is going to be awesome about the podcast is that no one will be able to look at us and try to imitate some impossible Instagram yoga pose that we can't do anyway. People can see how yoga has changed our lives and how we actually use what we learn instead of trying to be some "celebrity yogi".

What is even more awesome is that we will start off with a bang, because our studio is holding a 40 day revolution with weekly themes and we will be able to talk about our own experiences during the challenge and what we are getting out of it, or if it is even working or not.

What the three of us realized was that some people only focus on asanas (poses) when there are really 7 other limbs of yoga.

2015 started off troublesome and there was some definite mountains to climb along the way, but really I can only keep growing......

Face plant or chin stand...I'll let you decide 

Two years ago in my SUP teacher training all of us had to create a mission statement for ourselves and without knowing it, time and time again, I keep achieving my mission.

"To empower others to gain a new perspective on a familiar experience" 

Here is to ending 2015 with me bigger than my mat, and starting 2016 with an open mind and heart, and lots of even bigger ideas.

Be sure to check out our podcast and like us on Facebook for updates and episodes!

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