Updated: Aug 31
Check out Part 1 of Jackie’s Yoga Journey: Begin at the Beginning, for the origins of this dramatic path to becoming a yogini, and how I'm in the best shape of my life at the age of 40.
While going through a divorce at the age of 27, I was not well - physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually. I signed up for a summer artist residency with Better Farm where I had so many perspective-shifting experiences. On a whim, having never taken a yoga class in my life, I signed up for a weekend yoga retreat that was taking place at the farm - we practiced in the loft of an old barn, climbing up a ladder to the loft to meet our pregnant doula, who would be our kundalini guide for the weekend.
I dove into art, finding literal grounding in the cool clay, creating away in the same barn space that we practiced yoga. I embraced the communal culture of Better Farm and the Better Be mentality - that everything in life, good or bad, is an opportunity to be better. Weights were lifted, spirits lightened, and peace obtained.
One morning at dawn we walked barefoot in the dewy grass in a silent meditation. Deep in the remote Thousand Islands area near the border of Canada in Redwood, NY, the lush, pristine flora carries an undisturbed calm. My heart slowed to the rhythm of the earth for the first time in my adult life, and I was able to tap into the undisturbed stillness of nature. This led me to a profound connection: yoga is the combination of mental health therapy and physical therapy - the two things I was doing to heal myself!
I would like to say that I dove deep into yoga after that and never looked back…but…that’s not how it went…
I took a few classes here & there, and started doing some videos at home. Shoutout to Louise Soloman and Yogalates! Megan Woodland Healing Arts was an early inspiration on my yoga journey, and I was thrilled when she opened Lotus Moon Yoga in my hometown. There were some warm summer days I led my friends through some poses at a local park, unintentionally beginning my path as a yogini.
When I moved to Baltimore to restart my life, I discovered a hot yoga studio that brought me peace. I still struggled with pain a lot, and was suffering emotionally as my separation & divorce dragged on for years (my choice - I have a hard time letting go!). I was drinking often, things were rocky at work, and I added more chaos, drama and instability by starting an extremely toxic relationship. So, I started seeing a life coach...
...check in next week to find out what happens in the next chapter!