Why Yoga Is A Must For Me: A Yoga Teacher’s Journey

I started working when I was 18 years old. It was a big movie theatre in the main mall of the town I lived in, back home in Puerto Rico. Being privileged enough not to have to work but choosing to, as a manner of escaping the tumultuous environment at home. I believe this is where the cycle of using a job to escape and hide my true self began. I can’t say I have ever found a job I loved, until now. Some, were amazing opportunities that taught me a insurmountable amount of skills that I will forever be grateful for. But I felt something was missing. The average time I would last in a position was maybe five years. Or less. Somehow I always ended up quitting, getting fired, being let go, or: “it’s not you, it’s us” kind of getting fired. Jumping from one job to the next, thinking this is the one. The one I am finally going to stick to for a longer period of time. Very similar to my dating life. But that’s a whole other essay.

Then came the epiphany. The Merriam Webster dictionary defines epiphany as an illuminating discovery, a realization. For me, this happened on an afternoon class at Modo Yoga in Los Angeles, while resting in savasana. That’s when I heard the whisper inside my mind that said “follow the yoga” afterward, the teacher Morgan read this beautiful passage ending in: yoga is your home. I slowly opened my eyes and looking at the ceiling I just couldn’t believe I got the answer I had been looking for, for so many years!

The journey into yoga started at a very difficult time in my life. Living in New York working three jobs, pursuing the dream to become a paid theatre actor. Still allowing myself to be overpowered by bad habits and depression, making every possible wrong decision. I decided to try a class at yoga for the people in the east village and it changed my life. I showed up at the mat every day of the week for sometime.

That didn’t mean that everything, all of the sudden turned around for the better. Not. At. All. It would take me at least another decade to understand what happened during that period of time. When Yoga became an important tool for my well being. Why so long, you ask? Because I refused myself the joy of being free. Always choosing what I should do instead of what I must. (I highly recommend you read Ella Luna’s book The crossroads of should and must)

Fast forward ten years, back to Los Angeles. After that moment of realization I understood that I had to become a yoga teacher. Sharing what life has taught me was the driving force. To help others through Yoga was a must for me. I was let go of my job unexpectedly. Bags got packed and I left for a month to Greece to get certified to teach Hatha yoga. Today I feel a beautiful certainty of having chosen the right path. That I’m finally doing what I’m supposed to be doing (with a couple of stumbles along the way). For me it is as sure as knowing the sun is going to rise the next day. I truly wish that for you too, dear reader.

I’d like to share three tips to start you on your journey:

1. It may sound like a big cliche. But always follow your heart. Take a moment, breathe. Close your eyes. What do you see? What do you imagine yourself doing? When you open your eyes back up. Write down one thing you can do tomorrow to start your journey to the life you want.

2. Finding your must doesn’t mean you have to do everything at once. Be compassionate with yourself. Try first to complete that one task you wrote on step one. Try as many times as you need. All the to do’s can wait. Color in the task for step one with as much color as you like. Think outside the lines! Try to accomplish it differently if it doesn’t work the first time or the second. Be patient with yourself!

3. Find a friend that is also dreaming big. Be each other cheerleaders. Remain together on a positive vibe. Look for the bright side of things, always! It will help and give you clarity. I promise. Think of something that makes you both, glow with love. Then act on your step one action. Every time from a place of love.

My journey is far from over and I am still working through, and learning from situations that may be challenging. Something that has helped me immensely is to take a moment to breathe. Find a beautiful memory. Fill my heart and mind with love and joy. And then wait for the answer I’m looking for. Trust and believe. The magic is real!

Karina Alós 

About the author:

Karina Alós was born and raised in San Juan, PR. While finishing her studies at Fordham University in New York City she stumbled upon yoga as a healing tool (emotionally and physically) and so the adventure began. After exploring different styles, she decided to focus on Hatha Yoga; adding her own touch with a mix of Astrology and body positive awareness. She obtained her 200 hour YTT with Yoga Skyros in Voula Greece with Master teacher Carmen Hellman. 

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