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Empowered by Yoga

In some capacity, I have been actively practicing yoga for about 21 years. Through these years,

yoga has empowered me to heal and grow in ways I never knew I needed. I’ve learned that

yoga is so much more than poses. That I already have everything I need. I’ve learned to listen

and trust my intuition. That if I’m going to have control over anything, it’s going to be myself. And

quite importantly, that my body, especially my breath, has so much to tell me about acting and

reacting if I only allow myself to be quiet and receptive.

As a recovering people pleaser, I can now admit that for much of my life I have always given,

way more than I allowed myself to receive. Yoga has enabled me to recognize this, to know that

self care is not selfish, and that when I fill myself up first I will have so much more to offer the

world around me. As I have embodied this truth, I have found my voice and discovered how to

ask for what I need and want. It can feel quite vulnerable to be that honest with the world, yet,

the more I was willing to open up and put myself out there, to make mistakes, to apologize when

necessary, and to give myself permission to try again and again, sometimes, the more

comfortable I grew with owning my story.

Putting it simply, yoga has guided me to discover myself. From facing my childhood scars, to

accepting them for what they are and then letting them go; from fighting to become a strong

advocate for my chronically ill special needs son, to coping with grief from his death while

raising a toddler; from pregnancy losses, to releasing fear around a healthy pregnancy and

parenting typical children; from caring for and then losing my beloved Grandma to cancer; from

becoming a yoga teacher to a studio co-owner. Those life lessons have taken me to my knees,

and had me cry tears of pure joy, but it’s what I’ve done with each of these moments that is the

important thing. It’s yoga that has given me a safe space to lay out my mat, to open to myself, to

tease out the answers, to learn who I am, what I want, and how to care for my needs on a day

to day basis, because things WILL change.

Yoga empowers me every time I remember: to breathe, to find stillness and come back to

myself, to move my body fast, slow, or not at all depending on what I need, to truly listen to

myself, to see others, to be transparent and authentic, to find compassion for others, and

especially myself, to find gratitude for each and every day, to let my life into my practice and my

practice into my life. And the greatest blessing out of all of this is knowing that by living an

empowered life I give others permission to do the same. Everything is yoga:)

by Heather Mahler Yoga Teacher, ERYT-200; Certified Reiki Master/Teacher

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