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Meet 500 hr RYT Bradel @theyogijourney sharing her #yogasavedmylife story with us 💚

Updated: Jan 31, 2019

I grew up in foster care since the age of 9.  I’d known a life of empty promises, various kinds of abuse and loneliness.  While in foster care I was separated from my younger sister and my life spiralled after that point. 

I eventually ran away from an abusive foster home at the age of 15.  I was alone in the world.  I sold drugs to be able to afford food in my mouth.  Then at 16 I was kidnapped, raped and driven over state lines to get a false identity.  I was forced and cohered into a life of human trafficking.  Right here in America, where people don’t realize human trafficking is rampant.  This was my life up to the age of 25. 

2 days after my 25th birthday I secretly packed a bag and crept out in the early hours of the morning.  Now I was a 25-year-old woman in this great big world, with no idea who I was and what I enjoyed in life.  I imagine it’s almost similar to an 18 year old who is on their own for the first time.  My trafficker always confined me to be a certain way and I never explored my authentic self. 

First I grew roots in my very first apartment and then I made it my mission to explore all that I am.  What music I like.  What hobbies I may enjoy.  What kind of friends I choose.  All of it.  I tried so many things.  I tried aerial trapeze classes, tennis, open mic, Landmark seminars, so many things. 

Then I tried YOGA.  Game. Changer.  I just remember leaving the class thinking “I’m not sure what the hell that just was, but I want more.”  So I kept going.  Different studios.  Different teachers.   Crying in pigeon.  Crying on the drive back home.  Not understanding that I was finally beginning to heal.  I was beginning to connect with myself in a way I never had and beginning to heal the wounds.  Yoga helped to look at myself honestly and compassionately.  It taught me how to live with PTSD and complex trauma in a way where I was not a victim to it.  I became empowered; courageously creating balance within myself and with the world I relate with around me. It brought me home.  And it continues to greet me home every day. 

Since then my Yoga journey has led me through two different 200-hour YTT and a 300-hour YTT.  And I love teaching! It’s an absolute honor to hold space for others with the medicine of Yoga because I know what it has done for me and my life and that it holds the same infinite possibilities in everyone’s life. And I am absolutely humbled by it.  Through all this healing that Yoga was the catalyst for, I now work full time as a Success Coach for over 40 teens in the Miami area who are in foster care, human trafficking survivors, and/or at-risk teens. 

Yoga helped me not only heal and transform myself, but also my life.  It took a lot of letting go, blood, sweat and tears, shoulder injuries, and more.  But on the other side I found that all the love I felt I was deprived of and never received could be found deep within me.  Deep within me were all the answers to my questions.  Deep within me was all the peace I was longing for.  I learned that I am not my story or the labels that may have been put on me; that I am so much more.  I can live outside of the perceived barriers and constructs.  Free.  I am free.  For all that and more, I will forever be grateful for this wild Yoga journey.


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