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.