"Yoga has saved my life not just once, but many times"

Meet @raunchyyogi sharing her #yogasavedmylife with us. These are her words 📷

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"At 12, I was diagnosed with severe scoliosis - the sideways curvature of the spine - & told I’d never compete like I did before. I had to wear a metal back 24/7 except for working out & showering, for 4 years. It was absolutely tortuous. Then I had spinal fusion: two rods & 17 screws put into my spine

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During those years, yoga & pilates became my mental health respite. No one, not doctors or anyone else, talked about how hard bracing & surgery for scoliosis was emotionally

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Most classes I wanted to cry, but it was the constant communication between my mind & body that allowed me to integrate all that pain

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I went on to be internationally competitive and receive a full-ride to a NCAA DI school for swimming

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But yoga wasn’t done helping me yet. At the end of high school, I became involved romantically with one of my coaches, someone significantly older & in a position of authority while I still was underage & very sheltered. Substance abuse became normalized, & eventually in college, after he nearly overdosed in my apartment one night, I asked him to leave. During this period, yoga was the one stable aspect of my life when everything else felt out of control & horrible

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Following the breakup & graduation from college, I took a big leap of faith & got my RYT200 qualification — one of the best decisions of my life!  I’m incredibly grateful, because teaching would become my refuge

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A couple years later, I once again got caught up in an abusive relationship. He used my prior history to manipulate me, create self-doubt, & became emotionally & verbally abusive. After an incident of physical abuse, I left

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During this time, teaching yoga was my lifeline. An hour at a time, I could escape & be filled with the warm, loving energies of the studio & my students. Now, I still struggle with depression, PTSD, self-harm, & eating disorders, but I have a confidence about how I can move through these experiences. Yoga has provided me the space & skills to do so. Forever grateful to yoga, my teachers and students 📷"