Those of you who know me fairly well know that I'm an introvert. I relax and refresh alone, with yoga, meditation, or a good book. I enjoy people, but spending long hours interacting with groups can be exhausting for me.
People who know me well might also know that I have come a long way from being a painfully shy kid and teenager to actually enjoying public speaking in the form of teaching yoga. So how did make this transition come about?
I think a few things came into play in my swing from extreme introvert to middle of the road. First, I grew up and matured. I moved away from my small hometown with its clicks of friends to college, a world where everyone was looking for a friend and people were more varied and interesting. I found it so much easier to get to know like minded people in college and started opening up. I gained confidence in myself and my skills through work and then moved west to Denver, where people would actually make eye contact and say hi on the street. I only knew one other person in Denver, but through work I quickly gained friendships and realized that these friends really like me for me. And finally, I found yoga.
My entry to yoga was through hot yoga at a studio a few blocks from my house. In hot yoga, I was forced to watch myself as I moved through different poses. This was very uncomfortable at first, but I eventually started to feel more comfortable in my skin and then even proud of who I was. My amazing teachers inspired me to take a teacher training for hot yoga, and I gained the knowledge to deepen my practice and start leading others through theirs. It was amazing: not only were people listening and following along with my cues, they were responding to my classes with praise and loyalty.
As I dove into my 200-hour vinyasa certification, I also realized that I could also be creative. I've always considered myself more of a logical thinker rather than someone with inspirational ideas and thoughts. But through yoga, I am challenged to create sequences that are unique, interesting, and feel good.
I truly believe yoga and teacher training have given me the confidence to finally use my voice and share who I really am. I'm less timid and more authentic than I've ever been. I even write this blog! Sure, I still replenish my energy alone at home with a book, but being with people these days makes me happy rather than anxious.
I'd love to hear your story of finding your voice! Please share!