Love at First Yoga
“I do” – Love at First Yoga – My Journey
Becoming a student of Yoga
Once upon a time, I was backpacking in India and decided to try a 10 day silent meditation retreat at Tushita in the Himalayas.
I thought that such a feat would be nearly impossible for such an incessantly talkative, extroverted, enthusiastic person such as myself.
It was surprising to me how easy it was to melt into the Simple Life.
I knew immediately how important this experience would be for my life.
It was challenging at times, don’t get me wrong, but I was in deep gratitude everyday for having discovered this practice of Being in my early 20’s.
On this retreat, they offered Yoga practice everyday.
From the first downward dog I ever took, I knew: This was it. FULL YES.
I fell head over heals in love with Yoga. Everything about it. The movements, the breath, the philosophy, the community of truth-seekers.
Truly, madly, deeply in LOVE.
As soon as I started loving and practicing Yoga, I felt openings and awakenings in my body and almost instantly the mind benefits started to creep in.
With more space, flexibility and awareness of my body, I learned to heal 16 years of chronic pain in my IT band – in my outer knee and thigh.
I also began to feel a lifetime full of indecision and the dances with depression begin to loosen their grip.
Resilience continues to grow strong all the time.
The next move on my travels was Thailand, where I met Lily of the Blooming Lotus. Again, instant Love. We kept in touch and I always knew that I wanted to learn more from this incredible embodied and wise Yogi.
Over the next many years I became a true Yogaphile: I really gave time to and tried Anusara Yoga, Hatha Yoga, Kundalini, Satsang, Yin, Restorative, Bikram, Hot Yoga, Ashtanga, Mysore practice, Iyengar.
You name it, I tried it. Mostly…
Travelling for Yoga, taking as many classes and workshops I could, reading all the books.
I studied thousands of hours with countless teachers, masters, took endless trainings and workshops…
We know that life isn’t always easy. Buddha’s first noble truth state that “all beings suffer”. Its part of the package of being gifted this embodied life.
Yoga always helped make things better.
Yoga started to make my life easier and more enjoyable.
It started to help me become more resilient and to help me overcome the bouts of depression that have been a signature part of my life throughout my child and adulthood.
Becoming a Yoga Teacher
After living for some time in Bali, teaching Pre-Kindergarten at the Green School (I’m actually a qualified and certified Primary school teacher!),
I decided it was finally time to take my Yoga to the next – level with a Teacher Training course. Of course Lily was top of my list of who I wanted to study with, even though I had only met her for a few days 6 years before.
The teacher training blew my mind and my teachers invited me to assist and work with them.
Shortly thereafter, I moved to Thailand and started running classes, then retreats at the Blooming Lotus.
Dream come true.
For me, despite the statistics that share that there are anywhere from 2450-650,000 Registered Yoga Teachers in the US alone, I’ve always know that if its my dharma, or sacred purpose to teach, the universe will guide me.
I guess I’ve become a little woo-woo like that. But it’s proven true.
A few years later, my teachers decided that it was time to move to Bali and open a beautiful new centre and world there. We parted paths.
Becoming a Yogi-Preneur
This transition invited me to step up in to a new role – as a Yogipreneur – a Yogi + Entrepreneur, to take over the space in Thailand and create my own flavour of offerings.
Another dream come true!
This has been a really challenging part of the journey.
The beginning of our paths with Yoga is often a lot of Love + Light. Which is great.
Eventually though, we need to sustain the practice, sustain the learnings, integrate the lessons…
So, it’s been 3 years now of running a business, and I’d say its been mostly rewarding.
I’ve learned sooooo much. I’ve made countless friends, connecting with incredible people from all over the globe, I’ve help ed to positivly impact the lives of thousands of people. I’ve been able to live in paradise and practice Yoga and meditation in peace.
Running a business is no piece of cake. Its been very demanding and at times, I even forget that I’m a Yogi first.
I’m doing my best, and definitely feel like I’m earning the equivalent of a Masters degree in Spirituality and Business.
Mostly though, having a business demands that I step out of my comfort zone and learn things that are not in my so-called “Zone of genius”.
For this I am grateful…and challenged.
What’s next for me?
No matter what happens in terms of my career or trajectory as a human being….Yoga and Meditation are next for me.
If life has taught me anything, it’s that everything changes.
So I don’t know that I’ll be teaching Yoga in this way for the rest of my life, and I don’t know if it’ll be here in this paradise.
Yoga teaches me to be present, to be grateful and love what is, and to accept change with grace.
Again, not always easy.
Yoga is a practice. It’s not something you do, then tick off the list.
I think of showers in the same way. Great! I had a shower today – that doesn’t mean I won’t need one again tomorrow or in a couple days right?!
Yoga is something you show up to in every moment, day after day after day.
Teaching Yoga does not mean that I have mastered it. It simply means that I am dedicated to being a student of life, dedicated to facing my shadows, to learning, to growing and to evolving
Yoga is my forever teacher, in the good times and the bad.
Yoga always helps to remind me of who I really am, beyond the stories and emotions. It helps guide my way home.
I feel beyond blessed and grateful to dedicate my life to practicing and sharing Yoga, opening my heart, discovering deeper dimensions.
And I vow to continue to evolve and grow, and become a more balanced and diverse person, teacher and entrepreneur along the way, so long as that is what feels like the highest good for all,
Til death or beyond…do us part Yoga.
Thank you for all that you give me.
In a nutshell, Why Yoga?
Hatha Yoga combines movement, conscious breathing, and mindful awareness and presence to offer physical, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual practices that connect us to the deepest aspects of our selves and our true nature.
The Benefits of yoga are boundless and include alignment, balance, strength, flexibility and connection to nature, community and our highest selves.
Yoga helps me so much to navigate the reality of what presents in each moment. Its help me to know what the “highest alignment” is in each given situation, and it helps me to the see a true reflection of the roots of my suffering more clearly. It improves each present moment most especially when I am in a really dedicated space of active practicing.
Life is still life. Up, downs, waves, emotions, times where I feel alone, time where I feel not enough. But every time an emotional fluctuation arises, it lasts less long and I can see the progress and resilience, I can feel it…
Yoga is the one thing I can absolutely commit to for the rest of my life. And I love nothing more than sharing this passion for the Practice, for being a student of life ever-after, and for living the ever – evolving dream of sharing this love with you all!
Yoga literally means “union” or “to yoke” our everyday selves with our highest most divine selves. Yoga is a powerful tool that teaches us how to live a life of balance, peace, harmony, strength and flexibility on all levels. The practice of yoga helps us become stronger, more open, free, happy, flexible and balanced, physically, emotionally and spiritually. Through yoga, we open ourselves to the infinite possibilities of life, allowing us to connect more deeply with ourselves, nature and community.
A Discipline Practice
A Disciplined Practice of yoga has the transformational benefits of deepening our connection to the body, mind and spirit, supporting us in living and loving long, vibrant, happy, healthy and fulfilling lives.
Yoga teaches us the art of letting go, letting grow, letting flow.
We move our bodies to move energy and restlessness to ultimately still the mind and enter the bliss of meditation, wherein our individual consciousness can merge with the ultimate or spiritual oneness consciousness, leading to our remembrance that we are not separate from that which appears to be outside of our own minds.
In practicing yoga, we become humbled and cultivate our trust in the body of wisdom that is sacred and vast and greater than our individual selves.
We are invited through our practice to look at the reflections life shows us in the form of experiences, the people we come across, emotions that enter.
We practice the art of receiving, giving, continually striving for an open heart especially when it wants to close.
We come to believe seemingly impossible to be possible and begin embracing feelings of gratitude for the perfection of it all either way
From wherever we are at, breaking through our somewhat uncomfortable comfort zones of who we think we are, the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves that we believe – “I’m not good at yoga”, “I’m too stiff/ old/ etc.. allows us to have the biggest heart, mind and body openings and shifts in our attitudes, mindsets, behaviours and thoughts.
Becoming more consciously aware, more mindful, in the choices we make everyday, from diet and lifestyle to the company we keep, so that we are living in full truth, love and integrity, is another great ripple effect of the practice.
Yoga helps inspire a deeper connection with mother nature and her cycles. Perfectly orchestrated symphonies of synchronicities and coincidences being to more readily flow and stream through life.
And most importantly, at the end of the day, Yoga is simply a practice.
So all you really gotta do is show up.
Do you love Yoga as much as we do? Let us know in the comments section! 🙂
Enjoy this short practice that explores a simple standing sequence to build strength in alignment, flow with the breath and movement and openness in the hips and heart.
Francie is an experienced life-transformation expert from the Yoga perspective, having curated and led more than 150 + retreats, workshops and programs with over 500+ students from all walks of life from all over the world. She is a passionate and free-spirited Yogi, hula hooper, musician, social entrepreneur and world-traveller dedicated to uplifting, inspiring and empowering people to live embodied and awakened lives.
She is the inspired founder of the award-winning Pure Flow Yoga, True:Nature Experience and Hoop Love Tribe. Francie is currently living her dream between Thailand, Bali and the rest of the world, sharing intimate, magical and life-changing experiences, including her signature Retreats in Paradise, as well as festivals and community gatherings.
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