Student Journey – Christina Roy
Hello there! My name is Christina Roy.
I am a Seattle, Washington native;
current Piesse Brook resident; all around Hills person and full-blown dog mom
to the two loves of my life, Winnie and Toby (my husband is really great too).
As Deb often says, the way we show up on our mat is often how we show up in life. For me, this couldn’t be more true.
When I first began yoga, I had a superficial relationship with it. I was introduced via hot yoga and I mean feel like a wet blanket is smothering you, drenched in sweat and in dire need of a gallon-sized coconut water afterwards H-O-T. I went for the workout and the abs. At this time of my life, I couldn’t even fathom the concept of self-care and wasn’t really interested in delving deep. Sometime after I was at a true crossroads in my life, building myself anew and felt a strong calling to yoga. But this experience was completely different for me. It remained a solid workout, but I gravitated towards teachers that emphasized mantras and made space for me on the mat emotionally as much as physically. It was the first time in my life I had really practised kindness towards myself in that manner and intentionally carved out time for my own well being. I started to realize I could regulate my emotional and mental well being if I maintained a steady practice. But I still found I often was measuring myself and my practice against others. Were they more flexible? Were they stronger? What did I need to do to be more?
A few years later and I got in a car accident that humbled me and my practice greatly. Yoga was the only physical activity I was permitted and I could barely “do” it; do being the operative word because I was still measuring myself and my self worth by the skills I acquired and postures I could add to my repertoire. Yoga felt like a cage reminding me of my limitations. Eventually, I realized the pain wasn’t going away so I started physical therapy and chiropractic care. For the first few weeks, their entire emphasis was training me how to breathe fully again, how to sync my breath with all movement, and to engage my core deeply. They emphasized form over all else. And the funny thing was, I realized how much of my practice in the last few years had been about how it looked to others instead of how it felt inside of my body. I had five months of rehabilitation and in that time yoga was both my darkest hour and my brightest light, teaching me to accept where I was in any given moment while still prioritizing growth and forward movement. With my breath finally driving my movement in yoga, my practise blossomed.
When I moved to Australia two years ago, I entered a period of great self-doubt. As I always had before, I went to a handful of classes at a couple of studios to help but felt completely disconnected and dissociated from it. Every class felt like a reminder of what I had left behind in Seattle. Instead of pushing through the discomfort, I just quit. And concurrently I began a pattern of neglecting myself and my needs and quickly had the feeling of being untethered. It took me a while but I began to create some structure back in my life and gain some confidence. Around the same time, I was encouraged by a new friend to join her at Yoga Centred. And with this small act, my life was changed for the better.
At Yoga Centred, I found a community I had been longing for since moving to Australia. The people were instantaneously warm and welcoming. I felt accepted, safe, supported and through this I began to really explore my practice more, taking everything I had learned in all my previous iterations of my journey. I feel more connected to my practice and to myself now than I ever have. Walking into the studio and seeing the people in this community energizes me.
This fall I am enrolled in a yoga teacher training course and am looking forward to the personal exploration this will lead me on, the refinement and evolution of my practice, and the ability to share this with others. The collective yoga community, be it in Seattle or Kalamunda, has given so much to me, I want to give back.
At its best yoga teaches you acceptance without encouraging complacency. It requires honesty and reflection. It teaches you to be kind to yourself and then encourages you to be more kind to others. When I tend to my own well being I find that I actually have more in my cup to share. For me, yoga is a way of life. It is a mirror through which I can truly see and transform myself.