The Ever-Unfolding Path
Have you ever felt stagnant? Like you are just going through the motions of life: working, cooking, cleaning, existing without purpose or direction? Cassidy felt this way. For many years she was stagnant, hindered by insecurity and hopelessness. Now, when you meet her, she glows. She is warmth and light and like all things warm and light, she knows what it was to be in the dark. To feel heavy.
When I began to ask Cassidy about her experience with yoga it was akin to asking how a lake realized it was a river. How it realized it was part of the ocean too. How years of maladaptive mantras had become wood which damned her flow. How once you start to flow you still have to remove rock and matter and smooth the path for yourself. How you cannot fill the riverbed of another, but must seek your direction for yourself.
Before her Yoga practice, Cassidy had struggled with both physical and mental limitations. Anxiety and panic attacks kept her in a cycle of fear and vice. Without hope in a higher power. Insecurity in her body, which had been given labels of “scoliosis” and “asthma” and with the labels came instructions on how not to live. On how not to seek movement. These identifiers came at such an early age that she began to see herself in these terms. Not first a human, a woman, a friend, a lover but rather someone broken or incapable.
As a child and throughout her lifespan she had many glimpses of the yoga community, but she hadn’t devoted herself to the practice yet. Briefly in 2012, she took an introduction to Hatha Yoga course. This could be seen as the small break in the damn that began to wear away at its strength. Throughout the next six years she would dabble in the multitude of yoga paths. Hoping it would help her spine and physical health, but not quite engaging in the spiritual or meditative aspects with true openness. In 2018, at 25 years old she found herself working an 8 to 5 office job, at her heaviest weight, and at her most emotionally volatile. A change had to come. The idea of yoga had resurfaced. She decided to jump in with everything she had. On the surface it appeared she had much to lose. Leaving her job would mean no financial security, no 401k, and no plan. But she had to take the journey. Wasn’t her well-being more important? Wasn’t it worth trying?
So in July 2018 she set off to Costa Rica to do her 200 HR teacher training with GypSea Yoga School. This was an immersion experience. All day yoga, feasting on whole and plant based foods, engaging in vulnerable conversation and emotional healing. After this she finally felt it. She felt what she had longed to feel for years. What she could not will herself to feel before. Here, in the beautiful rainforest, without distraction she could finally see. She finally felt the union of body, mind and soul.
Her physical body began it’s long awaited healing process. Beginning to purge out the self-limiting thoughts, the toxic thought patterns and negative emotions attached to them. Gaining strength, flexibility, and most importantly mobility. The process will be a life-long journey for Cassidy, just like many who embark on this path, an ever-unfolding adventure of self-discovery and reflection.
Cassidy now sees how Yoga can aid in the connection of one to the triad of the self. Of course, in the physical body, as it’s challenged, the mind will wander and may spark defiance. It may begin to recite mantras from the past. Here the soul enters and is kind. It is peaceful. It transcends hormone and neuron.
This is the basis for her teaching. Her intention is set on creating an open and loving environment in which one can release stress, negativity and tension. Through that release comes wellbeing and healing. Her classes are rooted in compassion, love and understanding. To her, yoga is for all. For all levels, shapes, sizes, and personalities. In her experience, yoga will meet you where you’re at. From there, there is simply the opportunity for growth.
Cassidy, being a life-long learner, continued her studies completing her 300 HR yoga teacher training with Balanced Rock in 2019. For her, yoga is about the trek not the destination. Her classes and teachings only being possible from the flow of her personal practice. Of her continual invitation to herself to flow. To first recognize, give thanks for, and then remove excess wood and rock in her channel.
If you have ever been curious about yoga, the holistic and dynamic practice in which it is, I implore you to have a conversation with Cassidy. Ask her about her past, her present, and her future. About what Yoga means to her. What her transformation has been. How it simply evolved her into more herself. She is open and thankful for you.
Thank you for reading.
- Shealyn Rose