darth-043-edited-3If you’ve been practicing yoga for a little while now, you may have noticed some changes taking over your existence. Your shoulders are stronger, maybe your hips are more open. Have you noticed?

Well, there’s something else you may have noticed besides a strong core and flexible hamstrings. Things about yourself, qualities, characteristics, that were hiding before, but emerge in a bigger and brighter way. Are you kinder? More empathetic? Do you smile more?

I know that I’ve noticed something about myself that I didn’t even know I was missing. Something that has changed the way I make decisions. It’s changed the way that I live my life.

Yoga has made me brave!

There was a time in my life when I was a shy girl. Quieter than I am now, even, but quieter for a different reason. I was afraid to speak for fear of how it might be taken. Am I funny? Am I smart? The same is true for many young people, and it can even continue with us in to adulthood. How does this make me look? What do people think of me? Fear keeps us on the ground when we are meant to be soaring. Fear of failing keeps us from ever trying at all.

From the moment I first stepped on my mat, however, things have changed. I’m telling you, big time.

Standing in warrior, my legs growing stronger with every breath, and my feet firmly planted beneath me, I felt more grounded and more connected than ever before. When I lifted my heart in Urdhva Danurasana for the first time, I felt free.

It didn’t end when I stepped off of my mat, either. Yoga made me brave enough to follow my heart, to choose my own path, and to love even though I’m afraid sometimes.

darth vader yoga pose…follow the master...Yoga has the power to stir greatness within us, to transform our weaknesses in to our greatest assets, and to turn our wildest dreams in to our greatest achievements. Yoga can help us uncover our truth; it can make us brave.

If you’re new to yoga and you’re reading this, or you’re still on the fence about whether or not to give this whole yoga “thing” a go, congrats on making it this far! Maybe there is a true desire in you to give yoga a try. Even better, read and share in the comments section below and get inspired.

Tell me, how has yoga changed you?

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[Editor’s note: This is a post from new DCOY contributor, Sean Devenport.  We’re excited to hear her perspective, observations, and life lessons from  her upcoming 500-hour RYT! 

seanyogaSean has dedicated her life to helping others find gratitude and loving kindness through the practice of yoga. Born in Delta, Colorado, Sean grew up in northern Wisconsin, and now calls Austin, Texas home. Her practice first began when her mom lent her some yoga-on-VHS tapes, and she’s been hooked ever since. However, it wasn’t until she graduated from Ripon College with a BA degree in Psychology that Sean decided to take the next step in her practice and become a yoga instructor. With encouragement from her teacher, Stevie Lake, Sean got her 200-hour RYT certification with Gioconda Yoga in Austin, and is set to complete her 500-hour RYT certification with Gioconda and Christina Sell at the San Marcos School of Yoga in the fall of 2013. With her background in Psychology, Sean describes her yoga classes to be “like therapy, without having to talk about it.” Students can feel free to move, reflect and unwind in whatever way honors where their bodies, minds and spirits are at in every moment, and with every breath. Having the opportunity to train with compassionate yoginis like Stevie, Gioconda, Christina and so many others, Sean finds her capacity for connection, worthiness, and love through the practice of yoga.  Connect with Sean on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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