Christine Kramer RYT 200

As a teenager, I was a pretty angry kid with low self-esteem. I thought moving far away and starting over was the answer to my troubles. So when it came time, I applied to Columbia College in Chicago. There were 3 things I was passionate about; dance, photography, and music. Columbia offered them all.
 Columbia offered a wide variety of dance, but I decided I was “too old” and wouldn’t be “good enough” to start again so I looked at other options. Columbia also offered yoga. I thought “ this will be easier, and I’ll get school credit.” Whoa was I wrong! My teacher inspired me. She opened my eyes to how yoga could affect my daily life. When the semester was over I kept practicing at nearby studios.
At this time, I started to advance in my career. I was working 50-60 hour weeks, and started to really hate my job. I went to art school to avoid a 9-5 corporate job, and here I was doing just that! It took me awhile to admit it wasn’t just my job that was making me unhappy, it was how I was living my life…how damaging I was to my body and how hard I was on myself.
I moved back to Omaha and made a commitment to take better care of myself, and focus on yoga. I started attending classes with Bridget Lavin. She opened my eyes to a spiritual side of yoga, and (unintentionally) forced me to think about things I avoided thinking about for years. Every time I left her class, I felt better.
I attended Passion Yoga School in Costa Rica, not with the intention of teaching. I was more focused on the possibility of a transformational experience. The program itself became so much more than I expected. It forced me to look at myself in the mirror. It forced me to be open and honest, to put all my hurt on the table and say, “It’s ok.”
The more I learned about yoga and the idea that everyone and everything is connected, the more it resonated with me. I felt it in the ocean, in nature, and hearing other people share their stories. My teacher, Adi said to all of us one day— “You are not your past. You are not these things that you think define you. You are light. You are love. And you are enough.” WHOA. When I come to my mat every day it is a constant reminder of discipline, love, and devotion. It’s a reminder to take my ego and my thoughts out of it. Even on those days that I struggle to get there, I do it anyway. Because I know it’s so much better than the alternative.
I came back from Costa Rica a new person. I found patience, strength, and calm. I had this overwhelming desire to share it and to teach yoga. I strive to create a space for people to come and be themselves, to lay everything out on the table and say, “it’s ok.” To allow yourself to be wherever it is you are in your life, and to know that it’s enough. My classes have an emphasis on inner strength, balance, and calm.