Iam Yoga has been my home away from home for over Four Years now. I started going there in it's opening week with my 'Free Week' coupon from Now Magazine. The moment I walked in I was hooked. My practice took on a whole new meaning. I practiced daily and sometimes took multiple classes a day. This was pretty epic for me since I was working long hours in the restaurant industry. I would get home when the sun was coming up, sleep for a few hours and head to the noon class. I didn't look as fresh as a daisy but I felt so much better for it. My girlfriends and I would plop ourselves down at the vanity and prepare our faces for another night at work and knew we could pull through because in the morning we would return to this place and feel good all over again. Over the years I have dragged many, many friends to Iam Yoga and all of them have become hooked. I see students leave for holidays, move to different areas, change their schedules and experience other events that take them away from Iam Yoga and they always find a way to come back because they can't stand to be away.
I met Linda Malone, owner of Iam Yoga, the day I walked in and we've been friends ever since. That day I had no idea that Linda would be a close friend of mine and stand by my side on a journey I was about to take that was going to change my life. I have spent hours upon hours at the studio practicing, participating in the Energy Exchange program (a program whereby you contribute your time cleaning or working at the desk and receive yoga in return), completing my 200 hr Teacher Training, managing and now teaching, a lot.
I was a gym rat growing up. I have struggled with anxiety and as a result depression at times. The gym became a crutch and was a symptom of my problems. When I found yoga I knew it would help me but it wasn't easy to walk away from my addiction to the gym. It took time and patience. When I found Iam Yoga, I finally made the leap and jumped in with two feet. It was somewhere I could build strength, be challenged, and continue to build muscle and core strength in healthy doses while quieting my mind, practicing conscious movement and breath awareness.
I wouldn't be the person I am today if I hadn't of walked into Iam Yoga that day. It is a milestone in my life that I will celebrate often. Never underestimate your first step. Where it can take you is unbelievable.
Take a minute to read this article featuring Linda Malone and learn about her, the story of Iam Yoga, news of Iam Yoga's expansion in the fall, Iam Yoga's Yoga Alliance Certified Teacher Training Fall 2013 and an organization founded by Linda in memory of her brother Michael who struggled with bipolar and depression. Blu Matter Project is a not-for-profit that brings the practice of yoga and mindfulness to young people struggling with depressive disorders, working to help them create change and hope in their lives.
Click Here to read Notable.ca's feature article.