“Smarter, Kinder, Braver”…. was originally a recent guided meditation Aimee created for the folks she was working with. "When I created it, I had the image of the timeless Wizard of Oz characters in my mind. One by one, I saw the gentle Scarecrow bobbing his head saying Yes, to Dorothy’s quest as he was desperately seeking the man who could give him brains. The beloved Tin Man (my favorite!) who joined along happily in hopes of receiving a heart. Finally, the adorable and cowardly, Lion who said yes to their adventure with relief as he only wanted to feel he could “man up” and and be an UNmessable real stand for others. Each of these characters were clearly seeking that which they firmly had believed and convinced themselves they lacked from the outside as though it was something they had to go out to get.
Join Aimee as we co- create a fun, insightful, strengthening yoga class where we come together to discover that which is blocking us from really accessing our wiser self, more loving heart, and richer, deeper bravery. Join me as we use VInyasa as the “Yellow Brick Road” to go within and discover the highs and lows of our own inner terrain to really unite and know our true personal best!"
They Say- “You do not find yoga, IT finds you.” Yoga found ME at a time when I was incredibly lost.
A life altering personal trauma was the gateway to a yoga mat some 16 years ago. I was vulnerable in a way that my ego having been told by everyone all my life how strong I was found incredibly threatening. I only knew and wanted to know the quality of strength so per usual, I put on my game face to push through yet another challenge. Except “pushing through” was not working, and worse- Strength was suddenly becoming my demise. So, I came face to face with myself. A real life trauma that triggered waves of substantial repressed trauma, and washed up an enormity of pain and grief I only ever went near in small doses. While all that felt like a living hell, nothing could prepare me for the external response. One by one, those people I had stood by as a non negotiable through all of life and their deepest struggles quickly evaporated, making the whole of it far more terrifying. Then there were those who stood by feigning total sincerity, but quickly I learned those closest were part of feeding the rumors and gossip in what was really an honest personal tragedy from real trauma. My world crashed around me. I lacked support, tools, skill set and I was crippled by the alienation and shame. I heard constantly “Your life is over kid.”
Life and trauma had cornered me without warning, & swallowed me whole. I couldn’t breathe, was deeply afraid to exhale, I had no answers, NO direction, and in the isolation, massive depression, anxiety and PTSD took my wheel. My real allies, then and now, proved to be my children (adults now, but so young) AND the other was an inanimate object called a yoga mat. I began to do yoga in hospital. I think the yoga gods could nail me down because I was to vulnerable to protest. My hardcore fitness was as rigid as I had always been, and my physical strength seemed to have vanished too. I began with a yoga videotape called Yoga For Dummies. I did not like it. I felt stupid, and all my years in a weightroom without ever stretching meant I could not touch my knees let alone my toes. Yet, fairly quickly yoga began to work on me, on every level. Other patients stopped making fun of me and started asking me to teach them. I was offended. “I AM NOT A TEACHER.”” I do not know ANYTHING about this.” I can not help MYself in anything. I damn sure can not help you learn YOGA” Yet, as the yoga worked on me, they noticed and they persisted. Finally, they demanded I show them Camel, and unbeknownst to me, seeds of my teaching were being born. One day in pigeon pose, simply praying to get through it, something spoke to me from within. “YOU are going to save YOU or you will go unsaved.” I froze. “NO one can help you through this, this is why others go through hell and YOU help them.” No one around you has an ability to relax around you. “Your on your own here, and you’re an empty tank now, but you are going to learn from this what it means for YOU to show up for YOU.” Something was forever altered in me after that. I committed myself inside and out to my own yoga, and healing. I researched yoga and trauma, yoga and depression, yoga and anxiety, yoga and the nervous system. Anything else was not an option. I had to make use of all the time I had to recover, and to replace a now empty social calendar. Yoga for Dummies will always be that incredible start for me in yoga that would then soon lead me to Baron Baptiste and his team of angels disguised as the world’s best yoga teachers. While I was in a deep process of self healing, and inquiry, I could feel safer to do it with the support of Baptiste yoga community. While most were unaware of what I was working on inside, they gave me an immediate feeling of acceptance and a real belonging. I believe just feeling a bit less like a human virus, allowed me the calm to go deeper within as opposed to the initial frantic floating in orbit by myself. That support from the yoga community and the incredible methodology called Baptiste yoga not only helped me to find a way to build strength and flexibility but far more. It gave me a palpable physical power but also inner strength to confront real pain. It gave me Marvel Hero tone in my quads and triceps, but REAL bravery to finally rise up and confront all that I had feared. It forced me to see my earliest trauma was the wiring for lifelong anxiety and fight or flight but ALSO that it was riddled with intuitive gifts, and held my purpose and true path. It forced me to realize that I would have to look deeper my own conditioning, belief systems, not just the food I put into my body. That the lack of love and support I gave me was the backbone of the same superficial relationships. My yoga practice was far more for me than a physical practice. Yet, the physical made a path for me to go within and really heaI the relationship to myself in a no nonsense way. It made me examine every angle of my life. It helped me to fully grieve and when I sat long enough, I felt immense peace was under it all. Acceptance and real possibility and freedom as I moved into and through fragmented, tormented parts of myself inside. It taught me better about accepting things as they WERE, but much more about accepting them as they were NOT. with far more acceptance of what was but also what was NOT, It allowed me a true path for hope, and healing, self acceptance, self compassion. At a moment, I desperately needed the presence and support of others, instead I learned what it was to have to rely on myself, and build a real friendship to me, I realized it was not only the therapists job to treat me, it was my job to start coaching and mentoring myself not as concept but in the everyday real moments. Not just when it was easy, and I was popular but when I was completely alienated. I did yoga like a job because it WAS. A very personal quest to heal MY inner Humpty and discover a me I had never known, let alone others could know. Then, and now, my yoga practice is my training ground on levels so deep one’s head would spin. I had the most astounding training from Baron Baptiste and Seane Corn and Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy. I was blessed to log countless hours of practice and workshops and training with Claire Estes McDonald, Brandon Compagnone, Gregor Singleton to name a few that would forever change my life.
So, wherever YOU are, whatever your up to, off and on the mat, yoga will meet you there. I WILL MEET YOU THERE EVERY STEP of THE WAY. Yes, this practice will aid in flexibility, strengthening, clearing your head, and maybe prevent a future hip replacement. Once deemed “The Hard Teacher”, I’m only interested to offer you a class where you can show up as YOU are, breathe, move and give yourself a chance to unplug. Yes, I want to give you a practice that releases tension, stress, anxiety, hurried pace but also so you can feel bigger gratitude for yourself, your body, your loved ones and your life. If you walk out feeling a bit stronger, taller, new range of motion and calm, but also feel you can access greater possibility, kinship, and peace with yourself for your waking life. Then, I will have served you WELL. I am grateful. My hardest moments lead me to the real me, my purpose, and to YOU!!! I am humbled to teach, talk with and learn about YOU.
PS .. Please reach out to me for personal yoga, meditation instruction, Reiki healing, certification and personal coaching and mentoring! My work on myself was just par for the course for working authentically with YOU.