It’s funny how trapping our identity can seem when we are told to write it down on paper. When who I am becomes not what you see in front of you, but the snapshot that I have chosen to write down and expose to you. Do I choose a mix of the good and the bad? Throw in some ugly so I’m relatable? Or does that sell myself short, and cause you to not believe in my mission? The words we choose seem so much more important when they quietly literally define us. What matters most, I suspect, is intention.
And so with intention as a backdrop, please allow me to introduce who I see myself to be. Hello. 🙂 My name is Christina. I am a 200 hour certified yoga teacher, specializing in Baptiste Power Yoga and trauma informed yoga. I am a wife, and mom to my pitbull rescue Cara and my little hedgehog Luke Spinewalker. I am a music teacher, a personal trainer, and dancer even if just for an audience of myself. And, I am the founder and CEO of becoME. My yoga teaching certificates are some of the most important pieces of paper that I have earned, and hang on my wall while my college degrees do not.
Those certifications follow a lifetime of “I am not a yoga person” thoughts and “mindfulness is ridiculous” actions. They follow a life where 30 minutes of movement without 300 calories burned was considered a waste. A life where “managing” was almost always the answer to anyone asking how I was. A life with limited end goals, and no drishti (gaze, or focus).
And then one day, I think I just got tired. Tired of the script in my head that was tearing me down. Tired of the bad dreams and nightmares, and days of only half living. Tired of living in my own trauma and the memory of trauma. I knew I needed to make a change, and find a way to get me from “managing” to thriving.
Enter, yoga. As a personal trainer, I already had a basis for the importance of movement in physical and mental health. I started out with yoga in a physical context, without consideration of thoughts or mindfulness or intention. I began practicing at home with streaming videos and DVDs, and at some point, asana (poses) and vinyasa (flow) practice started to speak to me. The movements felt natural and powerful, instead of foreign and weak. That strength wasn’t physical- it was internal. My practice began to be *my* practice, and to take on meaning.
From home practice, I experimented more with different yoga styles, and fell in love while visiting a Baptiste studio in Boulder, Colorado. I took one class, and knew without a doubt, that I had found *my* yoga. I cried in that class, and walked out glowing. I’m pretty sure I was bouncing. I was also sweating from head to toe and shaking, because taking your first hot power yoga class is… an experience! But in those 75 minutes, I knew I had found my own bliss, and a way to heal some of the hurt I was holding. Baptiste yoga is catharsis to me. I registered to become a 200 hr certified yoga teacher just weeks after that first class.
In the background, I had started becoME almost a year earlier. I had subsequently lost my technology job, and couldn’t wrap my head around running a nonprofit while my own personal ability to make money was at an all time low. The charity sat dormant while I tried to reason with myself about the future for both it, and myself. I had a few personal training jobs and classes, but not enough to support myself or a charity. Registering for the yoga teacher training program was taking a big chance on myself. I almost bailed a week before it started, and then I decided to commit.
My YTT experience was so meaningful to me that when I graduated in January of 2019, I knew I was done wasting time. I had been given this gift, and I needed to share it. I finished my YTT program, and immediately signed up for a trauma informed yoga training with the intent to build myself into a better resource and asset for becoME. I left my trauma informed training knowing exactly what I needed to do and where I needed to be. Just like with yoga, I wasn’t ready to nurture becoME until I was ready.
I am ready.
I believe strongly in the power of women. The resiliency of my friends, coworkers, family members, and even aquintences is astonishing. Women all around us have stared down trauma and brutality and defeat, and risen above. I believe in the power of movement, of giving physical expression to internal feelings, and the power of breath. I believe in the power of community, and the incredible strength that can come from knowing someone is by your side. And I know for a fact that there are so many women who can benefit from these practices, who simply haven’t been given the opportunity. I hope you will join me in bringing that opportunity to them, and to yourself.