I love kicking ass.

Cardio kickboxing and high impact aerobics had been my choice of exercise for most of my life. I love the punching, advice the kicking and the sweating. I crave the blood pumping through my body to the beat of the music that is pumping in my ears. I seek the self-confidence that I built in my body; my strength as well as my ability to defend myself. My last semester in college, prostate I even considered switching from my English major to Physical Education so I could teach aerobics.

So everyone in my life was surprised when I decided to finally get certified at the age of 40 to teach, look I chose yoga. Kids yoga.

Now, I do have two young children, but yoga? Kids yoga? How does that relate to who I am? How does that relate to what I really love, other than my own kids?

When I got my first yoga tape (yes, a VHS tape) back in the late 90’s, I noticed that all of the stretching that I had learned over the years was similar to yoga poses. The breathing was different and the intention was different, true, but the foundation still felt like yoga.

As I began to slow myself down and just breathe, it felt like coming home. The strength was still there only instead of just physical strength I began to build emotional and psychological strength. The self-confidence that I have built is less about how I look and more about who I am. The focus in my ability to defend myself has also been altered. Protecting myself against self-judgment and self-criticism has become crucial to my personal growth.

This new self-confidence has helped me embrace the softer side of myself and has allowed me to feel free to work with children. In the past, I think that I felt that if people really knew how much I liked kids that I would be looked at as weak and vulnerable. Yoga has brought me to a place of understanding that there is strength in opening my heart and allowing myself to be vulnerable. Trusting that my softness will provide a nice place for to me to land should I fall.

This is my true nature.

I will always love kicking ass. But, changing my position from a defensive pose with my hands up in front of me in a fist to protect myself to one of openness; hands apart, palms up prepares me to give and receive all of the good that life has to offer.