my (Yoga) story…


Full transparency, I was not hooked the first time I showed up on my mat. And in fact, after that first time, I didn’t step foot in a studio until two years later when I was pregnant with my oldest and my Dr. had suggested pre-natal yoga. This was in 2009. Even then, I left the practice alone after birth and focused on mom-life that became all-consuming of me and all of my time. Fast forward to 2016, years later, when I found myself with a window of “me” time and I revisited the practice that I had left years ago. To say I was humbled is an over statement. Having no clue what do to, but thinking how hard could this be – I walked into a Level 1-2 class. I was lost most of the class, looking around at the others and just trying not to die. But I did it. And most importantly, I didn’t think of one thing in that hour except what I was doing on my mat. It was the mental break I needed. The pause in life. 

As a stay at home mom I had lost a piece of my purpose. A piece of me. Chelisa was no longer my identity, it was Mom. An absolute blessing of a title to have, but maybe you can relate to mourning a past self once had. Chelisa was fun, energetic, spontaneous, lived for herself, worked, did what she wanted. She was the captain of her ship. And somewhere between nursing all hours of the night, two kids under the age of 3, diapers, being overly stimulated on the daily and a husband who traveled all the time, I became “just’ a stay at home mom, burnt out, slapping a smile on my face for those around me and deeply feeling that I wasn’t fulfilling my purpose in life. I was slowly dying inside and needed something, some escape to fill my cup so I wasn’t always pouring from an empty one. So once again I found myself on a yoga mat.

And I just kept showing up. For myself. Because I never regretted it. I never left a class thinking I should have never came. It became easier and something I looked forward to. It challenged me both physically and mentally and it filled my cup. I was no longer pouring from an empty one, Chelisa was slowly coming back. 

Like so many of us, we can get lost in motherhood or a big transition in life. Yoga allowed an outlet for me to disconnect to the outside world, get a physical work out and an inner perspective of my thoughts. The deeper I dove into the practice the more curious I became. The more curious I became the more my past slowly healed. I became a certified 200 hour yoga instructor in 2008, and started teaching at my home studio in Southern California. After the shut downs and 2020, life changed my families path and I stepped back from teaching in a studio. During the downtime I dove deeper into my practice and knowledge and completed another 300 hours of certified yoga instruction. 

Teaching yoga brings me absolute joy. The front row seat to the transformations I see my students go through is a privilege I don’t take for granted. We all have our own story as to why we show up on our mats. This is just mine. 

xo, chelisa

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