End of 2006, freshly arrived in Atlanta, in my first "American" car.
I first came across a therapeutic form of yoga 12 years ago, and made the big move from Paris, France to Atlanta, GA, two years later. Here's how both aspects of my life have intertwined.
Tomorrow, it will be ten years since I moved from Paris to Atlanta. Love was the inspiration for that decision. The change was both enchanting and brutal. I was in a new world where I had to re-learn everything, while exploring my new existence with my American fiancé.
I had two beautiful things going on-- I spoke English and I had learned a form of therapeutic yoga in France, from going through a bout with breast cancer in 2004. Early every single morning I rolled out my yoga mat in our living room. My practice helped me navigate through the misunderstandings in my relationship, and the inevitable hazards of being a new immigrant.
Still, I felt I didn’t fit.
Six months later, I pushed through the door of a therapist’s office. He listened and said, “Be who you are”. I felt an instant relief in my chest, and kept going.
I was finding my footing in my relationship, while working as a full time freelance business writer for a global company, and, at the same time, training to be a certified yoga therapy teacher.
In 2013, John and I bought a house, uprooting our secure suburban existence for life in “the hood”. The move left me feeling both shocked and relieved. For the first time in seven years I was finally experiencing something American that I could actually relate to. Our new hood on the South side had a similar feel (only a rougher version) to my old diverse, blue-collar, Parisian neighborhood.
The move unexpectedly helped reveal to me who I truly was--a person with a longing for deep connection. I began to realize that there was a major disconnect between who I was and what I was living – personally and professionally.
That’s when the “nuclear explosion” happened.
In 2014, I separated from John and flew to France. Upon arrival I was presented with a second breast cancer diagnosis. And that same week, my dad was diagnosed with lung cancer. We both locked in our fear, sadness and helplessness, and kept going.
To start healing, I had no other choice than turn inwards and look at my soul --who am I? What makes me unique? What do I want and need? Healers and loved ones held my hand along the way. I, once again, rolled out my yoga mat--my rehab center and sanctuary. Slowly, the breath brought the answers.
I returned to Atlanta in 2015. Three months later, my dad passed away, silently and softly--it was as if he did everything he could to avoid disturbing my healing. Since then, my grief and sadness have slowly emerged. These days I find myself rolling out my mat to find the space and peace on the yoga mat that will allow the new me to emerge.
With this blog, I want to explore and talk with you about yoga therapy, and how it can help us connect with our body and soul, and therefore our needs. Let’s start this beautiful journey together.