Unveiling My Yogic Path: From Corporate to Conscious Living
2011: Me at 23, before my yogic path, right before I quit my corporate job in San Francisco.
Think back on your 23 self. Where were you? What were you up to?
For me at 23, I was quitting my stable job, the job I studied for in college with absolutely no plan what to do next. Nada.
I was a fresh-faced accountant in the bustling financial district of San Francisco, and on track to become a certified public accountant (CPA). Basically making a lot of money, at least for that age.
On the outside: I was doing the motions of what “success” was. On the inside: lost, so deeply sad, and mistreated by many relationships.
But the moment I started practicing yoga, unconsciously, something shifted in me. I quit that job without a doubt in my mind it was the right thing to do.
In this blog post, I share what it means to be on a yogic path. Living a yogic life doesn’t always mean learning more poses (although the poses are so fun and I still love practicing them to this day!). I’d love to share with you some of the revelations the yogic path has brought along the way.
Why this type of reflection is important for everyone: Our wounds often form our path. But as we progress and heal further away from our wounds, we no longer vibrate in that low state. We no longer feel that wounded self.
Personally, I’ve been on this journey for some time now so my groundedness and calm demeanor are often people’s first impression of me, and it may come off as this was always me. I don’t say this to boast about myself but to reflect that my Wounds are what make me, me though. While I’ve actively chosen to let them go and become something else — it led me toward my healing path. I don’t want to forget where I started and I feel so incredibly grateful for this journey.
A Shift in Consciousness
Practicing yoga set in motion a shift in my consciousness. It awakened a dormant desire for something more meaningful and fulfilling than the conventional path I was on. The decision to quit my job arose effortlessly, I quite that job without a doubt in my mind it was the right thing to do.
Beyond the Poses
Jan – April is the busy season in accounting so they offered us yoga classes to make up those crazy hours.
Walking down the low-lit stairwell toward the basement gym felt like a “safer” way to explore yoga than walking into a studio. Just me and a few colleagues versus an entirely new experience.
I remember Lauren, our teacher, unfolding her mat. A former dancer, she was tall and elegant and so so patient with us. We were all stiff accountants after all so the concept of “flow” was like asking a deaf person to listen.
Even with just that first class, I was hooked.
I immediately Googled her.
Devoured the studio website she worked at.
Clicked on every photo and description. My mind swirled,
What is this weird pose she was in — lying down with her feet together, knees apart (I now know this as supine bound angle pose)? And why was one hand on her heart and one on her belly?
The concept of providing this type of touch to oneself was foreign to me and looked odd at the time.
And while the physical aspect of yoga initially captivated me with its challenging and discipline aspect to it, over the years I’ve discovered that living a yogic life meant much more.
I started getting curious about how I could draw outside the lines of everyday life.
Liberating myself from unhealthy relationships, sadness, depression and blackout nights drinking. Those were constants in my then-life.
It’s hard to think back on that era of my life because it’s been so long now. Not to say that I don’t get sad and depressed but it feels different when they enter my body now. Whereas before it felt like I was that state of sadness and depression. There was no shifting away from that mode.
It was a journey of self-discovery, seeking to uncover what truly lit me up from within.
Once I quit I went back to Los Angeles to live with my parents. Little did I know that LA was the mecca of yoga. World renowned teachers come out from here and I am so grateful this was in my path. Almost immediately I enrolled in a yoga teacher training in Pacific Palisades, which I paid for with most of my savings.
This was the beginning of a period filled with creative expression. I handcrafted goods (pictured above) and sold them on Etsy. Took up a painting class with my friend. Read books on the beach without a 7 am-7 pm job to tend to.
Still unknown what I wanted “to do with my life,” I just kept thinking, I want to help people, so applying to grad school for public health felt like a good avenue.
But what yoga began to uncover very slowly to me was I needed to help myself first.
The Evolving Teacher
Years have passed now, and I continue to practice and study like that fresh 23-year-old.
Through yoga is how I discovered my first therapist and began that healing journey. While the way or amount of time I spend teaching yoga has evolved, my commitment to living a yogic path remains steadfast. I’ve let go of the desire to make money from teaching yoga; it has become a means to share my experiences, knowledge, and growth with others.
That doesn’t mean I don’t want to get paid when I do teach. Teachers most certainly should get compensated for their work. Not only just for the time there but facilitating any type of class especially a class where most people show up stressed, and fidgety and uncalm — teachers are there as a resource of present-moment and calming presence. Teachers make it look easy but it’s not an easy task. Anyway, that’s another story for another time.
Living Outside the Lines
Drawing life outside the lines has been defined by my yogic path. I credit yoga for providing me with a new lens on life.
I credit yoga for the unwavering resilience it provides me, paving the way for a curious lifestyle that has taken me to live in 7 vibrant cities (8, if I include my beloved hometown of LA). Travel the world. Meet amazing humans everywhere. Explore so many career paths not involving accounting — full-time teacher, social scientist, researcher, corporate wellness, sales representative, marketer, and entrepreneur. My communication business is called OMM, continuing to encapsulate my passion for this yogic path.
And I found a person in grad school that I share my life and adventures with. A relationship that has allowed me to heal past those unhealthy narcissistic-codependent days that I was constantly in before my yogic path.
And while I really want to arrive and feel like this version of me or this version of my work has landed. My inner Self knows that there’s more to come. that I won’t ever land. That another layer is about to get uncovered. In some ways, this is once again the beginning.
Let the Doors of Perception Open You Up
While yoga might not be for everyone, we all have this Inner Knowing within us of what feels True and knows what our best next step is. I want to add that having a corporate job is not a bad thing! So much of what I see now is about quitting your job and finding “your purpose.” And I think that line of thinking can also be toxic.
As I’ve progressed on this path, I realized that it’s not necessarily about how I make money in this lifetime but more about that continual process of my yogic path and whether I’m making money aligned with my values.
I hope a part of my story inspires you to continue on your unique path and embrace the beauty of this continuous evolution that is you!