Here it goes. This is a real account of sweat, tears, and hustle. This is, “True Life: I’m a NYC Yoga Teacher.” I’m kidding, I’m kidding. Well, only kind of… In this new monthly series I will share with you bits of my journey as a yoga instructor here in “The City.”

Let’s start with how I ended up a Yoga Teacher. I often still wake up and ask myself the very question, “How did this happen to me of all people?” If a couple years ago Future Erica went back in time to tell Circa 2012 Erica that she would quit the corporate fashion industry to teach yoga full-time she would have laughed out loud in disbelief. “You’re hilarious. Never!” However, the more emotionally secure, balanced, and healthier Erica is so happy to be reporting to you on my present and very real life.

I don’t want to give any illusions that I lead a tear-free, no-tangles life. My life is not a Johnson & Johnson commercial ;-) It’s still messy and confusing at times but the yoga practice has giving me tools to better deal with these natural fluctuations of life.

One of these tools is connection to my natural courage and confidence. These traits are already present within all of us but, if you’re like me, you may have lost sight of them at some point in childhood. Truthfully, I spent most of my life as a shy and soft-spoken person, preferring small groups and little attention on myself. I would not seek an opportunity to command a large room, let alone share with them my deep thoughts on the meaning of life. Now, I do those exact things almost every day in my classes!

Just because I was shy didn’t mean I lacked ambition or dreams. Instead my shyness fostered this misconception that I was not deserving or capable of fulfilling my aspirations. Let’s revisit Circa 2012 Erica for a moment. If you had really pushed her you would have uncovered that deep down, yes, in her next life she wanted to become a yoga teacher. The limitation solely lied within her mind and perception of self.

You’re here reading this because yoga fueled my seemingly impossible desires into reality.

What began as a practice of opening and strengthening my body crossed over to reveal the same process in my mind and soul. The strengthening and opening gave me the courage and confidence to step away from the corporate world into freelance fashion work. For a year I rode the waves of the freelancer lifestyle until I could no longer imagine not sharing the amazing gift of yoga with others. With that feeling I signed up and completed my initial Yoga teacher training.

Leaving behind a stable corporate career has opened me up to challenges, lessons, and joy I never expected. I can’t say exactly what’s coming next but I know it’s going to be filled with a lot more of this good stuff and I truly hope you’ll join in for the ride!