This heartwarming testimonial was sent to us by one of our members, and it was simply too amazing not to share!
"Hi all, this is a long post and an emotional one for me. While the breakthrough story challenge was going on, I wanted to write about my experience with YFS. I am not a video person, but I love to scribble down my thoughts. So finally, I finished writing up my breakthrough story.
There are two things during my life that I never realized I was lacking: fear and abundance! I’ve been a fairly independent and confident person throughout my life. I lost my dad when I was 6 years old, and my mom raised me and my two sisters on her own. We didn’t have the cushioning that other kids around my age back then usually had or even the comfort of two parents. I had to start being at home by myself at pretty young age, since there was no luxury of someone walking me home from school or picking me up late at night when I returned from school functions and such. My mom raised us with one basic principle: “You were born alone and you’ll die alone, so stop depending on others to bring you comfort or safety.”
So, in my initial years, I was independent and did a lot of things on my own, proving to myself that I could do it. However, as time passed on, I realized that I was craving that cushioning, that shoulder to rest on, that person who would look after me. At the age of 18, when the first person proposed to me (now my husband for the last 19+ years), I immediately fell head over heels in love with him. He took the place of the person who was missing in my life, caring for me, looking after me, providing comfort of all sorts. And without realizing what it was doing to me, I started to evolve into a totally dependent person who was afraid of doing anything on her own. I never had to live on my own after I was married. I never went out to travel or even eat out in restaurants on my own. If I was traveling for work, I would order takeout and eat in the comfort of the hotel room by myself because I didn’t have the courage to sit in a restaurant by myself. I started losing myself.
Fast forward to motherhood: I started catering everything around my kids and husband- so much so that when I turned 40 and they decided to bake my favorite cake, no one including me knew what my favorite cake was! That was an alarming signal to me that I hadn’t thought about what I liked or what I wanted from my life in a very long time! It got me thinking that I had to finally meet myself, the younger fearless me. So, in 2020, I made a resolution to say yes to life, and that any opportunity that would be offered to me would be one that I would say yes to and not ask for permission from anyone. If I was even slightly interested in it, I would say yes without thinking about how I would be able to achieve it or what could go wrong. However, making a resolution at the beginning of the year and actually making it work are often two different stories altogether!
I kept on dwelling on my initial promise to myself, and when I saw Nathania’s free workshop for inversions and arm balancing, I signed up without thinking twice about it. Even though I had been working as a yoga instructor for over 3 years, I had always stayed away from such advanced poses. I’m not sure when my breakthrough actually occurred, but when Nathania told me “You are what you bring to the mat!”, it was like a light bulb went off in my head. It made so much sense! I was afraid of failure, afraid of trying anything out on my own! And that fear had crept towards my mat as well, keeping me away from all the poses I was afraid of trying out. After attending her workshop, I was totally sold that if I could overcome my fear in her arm-balancing workshop, I might as well sign up for Yogi Flight School. And just like so many else attending YFS, I mastered some of the poses that I would never have dreamt of doing in this life! Another word Nathania introduced to me was “yet”. I changed my dialogue with myself, telling myself “I am not able to do this YET” instead of “I am not able to do this”, and repeating this to myself gave me hope. Hope for conquering my fear. And it is still a long journey ahead of me. “You are what you bring to the mat!” gave me the courage to take my practice out in the world– headstands in the middle of the wilderness, on the beach, etc.! How crazy cool is that?! It pushed me to go on hikes on my own, which I had never done before. Why, you might ask? And honestly, I don’t know why! I was always asking my husband or friends to give me company for hiking, and if no one was available, I used to cancel my plans. This year I completed another item off my bucket list: hiking Humphrey’s Peak, the highest peak in Arizona! I cannot count the many ways that that simple sentence has changed my life!
Secondly, I want to talk about abundance. I believed in a book called The Secret, by Rhonda Byrne, and in abundance and setting the vision. However, when it came to running my yoga studio, Sudharma Yoga, or even when asking for yoga teacher job opportunities, my fear made me paralyzed and I was afraid to even dream that I deserved abundance. When I joined YFS, I secretly started observing how Nathania was running her business. She continued offering her free workshops available to non-members as well. I have seen many non-members who post their videos on that Facebook group and Nathania responding to their questions and guiding them free of charge! She introduced the “You are a Yoga Ninja” series featuring many arm balancing instructors! She even encouraged us to sign up for the workshops and courses led by some of those instructors, and that was free of charge for non-members as well. Who does that? I thought. Wasn’t she afraid of losing her clientele to her competitors?
But no, she believed in raising the community and truly built this YFS culture where everyone is encouraging and uplifting each other. For many of us, our age, color, race, body shape, etc. are different, and yet there is no discrimination whatsoever! So many of us have shared our personal stories, fears, and successes that we have never shared anywhere else. And our mama bear Nathania is always looking after us if any one of us starts to deviate from this fearless, abundant culture that she has been using to build our community of YFS!
On the Facebook community, she never discourages anyone from giving advice to others; rather, she encourages us to start leaning on one another. Recently, YFS started the “By Ninjas, For Ninjas” program. Nathania truly demonstrates that she has nothing to be afraid of and that no one is going to take away what belongs to her. She is a living example of abundance!
I have read somewhere that when you are grateful, fear disappears, and abundance appears. I am so very grateful to this inspiring teacher/friend and the beautiful community of Yogi Flight School!