Lain Mackenzie: Teacher

One of my last assignments for my yoga teacher training is to talk a little about myself. A personal introduction to my future students. Before sitting down to write it, this felt a little strange to me, almost too self-centered and it made me uncomfortable. Once I sat with it a little longer, I realized that I need my students to know my journey and how I might best help them in theirs. I needed to give them my tattered road map so they could learn from my own experience getting to a place of peace and oneness with life. I feel like I am now brimming over with ideas and experiences that I wish to share with whomever needs it.

I have always felt like I needed to be of service. Even as a young girl in the church and girl scouts, I really loved working for the community and feeling like I was doing something for the benefit of others. It made me feel good. Even working in management in my adulthood, I tried to help my employees in whatever way I could, be it more training to get them promoted or to be a shoulder to cry on when life kicked them down. I tried to stay available to them and be a source of comfort. Sometimes that was my downfall, when I cared so much and it was still ‘just business’ to some.

The stress of corporate life had swallowed me up for ten plus years and I had always wished I could try something new. I found yoga when I most needed it. I started to go regularly to my local studio within walking distance and it felt so good and right! But life kept going and I fell off every couple months, citing my 50+ hour work week as the problem. The real problem was I wasn’t ready to go all in with my practice. I still held my self loathing above my self worth.

Growing up, I had found it difficult to open myself up. I suffered from a deep depression in high school, being scared of who I really was. In constant fear that my loved ones would stop caring about me if they knew the truth. The realization that I was gay was a hard one for me, knowing that it would make my life harder to navigate coming from a very religious background. It solidified my teenage brain into a cycle of depression, self hatred and secrecy. It took a long time to feel okay in my own skin. I had never loved myself, and my yoga practice forced me to begin knocking the walls down and look deeper.

One day when I was really unhappy at work, I started taking some college classes for a future that I wanted to move toward, going into Hospitality Management. I only got through two semesters before I felt pulled toward another certification, my yoga teacher training. I had wanted to start my own business where I would teach yoga, run retreats and serve my community with a place to gather. I was going to wait to do my yoga training after my degree was completed, but one day I found an online training called ‘Yoga 4 Love” and pulled out my credit card immediately without hesitation.

There was no question I needed to do something. To shift my life toward another purpose. I felt it in my bones. Within two months of starting my training online, I quit my job and decided that I was not okay allowing stress to dictate my well-being anymore. It was a very emotional decision, losing the image of myself that I held so tightly for so long, but I knew that I could no longer put myself through emotional torture for a fat paycheck. I’m lucky to have a partner that really understood my suffering and gave me the permission that I felt I needed to save my sanity. She gave me the strength to take the leap. My fellow yoga teacher trainees also showed me a way of life that I yearned for. One of self care and self love.

It has been a year of major transitions, the biggest being our move three hours away from family and friends to open our own retreat center. It has not been a smooth road, and I have questioned our actions many times, but I knew that if I kept listening to my heart that it would never lead me astray. I began this journey to self love and I now feel confident that my story and knowledge can be what I share to help others.

Please contact me if you feel pulled to. Know that you are worth loving and worth the journey.

Love & Light!

Check out www.yoga4love.com if you want to get certified in yoga online! Be a part of the Goddess Tribe!

Yoga 4 Love transformed my life

My yoga teacher training with Yoga 4 Love started in April of last year, and I was in a very different place then. I was taking care of an 8 month old, working 50+ hours a week and feeling all kinds of miserable. I felt overstretched and run ragged with little work/life balance. My yoga practice then was more focused on the postures and not the meditative aspect of yoga.

Less than two months into my training I quit my job of 11 years and decided to follow a new path. The training made me realize that the stress I was inflicting on myself was breaking my spirit and I was disconnected from what was truly important: my family and my mental health. My job then felt like golden handcuffs and the money kept me captive for longer than was healthy.

Fast forward to now. We sold our house, moved three hours from family and friends and purchased property on a Great Lake to build a retreat center. It all seemed to fall into place, and we followed the Universe’s breadcrumbs obediently. There have been many bittersweet moments, frustrations and compromises along the way but I know this is where we are meant to be.

On retreat with the Goddess Tribe

I only have excitement for the future and I am so grateful to my goddess tribe from Yoga 4 Love. I have been touched by every one of the ladies I have encountered in the program, especially on the weekly sangha’s online and the Inner Goddess Retreat in Texas that I was able to attend. They have given me courage when I lacked it, motivation when I felt lost, and their love helped me gain my power back! #risegirlrise

Anna Brown and I on retreat in Texas

I am so much stronger today than I was when I began this journey and I have this group of women to thank, especially Lisa Ware and her Yoga 4 Love team. Thank you for seeing the potential in me and being the teachers I needed to help me continue on the path of self discovery and love.

To any woman looking for something more, try this program! I cannot stress enough how fabulous the tribe is and how easy it was for me to stick to the curriculum with the online component being a working mother. If you wish to delve deeper into who you truly are and start loving yourself, this might be the group for you. Get it girl! I sure did!

Photo taken by Mary Cathryn Roth in Texas

Go to Www.yoga4love.com for more info on their online training and inner goddess retreats.

Check out Anchorage Retreat Center on Facebook @anchorageretreatcenter and Instagram @anchorageretreatcenter

Forgiveness

The most freeing feeling in the world is to let go of past grudges and aggression and forgive someone. In the past, I cocooned myself in anger and resentment toward the people in my life I felt had done me wrong. I stewed in self pity and malice, pushing away those who loved me, but didn’t love me how I wanted them to. I now see that it was a very small and selfish view of the situation. I was so focused on how it made me feel that I never realized that I was only making it worse with my attitude.

My anger has always been an issue throughout my life. It would come out as judgment of others, ‘hating’ things and people, and blowing up when I let my self-hatred gain strength over my emotions. I have recently realized that most of it stems from not feeling ‘good enough’ and placing myself into a separate bubble from other people who had different viewpoints than me. It was a cold and isolating place.

I have for the past little while been working on my self-love and being aware that holding onto this hurt and anger was creating poison inside me. The people who had done the hurting were not suffering as much as I was from not letting my emotions about past actions go. In some instances I have kept grudges from as far back as 20 years. This poison has been coursing through me unchecked and I am finally done with it.

I am worthy of love. Period. I cannot control how other people see or treat me, only how I will react to them. There is so much fear and hate in the world today that I will not be contributing anymore. We are all connected, all beautiful and perfect at our core. Most injury from others is just misunderstanding and assumption. If we come from a place of love, we can overcome any difference.

Just remember: You are worthy of love. Let go of the poison and breathe freely. We are one and I love you.