Student Story: Stacy O’Connor – Graduated 2020
Stacy’s Yoga Journey
I had been working in the Events industry for over 12 years and had always excelled in high pressure, high stress environments. Or so I thought.
Over time, it was evident that the stress I had repressed for so long, manifested physically, in my body through debilitating neck pain, regular migraines and always getting sick. I was also into HIIT (high intensity intermittent training) quite regularly because I had been obsessed with wanting my body to be ‘just perfect’. In hindsight, what I thought was a stress reliever, actually became a stress enhancer.
The Switch to Yoga
I turned to yoga initially for the physical benefits – to help ‘stretch’ out my tense neck, shoulders and back. To help me feel ‘physically OK’. What I didn’t realise was that it actually had a profound effect on my capability to calm myself, to relax my mind, which is something I had always struggled with.
Fast forward three years, I was feeling more self aware and in less pain! (I even changed roles so I was no longer running events), I was determined to discover more.
Stacy’s Year (2020)
Ah 2020! A year for the history books that’s for sure.
My partner and I found ourselves on ‘stand down’ indefinitely as the parent company we worked for was in the travel business – something that overnight disappeared. What had initially been my year to balance a full time job and full time study to become a yoga teacher, it became simply ‘full time study to become a yoga teacher’.
I would love to say I threw myself completely into the course, but as many of us have experienced during this pandemic, it has been a rather anxious and unknown time, so there were many days when it was just simply all too much. However, little by little, I began to make yoga a regular part of my month, then my week, then my day.
And something shifted. As someone who was identified as an atheist, I had found a ‘God’. Not the usual God related to a religion, but I had developed a deep appreciation of Mother Nature – my God. My ‘being’ that I could completely and blindly place all faith in to look after me. My sense of gratitude – for the strength and health of my body, the warmth of the sun on my skin, the beauty of the oceans and bushland that surrounds my home town – has never been stronger.
And it’s made me a better version of myself, helping me to ‘let go’ of perfection, and greatly influencing my relationship with others, the environment, and most importantly, myself.
I am looking forward to graduating at the end of the year and continuing my studies further in Yoga Therapy. What started out as a ‘life enhancement’ (which it certainly was!), I have now decided that yoga is too good not to share.
I am hard of hearing and have found that not all yoga classes are suited to those who can’t hear too well. I hope to teach yoga to those who need additional support, in aged care and mental health programs, along with any other areas that are in need of speciality yoga.
I believe that yoga is to be shared amongst all of us, so that eventually we end up with a calm, already perfect, self aware community in love with Mother Nature.
Inspired by Stacy’s story?
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