Miami Life Center is proud to share that we are a VA approved facility and teaching center for Veterans under the Ch. 31, Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment program.
After serving in the military for nine years with two deployments to Afghanistan, I decided I needed to give back to my family and myself. I needed to find internal and physical healing. I spent a lot of time in and out of doctor’s offices only to leave feeling the same with no real solution to my ailments. Although I began practicing yoga in 2009, it was not until 2012 when I decided to commit to a daily practice. The changes my body began to experience were unreal. I felt alive again. There was a shift in my approach to obstacles and growth in my spiritual life. I learned that the baggage we carry with us does not define us nor does it mean we cannot let that baggage go. The more I practiced the more I wanted to share my healing with others. I wanted to serve our community in a different capacity now. I wanted to share the gift of healing through yoga.
I researched many yoga programs but the Ashtanga Intensive at the Miami Life Center stood out to me the most. The amount of knowledge, the authenticity, and the dedication to its students and community are incomparable. Moreover, the willingness to work with me as a veteran and to go through the long process of approval through the VA is not something other yoga schools were willing to do. The process involved an audit, a site visit, many phone calls and e-mail communication. The process took about a year and continued even after my graduation from the intensive. The staff at MLC went above and beyond to meet my needs. As a disabled vet, Tim and Kino modified where I needed it without removing the integrity of the practice and keeping me safe.
One lesson that stood out to me the most was through my daily MySore practice. I recall Tim gently placing his hands over my shoulders without saying anything. At that moment, I felt him telling me it was ok to relax, that I did not need to be on high alert. Being on alert and being the best version of ourselves is something that we learn in the military. However, the practice teaches us awareness and to be gentle while still striving to be the best version of ourselves. It teaches us that it is not necessary to be stiff, stern or aggressive. The practice teaches us to breathe again and to live life. By learning to live again, I am able to give back.
The Ashtanga Intensive at the Miami Life Center was transformative on so many levels. There were times I wanted to cry and times I pushed to be in perfect form. There were moments of spiritual growth but the practice always remained the same. What was changing was my physical body, my mental emotional health. Along with that change, was my spiritual growth. If there was one thing I could leave with anyone, is that yoga will teach you how to breathe again so you can learn to live your life again.
Life after the Miami Life Center
Since my training, I have taught over 316 hours of yoga. Although my training was in Ashtanga, I have also taught other disciplines such as Vinyasa Yoga, Beginners Yoga, Intermediate, Hatha Yoga, Kids Yoga and Slow Flow Yoga. I have also received training to teach yoga to veterans their family and caretakers through Warriors for Healing. I have had the pleasure of sharing the gift of yoga to children of veterans, to Team Red White and Blue (Enrich veterans lives and unite veterans with their community), and through community classes at One Heart Yoga.