My Healing Journey With Yoga

 My Healing Journey  With Yoga

By Jennifer Kelleher

As the owner of Ocean Bliss Yoga, you’d probably guess that yoga is and has been a huge part of my life. Today, I am inspired to share a little about my journey with yoga and the ways in which this healing practice has supported me throughout my life.

My father brought me to my first yoga class when I was 16 years old. It was right here in Rockaway, actually, with Anita from Hot Yoga Rockaway Beach, when she used to teach out of the old Exercise Club. My godmother, Auntie Mary, also exposed me to yoga in my teens, modeling the way with her own practice and gifting me little yoga-related treasures, such as my first book on yoga, “Light On Yoga,” by B.K.S. Iyengar, and a Lululemon card deck of yoga asanas.

Yoga was there in the background throughout college. I’d jump into classes here and there, and on my 20th birthday, I went with a friend to get my first (and only) tattoo. It was a difficult time in my life, and I was unsure of what I would get. Flipping through the book at the tattoo parlor, I was instantly drawn to the ‘Om’ symbol. I looked it up and saw it described as the ‘doorway to tranquility.’ Sounded like just what I needed, so I did it. Without a doubt, this was the divine showing me my way. To this day, every time I look at my wrist, I am reminded that I am watched over and protected. This symbol also reminds me that there is always light and purpose, no matter what the circumstances may be.

After college, I moved to Buenos Aires, Argentina to work doing graphic design for a music company. A couple of months in, I was in a car accident where my taxi driver had a heart attack and died behind the wheel. What’s even crazier is that this exact scenario was a huge fear of mine since I was a small child. I was lucky to walk away with just bangs and bruises, but the episode left me with some real PTSD. I found a yoga studio down the block from my apartment and went there every day after work to practice. Having a safe, held space to practice yoga was fundamental in helping me move through the trauma.

Seven years later, right before my 30th birthday, I had just given birth to my son and embarked on my yoga teacher training. That was big for me in so many ways. I remember thinking that it was the first thing in my life that I initiated completely on my own. I wanted to do it, and I did it. Little did I know how much I would continue to need it. A couple of months after receiving my teaching certification, I quit my job and almost moved back to South America, but instead ended up separating from my marriage and staying in Rockaway close to my family to raise my son.

Now, just before my 38th birthday, I feel 1,000x better than I ever have and I owe a lot of that to yoga. I am in the best physical, mental, and emotional shape of my life. As the owner of Ocean Bliss Yoga, I feel incredibly grateful to be able to share this healing practice, which has been so life-changing for me, with friends and neighbors.

At Ocean Bliss Yoga, we offer a variety of classes, workshops, and private options for a wide range of skill levels and interests. All are welcome. Check our schedule and sign up at Text or call me at 917-318-1168 to inquire about private and semi-private options.

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