It all started with my personal journey into practicing yoga when I was a teen.
I would love to share my story with you so that you know the intention behind why Wymbin was created–and the big impact on the world that we are striving towards making.
By starting with today’s youth, together we can change the world.
I wrote this in a letter to myself 9 years ago in 2012 when I was just beginning on this journey. I had finished high school and had entered my third year of Health Sciences under the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Calgary. I was ready to do something bigger than myself even though I didn’t quite know how. All I knew was that this amazing practice called ‘yoga’ needed to be shared in an accessible and meaningful way with young people so that they could build the tools and skills needed to navigate the challenges of daily life.
I was finally figuring out the path I wanted to pursue–although it had taken a very challenging journey to get to that point, and things weren’t going to get any easier for quite a while.
After starting my third year of studies, things quickly became overwhelming and the challenges I had been struggling with since mid-high school began to take over all aspects of my life. I was forced to drop out of school and was shortly after hospitalised as things had gotten extremely bad. I had been struggling with depression, anxiety, and an eating disorder. My mental health was suffering and I could no longer uphold all of the expectations I had set for myself. It was devastating and I felt incredibly guilty for how this impacted the people around me too.
The one constant that I found myself coming back to throughout this time was my yoga practice. It was the only place I felt I could really breathe. It was the only place I could look at myself in the mirror and not pass judgement or feel shame. I practiced nearly every day at a local studio–during this time I met some of the instructors who have helped me to build the Wymbin community into what it is today. I loved the messages the instructors shared at the end of class–sometimes it was exactly what I needed to hear to keep pushing through that day. The ability to solely focus on connecting to my body and breath helped ‘distract’ me in a mindful way that then allowed me to connect more deeply with myself and my thought process. It was very healing and a positive constant through this time.
After working through being in the hospital and finally obtaining the supports I needed, I began to think about other teens and kids who might not have the same opportunities that I had had. The experience in the healthcare system had not been the greatest, and challenges to accessibility and navigating it all made me