By Heather Bauer
“Yoga is the perfect opportunity to be curious about who you are.” ~Jason Crandell
In early 2015, I found myself reeling from the “empty nest syndrome” after my daughter decided to move in with her Dad. I was single and on my own for the first time in nearly 20 years.
After wandering aimlessly for three months in the mountains, I felt the need to settle down a little and I decided it would behoove me to do two things: start therapy, and get back into yoga.
Ah yes, yoga—something I had fiddled with several years previously, but got weirded out by one of the teachers who banged a little gong and talked an awful lot about the Universe (my, how the tables have turned on that one!), so I didn’t go back. But I remember loving how practicing it made me feel, and I missed that.
My initial intent was to get to know the me—the person who was stripped of titles, was. At the time, I also weighed 250 pounds and really wanted to learn how to work with my body and take care of myself. I wanted to prove that even though I am a “fat” girl, I can do yoga too. I had already connected with a yoga studio here that had an art gallery where I showed my photography, so off I went.
I found that yoga and my therapy sessions complemented each other (tremendously so).
There was an intense amount of synchronicity happening. Things that were brought to light in therapy were getting worked out on my mat afterward. My teachers would have the words I needed to hear that day.
My soul became larger.
Yoga is changing my life. Nearly two years into my practice, I have gotten so much more than what I could have possibly envisioned. I have learned that my body is not the enemy, what I think about it is. I have learned that I am capable of poses I didn’t think I would be because of my size, which has given me a beautiful gift in learning to love all of me.
I am learning that this journey is mine, I get to choose my path, and I am finding that the possibility of every second being beautiful does exist.
I have had the wonder of experiencing that blissful euphoria after a really amazing session. I have curled up in the fetal position on my mat and had a good cry, and you know what? Turns out that this is all okay.
Pema Chödrön, my favorite Buddhist teacher, says, “You are the sky. Everything else is just the weather.” She teaches about becoming a bigger container to have space for it all. The light and dark; the good, the bad, and the ugly. Yoga is the thing that helps me create the space.
It teaches me to let go, to accept what is. It is hands down the most magical thing I have experienced.
Heather Bauer is 43 years old and has two kids, Nathan (20) Abby (18) and the MOST AMAZING GRANDSON IN THE HISTORY OF EVER, Lyle James. He is the moon in her dark sky. He is why she didn’t kill Nathan all those times she wanted to. She has a wicked sense of humor and loves yoga. She mixes spirituality with a healthy dose of Buddhism and Paganism. She currently is majoring in social work at a community college in Denver. She says, “As I sit here, I think about how I fell into writing. You would think that someone who loves to read as much as I do would fall into it at an early age, but that was not so.”
Around eight years ago, she found herself falling in love with the art of photography. It fed her intense need for adventure, as life as a housewife and stay at home Mom was a bit overwhelming and demanding. With that, came a need to express what was going on in her mind and heart as a result of the love she had found, in photography.
In her whole life fell apart. A 17 year marriage ended and her father passed all in one fell swoop. This seemed to amp up her innate need to write.
Tree pose is her favorite yoga pose. Chubby Hubby is her favorite flavor of Ben & Jerry’s. She can’t go a day without music and her taste is crazy eclectic. She is a fire sign—Sagittarius to be exact. She has lived in Denver for 26 years and does her best every day to make the people she comes in contact with feel loved.
Editor: John Author