Our Jouney

Mary Beth

In 1994 I had back surgery. Years later a friend introduced me to yoga. It was Hatha Yoga- a great way to stretch and move my back all over again. The first few classes were awkward (at best), exciting, unpretentious and fun. My teacher was incredibly knowledgeable. He had a spirit and light in him that I longed to find in myself.

It was 2007 when my husband and I Googled “yoga styles and locations” in our city. By chance and by destiny we found Cleveland Yoga, a Baptiste Power Vinyasa Affiliate Studio, in Beachwood, Ohio. A bit intimidated but intrigued by the description, I called to ask if we could observe a class. (It still makes me laugh to think that I called a yoga studio to see if I could sit down and watch other people practice, but that’s how the journey happened!) There was a slight giggle on the other end of the phone followed by an invitation to practice while observing. With our mats under our arms we marched into a class that was about to rock our world as we knew it.

There was a class that led me to teaching. I was moving through poses fully enveloped in the practice when my teacher said something to this effect: “You know how yoga is this great secret that you want to share with everyone? You want everyone to feel this good and dig this deep. Your heart almost bursts because you can’t keep a lid on the energy. You want to drag every one of your friends here and have them experience what you get.” Diana Vitantonio

It was then that the light clicked on and I heard my calling! I was having those exact feelings but couldn’t formulate the words to express them. In that moment the yoga teacher in me was born. I knew I was a vessel for sharing this amazing practice. The poses of yoga are the least of the practice. I love the physicality, yes, it’s true. But yoga is a conversation with God. It is about evolving into my best self. It’s about lighting a path by which others can navigate. Yoga is the journey – and the journey is the reward. It took the 40 days program for me to strap on my big girl pants and commit myself to training to be a teacher. The studio was going to be starting a teacher training program that spring and, by golly, I was going to be in it! Then, life happened around my plan.

We found our family moving to Buffalo, NY unexpectedly that spring. Enter Power Yoga Buffalo. Thanks to Google (again) I found the studio. The dream presented itself as reality by the people I was meeting one after another. It started with a 6am (YAWN!) class with Megan in May. I was in Baptiste training by October and started teaching in November.

I teach because I want to give. I am most grateful for all those who teach me in life; about the person I aspire to be and the possibilities that are without limits. Like my first yoga classes as a student, there are awkward moments and times when I need to dig from within. Yet I plug away and grow in it because I see lives transforming in front of me.

Thank you to my first yoga teacher George Kroto. Thank you to my inspirations, Diana Vitantonio and Tami Schneider. Thank you to Susan Fain and Jamie Pearson for giving me this chance to live my calling. Mostly, thank you to my husband for being my love, my yoga partner and for believing in me through all of my doubts.