A little story to share with you (and perhaps a little inspiration, too.)
10 years ago this month, I was right smack in the middle of my quarter-life crisis (yes, I’m being serious.) I look back now I realize how lost and confused I was – not sure where I was heading, if my life would ever have purpose and if true happiness was attainable. I took a month off from life, totally burnt out from years in the restaurant business. I hoarded away every nickel and dime and took the month to decompress and try to get my head straight. I made the decision change everything about how I was living my life. Little did I know, in just 3 more months, another event would rock me to my core and catapult me forward whether I liked it or not – “the fire” and subsequently, my first yoga practice. (You can listen to the whole story here.)
Fast forward 10 years and here I am. My yoga podcast just won Philadelphia Magazine’s Best of Philly Best Yoga Podcast and Yoga Home, Best Yoga Studio. And this week I start my 500-hour yoga training with the Himalayan Institute. My head has been spinning lately: how did I get here?
Have you ever read Malcolm Gladwell’s The Outliers? In it, he says it takes roughly 10,000 hours of practice to achieve mastery in a field. Now, I by absolutely no means am a master of yoga, but I do feel like I’ve achieved a certain level of mastery over myself and my life in the last 10 years. In fact, it’s only been in the last 6-9 months that I truly started to feel like I landed, that I am here, that this is who am I, down to a cellular level. I feel as if I’ve always been like this. And to some extent I have, right, and that’s the teaching of yoga — that we are just getting out of our own way and revealing what truths are already there. This path is my truth, my way, and I no longer need to prove it to myself or anyone else. Is this making sense? It’s no longer what I want to be doing, but rather what I am doing and how I am being, just naturally.
I am a yogi. I always have been and always will be. It doesn’t matter how many classes I take, if I can always do a headstand, or if I curse a whole awful lot. It’s what’s in my heart and how I bring that into the world. Day after day.
I know I attract a lot of students who are in transition, looking for a life change and on the brink of the “what’s next.” My hope for each of them (or you) is that you find a practice that keeps you centered, grounded, present and inspired. For me, this has been yoga. For some of you, it may be a different mindfulness based practice or simply time in nature. But something, anything, that gets you out of your head, helps you release tension, stress and anxiety and gets you in touch with that soft whisper, that voice that says “here, come this way.” My wish for you is that you are courageous enough to listen to that voice. It will land you right back in the center of yourself. Where you have always been, waiting for your own return.
If you’re interested in my podcast full of free yoga and meditation, you can listen here!
“You don’t have to visit Manzo’s co-owned Conshy studio to soak up her challenging-yet-playful teaching style (though it is worth a trip): Her (free!) podcast series will get you your yoga fix anywhere, with guided classes lasting anywhere from five to 75 minutes.” ~Philadelphia Magazine, Best of Philly 2016