A Yoga Story By Amy Brinsko Perkins

A Yoga Story
By Amy Brinsko Perkins
I started up with yoga on my own, in a college dorm in Morehead, Ky. I was in school, eventually, with a focus on painting and music. I loved living near a beautiful lake and near the woods. I met some new friends. Back when I was 16, I had gone to peace camp. From that experience, I had learned and practiced a yoga nidra-style of relaxation, laying in Savasana. I cut and glued some stick figure poses from the internet onto a piece of paper.
I remember specifically focusing on mountain pose, as if standing upright was a task in itself. It can be sometimes! I moved back to northern Kentucky, where my family and my boyfriend was.
I became closer friends with my boyfriend’s long time band mate’s wife. We would share a glass of wine and put on a yoga DVD at her house while the guys played their heavy/eclectic style of music in my(now) basement. Both in childcare, we practiced throughout her pregnancy. Julie Thompson went on to get yoga teacher training. I was planning my wedding, taking on that commitment to whom also happens to be my first/ high school sweetheart, Andy Perkins.
Working as an enrichment teacher at Montessori schools for several years, I also oversaw nap time. I often used that time of the work day to meditate. One day after work, I was walking along Route 8, in Bellevue, looking for my long lost brother, but instead found Yoga Home, and eventually, Rachel Roberts. She soon thereafter opened The Yoga Bar. I started my weekly karmi/Yin shift.
Rachel's guidance and sangha has helped me through a lot of changes over the years. It helped me to gently and continuously let go of my brother. It helped me through 2 miscarriages. It helped me through a successful pregnancy. Yin became my preferred practice. I still enjoyed practicing with Julie, who had started teaching classes at Devou Park yoga. I continued on with my home practice as well.
I became a mother to a wonderful child, now 3, Miralani May Perkins.
Motherhood is something I had been dreaming of for years. I've also dreamed of opening a childcare in my home. I am fully invested in nurturing and providing education for children. Sometimes I feel like a child myself, though!
I do get burnt out and forget the privilege that it is. I try to do yoga, whether it be before she wakes up, if the children are climbing on me, or at nap time. At the end of the day, sometimes I need to be around other adults and stretch. As a result, I can be more present to the children I care for. I make time for other activities that provide similar benefits. Some of my old favorites have been walking, singing, conversation, vegan cooking, writing, and painting.
While building up my childcare, sharing the home/work spaces with my husband had become a great challenge. It got to a point where resentment had built and we were going through a trial separation. Being friends since high school, I think we both had some growing up to do if we were to reconnect. I know that is was a really confusing time.
Meanwhile, I also went through a change in my yoga practice. I was heading toward depression. I felt that I'd lost some of my friends. I started to find some inner strength in helping out and attending a 2 hour Ashtanga class with Kurt at the Yoga Bar. Andy and I slowly, but surely, have reconnected in a new way and I am grateful to have him in my life once again.
Some days I notice that I use up so much energy and I need to restore. Other days, I seem to be lollygagging around and need a boost of energy. We are all physical, emotional, and ultimately spiritual beings. If we ignore or focus solely on one of those aspects, we are bound to get out of balance. That’s surely just a part of life… learning to honor ourselves and connect to the universe, helping each other to live and change and grow.
Letting go yet remembering the past, taking in yet giving in the present, and dreaming yet revisioning the future are all a part of life, too. As I continue to give myself this gift of yoga, as I come out of depression, as much as I am myself, others are, too. I can look within and I have an eye that can see others of heart and mind.
Last year, I went on retreat with Rachel, Andrea, and several other women to the Red River Gorge. We took a break from our everyday life activities, did yoga, ate simple foods, and immersed ourselves in nature. Doing yoga with people on their own journey is such a nice practice for me that I am grateful for. If it isn't creating peace, I don't know what will.
Thousands of years ago, it was nature and animals that inspired yoga. I find that those things restore me most, too. It is sharing the simplest things of life with others that brings about happiness and freedom. Joining with the earthly vibration and breathing throughout everyday life, the mind becomes still and the heart comes alive.

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