I moved to Columbus, Ohio to enter drug and alcohol treatment a little over 2 years ago.  I didn't know what to expect, but I remained open to trying new things to better myself.  I decided it was in my best interest to be healthy in all aspects of my life, so when I was offered the chance to try Ashtanga yoga at Amethyst, a local treatment center, I jumped at the opportunity.  I practiced once a week for nearly nine months while in treatment, then I was told about a scholarship through the Trini Foundation that I could apply for to practice more often and in a different setting.  I loved that the practice was making me physically stronger, and something in my heart was compelled to try.  I applied and was accepted for the scholarship.

I began practice at Ashtanga Yoga Columbus about three months ago.  I was very intimidated when I first started.  I thought I didn't have the right clothes, the right mat, or the right body type to be practicing yoga.  I wasn't even aware that I had all of these insecurities within myself.  The Ashtanga yoga practice brought to the surface age old wounds that I had buried and denied for years.  I stuck it out when every fiber of my being wanted to run.  It has been one of the most challenging and rewarding things I have ever done.  My head and my heart are more connected and I am able to be kinder to myself.  I am aware of my feelings and I believe yoga did that for me.  I wonder if and how long I would have continued on before these things emerged.  I am physically, mentally, and emotionally stronger than I've ever been in my life.  I look forward to seeing how my practice and I evolve in the years to come.  I can't imagine my life without the practice and I am eternally grateful to the people who made this all possible.

Written by Amanda, a Trini scholarship recipient