My heart chakra journey began while I worked as a business school intern at Bryan Kest’s Power Yoga in the summer of 2003 in Santa Monica, CA. I was a student at UCLA’s Anderson School of Management and I wanted to do something entrepreneurial and fun. While seeking advice on a business plan for a restaurant concept, I connected with Bryan’s business partner, Chris. I had a fun summer learning how to run a start-up and started practicing yoga. I decided to work with Bryan and Chris full-time after I graduated. Unbeknownst to me, I was making the choice to step into a deep personal journey under the dis(guise) of growing a startup.
I had incentive to focus on the area in the back and front of my chest, in the area of my heart chakra. I had a ski injury back in college at Dartmouth over 12 years ago where I compressed five vertebrae in my thoracic spine; there was a lot of scar tissue to loosen up. It’s amazing how an injury really encouraged me to pay attention to a certain part of my body where not only the physical field was affected, but the energetic one as well.
I began to open up my physical body through my yoga practice and noticed blocked energy in my body, in my heart and also in other parts. Since I was aware of it, I started to work with it, open it – gently at first. I remember clearly one evening where friends placed a finger each on a heart point and stayed there for almost an hour; that was a shift! I also worked with an energetic healer, Ria Ray, a few times; again after one of the sessions I noticed a remarkable shift in how I felt and in the clarity in my visual field – I smiled more broadly that evening and for some time afterwards.
I had unique encounters. One evening, as I was window-shopping on the 3rd Street Promenade after a day’s work, a group of about four people stopped me. They asked if they could read my field – they were part of a spiritual class and wanted to practice. I said, “sure,” they reflected some nice information and I walked away and continued to look at shoes. About 45 minutes later, another group of about the same size stopped me and asked me the same question. I learned they were part of the same class as the other group. Again, they reflected some nice information about myself and I felt great the rest of the evening — that both groups had randomly chose to speak with me and that I had been recognized in some manner.
I meditated, learning Vipassana at a Goenka Center in North Fork though a silent 10-day retreat. It felt like meditation bootcamp and I left with a solid practice. (*I highly recommend for most seekers.*)
In August of 2005, while still working as the General Manager of Power Yoga, growing the start-up to a couple million in revenue, opening up a warehouse, hiring employees, financing and operating Yogitoes, and generally having a blast, we organized and I went through a yoga teachers training with Bryan in Tulum, Mexico in August. That was another big moment of time for me – creating space for and enjoying three weeks in Mexico specifically on a healing retreat (where I was also working) — afterwards as I had also just turned 28, I knew I had entered into my Saturn Return.
When I returned from Mexico, I started teaching yoga only because a fellow student asked if I would. I hadn’t thought about it until then and when she asked, it made sense. It was easy and I loved it.
I had good preparation for the next part of my journey – a solid education, a loving family, a healthy body and strong mind. Yet, all of these were well-tested over the following three years.