This week's yogi of the week winner was Jill Kuzman with this gorgeous (and precarious!) shot taken at this year's Burningman festival. Her story is one that is sure to inspire and her adventurous spirit envied - read more about this adrenaline junkie come yoga fanatic & look forward to hearing more as she's just come on board as one of our Travelling Ambassadors!
2 years ago I had a bad BASE jumping accident and broke my left femur. The recovery was long, painful and at times, lonely. I didn't realize then, but that was the start of a new life path for me. I was cleared to walk again after a few months, but I was limited to no impact activities. A friend suggested I try yoga as a means of physical therapy. I bought a 10 class card and blew through it in 9 days. I couldn't believe how much better my leg felt after each yoga class! I was physically addicted after my 2nd class, but this isn't where my story of yoga healing ends...
In 2010 I lost a very dear friend. After a loss that close to my heart, I had shut down on an emotional level. I had come a long way in the grieving process, but I still held back a lot. After about 2 weeks of yoga classes, I sat in a guided meditation at the end of the practice. Suddenly, I felt a flood of emotion come over me. It was like nothing I had felt before. It wasn't sadness. It wasn't happiness. It was just pure emotion. It was everything I had been emotionally holding in for the past 2 years. Yoga had broken down that wall in the quietest, most subtle way.
Tears flowed down my cheeks. After class my instructor came over and gave me a hug. She said, now you've truly practiced yoga. From that point on I looked at the world through different eyes. Through eyes of kindness, gratitude and compassion. I will be forever grateful for the release that yoga gave me from my own constraints.
I wasn't always a traveler. I wanted to be, but was held back by my own excuses. I always told myself that I had to work too much or I didn't have enough money. 7 years ago, I found BASE jumping. It was my catalyst to stop making excuses and start taking action.
I moved to Colorado, then Utah, Arizona and now California. I began traveling all over the states. Seeing as many places I could. A few years back, I went to South Africa. It was my first time leaving the continent. I was amazed at all the riveting and kind souls I encountered. Seeing another culture, one that was so different from everything I knew changed something inside of me. I was hooked. I wanted to see the world!
Now that I've found yoga, being able to travel and practice has opened up my heart even more than I could have ever imagined. I'm suddenly ok with being the weird girl busting out yoga moves in inspiring places because my heart tells me to. Some places just beg to be practiced on.
This summer I was in Switzerland, hiking up the Eiger to BASE jump off it. I was about halfway up the hike when I saw a circle on rocks someone had built on the ground. To the annoyance of my fellow hikers, I insisted on stopping there to practice for a few moments. Yoga has taught me so much about being present, that even when the destination is an incredible adrenaline filled BASE jump, the journey is a stunning view of endless valleys, snow capped mountain peaks, sparkling crystal lakes and the most beautiful yoga studio that I have ever been blessed to practice in.