My healing wake up call came in 2002 on the windshield of a car. I had ignored my intuition that said they didn’t see me and found myself face planting across their windshield. A broken tibial plateau and a torn meniscus, I found myself alone and non-weight bearing in a south-facing apartment in Brooklyn. With no AC. In July. The next 6 months would change my life.
I wasn’t a stranger to pain. At the age of 20, I had already spent almost half of my life with chronic pain, trapped in a medical system that repeatedly failed me. I had somehow built a successful dance and swimming career while managing crippling emotional and physical pain. This forged a strength in me that would cause me to continue to ignore both my Body and my Intuition, and require Creator to continually kick my ass to try and get me to stay down long enough to accept that I wasn’t unbreakable. Long enough to get me to stop running so that I could feel the ache that was beneath the physical, the ache that was coming from deep inside my Soul.
I am an experiential learner and I have harnessed the pain I have experienced and woven a spectacular cloth of knowledge. For as many times as the Creator has knocked me down, She has also handed me an amazing tool each time to get me back up. People; connecting me to people; connecting me to practitioners; connecting me to techniques; connecting me to myself.
I am humbled and incredibly grateful for this trial by fire. Like most things, yoga came to me by accident. A friend wanted to use the space I was running my dance company out of, which was also a hair salon and art gallery, to teach a yoga class. I stayed for the class and absolutely loved it. I had tried yoga years before in, what seemed to seventeen-year-old me, a creepy cult-like room filled with middle-aged women in full-body leotards. I didn’t yet realize I would someday be one of those ladies. But yoga stuck this time and I started taking classes around New York City, and then around San Francisco when I moved out there a few months later. Yoga truly saved me after my 3rd knee surgery. I had an amazing surgeon, who worked with all the major sports teams in San Francisco and had a soft spot for dancers. Knowing we rarely had insurance, he ran a low-cost clinic for dancers, and through another one of those twists of fate and grace, I landed a spot in it. As amazing as he was, he told me I would never dance again after the surgery, and I would certainly never bend my knee all the way again.
By this time I had already fallen into teaching, like everything else, by accident. I was a Personal Trainer at a gym and the yoga teacher didn’t show up, so I taught the class. Next thing I knew I quit personal training and was teaching yoga all over San Francisco, full time. In yet another plot twist, I got asked to sub a Yin Yoga class for a few months. I had no idea what Yin Yoga was, so I bought a book. Turns out, Yin Yoga can change your body in ways yang forms of yoga can’t; and doctors, no matter how skilled, can be proven wrong by yoga! Yin Yoga brought me so much more than my body back. Sarah Powers, the co-founder of Yin Yoga and my main teacher, connected the poses to Chinese Medicine and the Meridian theory. This sent me onto a path with Eastern medicine that would eventually land me in Ayurveda School. Paul Grilley, the author of that first book I bought on Yin Yoga and also its co-founder, taught me the beauty of my unique body, with its unique range of motion. He burst my bubble of thinking that my body could and should do everything, taught me that we all have limitations, and that I needed to come to terms with those limitations. This effectively ended my 20 some odd year war with my body, brought me a peace I had never known, and taught me how to love the body I was graced with.
This is the cycle, each part a perfect act of Grace. First the pebble is picked up, then it is tossed into the pond, the rippling extends outwards, shifting all that they touch. Sometimes you are a rock thrower, sometimes the rock, sometimes the pond, sometimes the ripple, sometimes the lily pad being rocked. I heal because I have been healed. I teach because I have been taught. I owe everything to my own experiences, my own stubbornness, and to every single person that shows up to work with me. Their experiences, their bodies, and their Souls, guide every step we take together. They show me, so I can show them. I am merely the marker that highlights what they are unable to see… yet.
My work helps people overcome their past in order to create the best version possible of their future. We are all wounded, we are all perfectly imperfect, we are all exactly where we need to (and have chosen to) be. My questions to you are…
Are you ready to take full responsibility for your existence?
Are you ready to stop hiding?
Are you ready to suss out all the places you are lying to yourself?
Are you ready to heal?
Are you ready to live?
Are you ready to know yourself?
“Sahara is an extremely gifted Healer/Masseuse. Her devotion to helping others is totally inspiring. Sahara assisted me through rehab after three surgeries on a broken foot and I feel so lucky to have been the beneficiary of her magical healing hands.”