From Student to Teacher - Megan's Story of Change

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This is a personal story of transformation and growth by Megan Calkins. 

There was a time when my life centered around finding ways to escape from my feelings. When left alone, I didn't know how to interpret my feeling or what I was supposed to do with them. As a result of my longing to escape, I embarked on a self-centered road of substance abuse. Thankfully, eventually I reached a fork in the road. I diverged from that path and was led to a rehab facility where I could receive help. 

I was exposed to Yoga 4 Change while housed in a corrections facility. Initially, I saw it as an excuse to get out of the community cell where we, the inmates, were collectively housed. I never imagined how much I would end up loving yoga or that it would play such a large part in my recovery. It all started by making the decision to attend my first class.

It would be an understatement to say I left the class feeling amazing. I don't know if there are words to truly describe what I felt after each class ended. For the first time in so long, I felt genuinely content.

I continued with the program and I learned more about myself through each class. I learned that it was okay to feel uncomfortable and that I didn’t have to run away from my feelings. I came to realize that I did not need to react to a situation out of an emotional response.  I learned that I could trust my body to hold me up, even when my muscles were burning and I felt like I would fall over. I started to form a deeper understanding of acceptance; that I could eventually be at ease if I committed to being present, even in a difficult position, and was okay with sitting with the discomfort.

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Because of these revelations, I made a commitment to fight for my life. A teacher from Yoga 4 Change with an incredible spirit presented me, and others in a similar circumstance, with a way to cope with our traumas.  I was touched by how these teachers committed their time to serving those who believed that they had been forgotten. I owe my life to this organization and the people who lead through it.

I would have been merely a statistic if it were not for Yoga 4 Change.  If I had continued on my path of substance abuse, I would have died because at the time I honestly believed that my life wasn’t worth fighting for.  Yoga 4 Change showed me that my life had value, that I mattered. Today, I live my yoga on and off the mat. Inspired by my practice, I am much more mindful of every movement in my life. Coupled with a meditation practice and my 12-step program, I am living a life that is beyond my wildest dreams.

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When Yoga 4 Change found me, not only did I gain my life back, I also gained a purpose. My mission, which I have chosen to accept, is to go into those same facilities and help others who are struggling just like I was.  Just as someone had shown me, it is now my responsibility to remind others that they matter, that they are not forgotten.

Thank you for reading. If you found this information beneficial, please consider making a sustainable donation to Yoga 4 Change.  Your donation is used to support our core programs and helps us fulfill our mission. Please click below to donate online.  You can make a one time or reoccurring tax deductible contribution. 

Patrick Fisher