Like a lot of people, I first came to yoga through the postural practice - yoga asana. It was 2012, I had just graduated from college, was unemployed for a few months, and decided I’d “get into yoga.” I started by signing up for an intro series. I’d never done yoga before, but based on what I’d seen, I thought it was mostly standing and stretching. Yoga seemed like it could be for me! I learned quickly that yoga is much more than standing and stretching. In fact, I found I was learning things about my body I’d never had access to before. I didn’t consider myself “athletic,” so I’d never really engaged or explored or tested my body. Yoga class was a place where I could try things out, be curious, feel and explore the full range of what my body could do. The more I went the more competent I felt in my practice and in my body.
After a couple years of regular practice I started to wonder about taking a yoga teacher training. I searched Google for “yoga teacher training seattle” and I came across the Samarya Center. I read “Yoga for Every Body” on their webpage and I was in. I wanted that. By the time I found Samarya, the studio in Seattle had already closed, but they were still offering trainings.
Things started to shift for me when I found Samarya. The Samarya Center was also the home of Integrated Movement Therapy (IMT), a key part of the Samarya Yoga teacher training, and a therapeutic practice in its own right. I attended an IMT Basics training and experienced an open, empathetic, knowledgeable and accessible learning space. I was introduced to the core principles behind IMT, the Samarya Center, and the Samarya yoga school. IMT is a framework for working with people holistically, and operates under the knowledge that people are already whole. I attended one other IMT training before I made the decision to study IMT, along with yoga, and started working towards certification in both practices. Through IMT, yoga as a philosophy -as a daily practice, as a way of being a human in the world - opened up to me, and deepened my understanding and connection to a practice I already loved!
IMT meets people where they are and creates space for the client and therapist as whole people - in all their multitudes. As a queer, non-binary person with chronic illness who struggles with mental health, I’ve had all kinds of experiences being missed, in both Dr’s offices and therapy sessions. To me, IMT is an opportunity. An opportunity for people to be treated as whole. An opportunity to be treated as a whole person, and not just one aspect of your identity, or one of your diagnoses. I’m currently working towards certification as an Integrated Movement Therapy Practitioner, with projected completion by Summer 2019.
After 3 years of studying yoga and IMT with the Samarya Center, I had my 200hr Yoga Teacher Certification! I wondered where I would teach, who would come to my classes, what would my classes be like? One thing I was looking for as a yoga student in Seattle was a queer or trans class - a safe, gender and body diverse space to practice yoga in my non-binary body. I searched around but I didn’t find anything, and I thought “someone should really start a trans yoga class.” I was inspired, in large part, by my practice and community with Poseurs, a Seattle-based yoga collective that offers donation based Vinyasa yoga 7 days a week. After about 6 months with Poseurs, it connected for me. I wanted to teach a donation based yoga class for trans and non-binary people. I wanted a safe, gender inclusive space to show up as I am, and I wanted to create that space for other people too. I taught my first Trans/Non-binary yoga class in my friend’s living room to two people. When class was over I felt so embodied, so grateful, so gay! Both attendees told me how good it felt to move their bodies and connect with trans folks. Now Trans/Non-Binary Yoga is weekly and continues with the support and donations of every student!
With the class doing well, and as I continued toward IMT certification, it seemed like the right time to start my business. I started Enby Flow in October 2018 to connect my classes and services to the people who want and need them. Here you can find out about my weekly yoga classes and my offerings for individual yoga sessions. I’ll be adding more in the future, as I continue to study, learn, and grow as both a yoga and IMT practitioner. Yoga and IMT are impactful and important practices in my life, and I’d love to share them with you.