There was a time when I was ashamed of my story. I didn’t share it with others outside of the recovery community because I didn’t believe my past fit the mold of who a yoga teacher is supposed to be. What would others in the yoga community think of me if they knew that I struggled with alcoholism and drug addiction for a decade? In the midst of my addiction, I lacked any true human connection and lived in complete isolation as I stood at the brink of death every single day.
It was only during my fourth stay in a treatment center that I was finally brought to my knees and became willing to accept a plan for recovery. As I struggled to get sober, I slowly regained my will to live. I caught a glimmer of hope and suddenly understood that I had been given a chance to put my life back together. I fully committed myself to the twelve steps of recovery, even though nothing about that process was easy. I had to become humble enough to admit my mistakes and do the difficult work of cleaning up my past. The gift I received from that work, in addition to a sober life, was the embrace of a community of caring individuals who were willing to accept me for exactly who I was.
Early in my sobriety, a friend invited me to attend her yoga class. I was reluctant, but she persisted until I finally agreed. My sponsor told me it would be part of my eleventh stop work, which involves prayer and meditation. Once I began practicing Ashtanga yoga, things changed for me. I released the self-hate that had plagued me for years and gained a new sense of acceptance and self-worth. I felt more compassion for myself and for others. I quickly understood that yoga offered me a pathway toward physical, emotional, and spiritual healing. I never looked back.
As I learned more about yoga, I discovered that the principles of recovery and the principles of Ashtanga yoga are highly complementary to each other. Combined, they provide an effective tool for self-transformation. Because my life has been profoundly affected by yoga, I want to share the practice with as many people as possible. I am no longer ashamed of my story. The more I talk with others about it, the more I realize that we have all struggled with something. I don’t want anyone to feel like they have to struggle alone. I established the Trini Foundation as a way to introduce the healing practice of Ashtanga to people recovering from addiction as well as individuals in other underserved communities. I believe in the transformational power of the practice and that everyone can begin a new chapter in their own stories.