About four years ago now, in the very early days of my recovery journey, I was introduced to Yoga. During the second session, I was doing a "Shavasana" - the laying down posedown usually at the end of class; where I felt like I had been touched by God, I had a massive surge & shift of energy and consciousness; the world around me was literally glowing. It was incredibly powerful beyond words. I knew at this instance that what I had experienced was profound. It was an awakening, an opening; realizing that there was more to this Yoga than stretching and hot yoga pants. I began to enjoy and practice Yoga on a regular basis from this moment on. Recovery is a process of ups and downs, success and failures, revelations and releases, boundless joy and overwhelming pain - sometimes all before lunchtime.
Throughout this process, Yoga was consistently by my side, without judgment or any attachment, becoming one with my body and mind, unconditionally; polishing off the residue, layer by layer, beginning to reveal the colorful shining light beaming out of my soul within me, that was always there... "Damon Rising" a progressive path forward, onward and upward, evolving, understanding, growing, learning....and healing. Not once, not even for a second, have I ever felt let down by Yoga itself. As I progressed, so did its benefits; transforming my body and mind with its healing properties in so many ways.
In May 2019, I completed my 200-hour Teacher Training with Yoga Alliance, which is internationally recognized. I had huge success and I damn proud of myself! This has been a profound learning experience where I have attained new levels of spirituality, and a deeper understanding of human anatomy, yoga itself, asanas, teaching methods, meditative methods, strength with softness, and most importantly an understanding of my true inner self; along with the infinite potential of me, my worthiness and connection to love, energy, vibrations and the fact that indeed we are all connected, like a union - we are one, worthy of a run-on sentence - and I'm ok with that.
I knew it all along.. everything I need, everything I have ever needed, has always and always will be inside me. There are so many people I want to thank with my boundless gratitude and love - All the yoga teachers I have had throughout these years (I have done around 700 hours of classes), especially the Yoga and Yogini volunteers in the early days (Yoga Outreach - Vancouver) which gave me these portals to the journey of my truth.
I have been yearning for a place where I feel safe, loved and where I belong. I can't mention all the people there that I care about so deeply; but the owner/manager/teacher/ Katrina Wynn is one of the most special, caring, authentic and beautiful people (inside and out) I have ever met. She is a natural-born healer, Yogini, and has created a Studio and space that has given so much for so many people beyond the mat. I am not alone when I say with sincerity how much she is universally loved by all who have received her calming energy, natural compassion, and generosity. Every single teacher at this studio and beyond, with their amazing expertise and authenticity has inspired me and helped me to develop into the yogi I am today. It is here at Yoga Union where my transformation really began to take off. I now have a regular hot practice which I love, along with Vinyasa, Hatha, and Yin.
Like a child riding off on his bike without training wheels, I have been transformed, reborn, and filled once again with love, energy, passion, compassion and all the other fallible qualities that make me Damon. My Yoga path is my life path now and I have big dreams, ideas, goals and with my intention, humility and love, the world is once again open for me to explore and give back. I will begin teaching right where I began; introducing Yoga to people in need, to give back this gift of life (it saved my life) that was given to me - and the rest…well, you will just have to stay tuned.