• Nell Bryson

My Journey to Yoga

As I sit at my computer feeling nervous about writing my first blog

post, I worry about what people are going to think….will they like it?,

will they read it?....then I realize that I am here to share my journey

because if there is just one person out there that reads this and says…

there really are people out there with a similar journey as mine, then

I know that it was definitely the right thing to do.


My journey started back in 2006 when I was diagnosed with

Fibromyalgia. As some of you reading this may know, Fibromyalgia

can be very debilitating, frustrating and misunderstood. After many

tests, doctor visits and me leaving their office in tears, I was finally

given the diagnosis that summer. I was given different types of

medication and was sent on my way. Ok….so now what? Is this the

way I am going to feel for the rest of my life? I felt like I was in a fog

and my body hurt all over. I couldn’t remember things, I didn’t want

to do anything and this

was not who I wanted to be. I worried about losing my job that I

worked so hard for. My family and friends were very supportive, but I

know that they didn’t understand how I was feeling either. I looked

fine on the outside, but on the inside, my body was screaming….let

me out!


For 2 years, I went though many more tests and doctor visits. I was

sick and tired of feeling sick and tired. I just like everyone else wanted

a quick fix. But, there wasn’t one. I tired acupuncture, physical

therapy, kinesiology, and many other types of holistic approaches.

Some of those helped, but just for a short period of time. I didn’t

want to put on a Band-Aid to feel better, I wanted my life back.

A couple of the doctors that I visited suggested I try yoga. My first

response was…”I can barely stand at a checkout counter while

shopping for groceries without hanging on to something, and you

want me to try yoga?” I put that thought in the back of my mind and

kept living my life as it was….feeling like I was living in a bubble.

Finally, after having enough, I decided to give yoga a try, which took

me on another journey….finding someone in my area that taught

yoga that was gentle enough for me. I found a website of a small

yoga studio in Winona, MN that offered one on one classes. I booked

the class, bought a yoga mat and walked in with my stomach full of

butterflies and my anxiety on high alert! The instructor was very kind

and explained what yoga was and led me through a gentle yoga class.

I walked out of the class for the first time in years thinking that there

really could be something that may help. No, I wasn’t pain free, nor

did I feel like that this was the cure all, I just had a calm feeling and

finally after 2 years thought I may be on the right path. Looking back,

I’m not sure what it was, I just knew that I needed to try another class.

The following week, I booked a group class and continued attending

the classes for 2 years. I found during those years and attending

classes regularly, that my pain was more manageable and that I had a

total different outlook on life. I was much calmer on the inside and

out!


That brings me to where I am today….a 200 hr Registered Yoga

Teacher. Around the end of my 2nd year of attending yoga classes,

I thought back to where I started and where I was at that point. I also

knew that many people have a journey similar to mine and a whole

lot worse. I sat down with my husband and told him that I would like

to become a yoga teacher. I think he was surprised as I was that

those words came out of my mouth, but was very supportive. I then

talked to my yoga teacher and asked her what she thought. She told

me that she was registered with the Yoga Alliance to be a yoga school

and would work with me to become a 200 hr. Registered Yoga Teacher.

After meeting with her weekly, completing the required assignments

and learning how to sequence a class, I began teaching yoga classes.

Even though I was not a Registered Teacher at this point, I was still

able to teach classes on my own. My husband and I searched for

places for me to teach in our small town, which did not offer many.

We found a small room above and old movie theater that was

converted into offices and a small fitness center. We cleaned up the

room, purchased the necessary equipment, put an ad in the paper

and I was ready to go! On October 1, 2013 I taught my first class to 5

people. Oh my goodness…I cannot begin to tell you how nervous I

was. I remember opening my eyes during the beginning of the class

and thinking to myself…”they are doing what I am telling them to do ".

It was such a surreal moment, but definably a defining one. I knew

at that moment that deep inside of me was a passion for helping

others. On August 2, 2014, I became of 200 hr. Registered Yoga

teacher! I did it!! I was so proud of this accomplishment and I still am.


This October, I will celebrate 5 years of having my own yoga studio.

I would not have made it through those years without the love and

support of my family. My husband who is my biggest supporter

encourages me continue to live my dream. Our daughters who have

supported me by joining my classes, attending other classes and

workshops with me and have been my rock when I feel discouraged

and not sure if I want to continue. My son in laws, granddaughter

family and friends wear their Devine Yoga shirts with pride. The

people that I have met during my years of teaching have taught me

more than I have taught them. Each one of them has their own

unique journey and I am truly blessed that they allow me to be a part

of it. The friendships, love and support that they give me, make it

worthwhile for me to continue to follow my passion of teaching yoga.


I thank God every day for the journey he has sent me on. Sure it

hasn’t been easy, but no journeys are. Some of you reading this may

wonder if yoga has cured me of Fibromyalgia. No, but it has taught

me that Fibromyalgia is what I have, it is not who I am! Thank you for

taking the time to read my journey to yoga. Stay tuned for many more

to come!


Namaste, Nell

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