Martha's Story

In 2005 at the age of 30, I heard there was a yoga studio a few blocks away from my home in Loveland, Colorado. I didn't know much about yoga. What I did know was that I was suffering terrible pain in my body that no doctor could figure out. I had seen several physicans, and none of them could find anything physically wrong with me. The one that got the closest to helping was the doctor that remarked, "You should be able to blow a better exhale on the spirometer. Go home and practice." This only made me angry and frustrated, and the sharp pains in my chest became more frequent and intense. I saw that doctor after being taken to the ER by my boss, who thought I may have been having a heart attack due to the sharp debilitating chest pain that came on suddenly one day at work. I also had suffered several physical and emotional traumas, including a 15-foot fall to the hard desert ground, breaking bones as well as enduring other serious blows to my body, and emotional scarring from abuse. I was also a diagnosed narcoleptic. I had been being treated for narcolepsy since the age of 16 when I fell asleep driving and wrecked. 

 

The studio in Loveland was a welcoming environment, but I was terribly shy and self-conscious. I recall walking home from that first class not sure what had just happened. I had never experienced a real sense of relaxation before. I had never really opened to experiencing my breath, and the ability to be fully present in my body and at the same time relaxed. I had danced as a kid, but ballet for me was an emotionally charged nightmare in some ways, and in other ways the very thing that likely saved my life. I cried on that walk home from the yoga studio. It wasn't sadness; it was a distinct feeling of cracking open and an unfamiliar sense of surging energy. In 2006 I moved to Roanoke, Virginia, and I fell in love with the Ashtanga yoga method. The active practice of meditation in motion was exactly what I needed. I still had mysterious pain. As I practiced, I learned how to negotiate with the pain—to learn from it—and to notice where I met it, and if it was physical or emotional. The concept of physcial pain being from an emotional source was new to me. As I practiced I began to work with softening the edges and began to feel less pain and more of a sense of release and relief and more joy.

 

During one practice, I was working through a lot, and after the class I spoke with the instructor; she suggested I see Kathleen Barratt for a breathwork session. I will not go into the details of the first session, but after that experience, I knew there was so much more I needed to learn! Working with Kathleen and the Barratt Breathwork® model taught me more about breath, energy, and consciousness, and it introduced me to bioenergy. I later studied with master bioenergy healer Mietek Wirkus. In the first bioenergy class I took, I knew that I had tapped into a natural innate healing ability that had been dormant. As I practiced yoga, breathwork, and bioenergy, it became clear to me that if there is any way I can reach others and help through these modalities, that it was indeed part of my path. With that awareness, I left the corporate world in 2014 after 14 years of working for global agriscience and biotechnology companies. I am grateful for my time in the corporate world. The last five years or so with my full-time job were much smoother as I integrated yoga, breathwork, and bioenergy practices into my life. All three practices have a deep focus on breath and meditation. The deveopment of a consistent meditation practice has been a result of this trinity of disciplines. The synthesis of these three practices, which are each remarkable in and of themselves, have connected me to a depth of my being I had no idea existed. They have allowed me to be of service to others in many ways, continue to support my health and wellness, and heightened my intuitive sensitity to enable me to continue the work. I no longer take medication for narcolepsy and have a more loving relationship with my body, mind, and spirit. I have opened to Joy—the real deal, not something that can be bought or conjured up. Of course I am human and still have challenges, but I feel I have a full treasure trove of practices supporting me at all times. Maintaining a sense of curiousity is key; we are are all in this school of life together. Each and every moment is an opportunity, every breath a gift. I will always be a student walking along the path. It is perhaps now that I've opened the door and see the path before me more clearly and am ready to step out, so that I may extend my hand in service to others to walk through their own personal door to freedom.   

 

 

•  BS, Environmental Science, Ferrum College 1999

•  Yoga Teacher Training, Ashtanga Yoga, Blue Ridge School of Massage and Yoga 2010

•  Restorative Breathwork® Advanced Facilitator, Barratt Breath Institute 2013

•  Bioenergy Master Certificate, Mietek & Margaret Wirkus/BioRelax 2014

•  Self Realization Fellowship Member 2010 to present