hello yogis! it’s ya girl Cass.
you would probably most accurately recognize me from behind a large pile of towels or laughing + goofing around from behind the YS desk. it has been the pleasure of my life to be one of the yoga squared interns, + i’m so excited i was chosen to be the yogi transformer this month!
okay let’s go.
I ran cross country + track in high school. 11 months a year. 6 days a week.
[funny side story! coach shell, Nicole’s dad, was my coach all throughout high school + that’s where I originally met Nikki! She would come to practice + meets to take stats for us. I remember calling her coach Nikki :’) little did I know I would end up working for her 5 years later + her studio would change my life.]
running was the only thing that could ease my loud mind. I have struggled with my mental health for as long as I can remember + running was my safe haven. I was in love with the feeling of my feet hitting the earth. I loved the intensity. the feeling of not being able to catch your breath after a long run put me in an indescribable state of peace. I am still a runner at heart, + will always have so much love for my stvm xc babies.
a friend posted a picture from a local yoga studio in Akron + I was looking for a new way to cross train so I thought ‘hey this can’t be too hard!’ lol. another girl from my team and I attended a hot power class. we came from a long run expecting this to be our recovery. I remember laying in savasana with tears rolling down my face. the class COMPLETELY silenced my mind. i was hooked.
the more I practiced yoga the more in tune I felt with my inner most self. I remember feeling like I never really knew myself until I practiced yoga. it gave me the tools to explore the places in my head I was usually too afraid to explore alone.
when I ran, similar to my yoga practice, I would set an intention. the words would vary from inner-peace, fast, quiet, explore, almighty, truth, strong, bad ass… the list goes on and on. I was in child’s pose in one of my all-time favorite teacher’s classes, Maria Varonis, + she said, “as humans we area almighty. we are completely in control of our own fate. we have the power to choose how this life unfolds.” that was it. girl almighty was born. I don’t think she knows she had a part in the inspiration behind my tattoo, so Maria, THANKS BOO!
to me, girl almighty is for us all. it’s for my mother, my baby sisters, nana, cousins, old teammates, my best friends, the child brides, the women who grew up less than 5 minutes from me who were not as fortunate as I was, the doctors, trans women, lawyers, sex workers, single mothers, entrepreneurs, women who don’t have the right to have a voice as loud as mine. may we all always feel almighty.
I got this tattoo when I was 18. I was so excited. I remember showing a friend + asked her honest opinion. she said it was beautiful but I cannot claim it until I live it. that hit me hard. how can I have these words tattooed on my body when I don’t live it? I allowed the actions of others dictate how I lived. a born people pleaser I wanted everyone to like me even if that meant them not respecting me as a human.
I spent many days and nights my first year of college very alone. I self-medicated as, unfortunately, many young adults// college aged kids do and I felt the side effects. hard. I was underweight and sick constantly. one Sunday morning at work a regular pulled me aside + asked if everything was okay. she said she noticed how much weight I had lost + how the color had left my face. I cried in the bathroom for about 4 minutes + decided it was time to change. this is where to yoga comes in. I broke up with my long-time boyfriend + shed the weight of some very toxic friendships. it always baffled me that no one warns you about how much mourning + loss there is in growth. I call 2017 my year of loss. at the time I did not realize it but I gained so much more. it was then I decided to dive head first in self exploration. I became fascinated with being a forever student. I started reading, studying, listening to those around me I looked up to. I wanted to change so I did but the path was not linear.
in December I saw an ad on facebook for a free week of yoga in highland square. I picked up a friend and we went to class. I remember stepping into the studio and taking a sigh of relief. I knew I was at home. I fell in love with Yoga Squared + haven’t practiced anywhere else since. my year at YS has been nothing short of magical. I am truly living my truth [s/o to my girl tip] working here. each + every teacher + student I have met during my time at YS has impacted me more than they will ever realize. thank you for your soft smiles on cold winter mornings when you walk into the studio. you have no idea how much I needed that.
being able to work for humans like Katelyn + Nicole changed the way I view work. they have loved, encouraged, trusted, + cheered for me so much throughout this year + I will never be able to say thank you enough. I am always in you guys’ corner!
I have felt my practice shift from a physical practice to something so much more. I can feel it from my head to my toes when I need yoga. it has become a part of my daily life, from focusing on my breath in moments of difficulty to getting on my mat when my body just needs to move. my yoga practice has become so vital to my life + I have YS to thank.
life definitely looks different from the way it did a year ago. I learned how to love myself. completely. I found my soul sister friends. I adopted two kittens. I fell in love again. life is different but it’s good. most days I still struggle and want to pull the covers over my face + just succumb to my dark thoughts. but my practice, my tribe, + my family shows me otherwise. I am so grateful for the life that yoga has given me.
thank you for listening.
cheering you on always.
xoxo Girl Almighty.