Inspiring Yogi | Carolyn Hopkins
Carolyn’s story is one of courage and hope. Inspire Yoga is truly honored to have her as a student for a while now. Each class, she inspires us. Her smile, perseverance and strength are radiant. We hope you enjoy getting to know her as much as we have.
I am such a ‘young’ yogi, but grew so quickly in my practice this past year. I’ve been doing yoga for years, but had no idea what a true yoga practice could do for me physically, emotionally and spiritually until the events of this past year unfolded.
I was diagnosed last summer with breast cancer. Thankfully, just a Stage Zero – but it still necessitated a double mastectomy. Inspire and my wonderful instructors taught me more in the past several months than I could ever have imagined.
An invaluable lesson: I learned how to breathe.
Such a small statement that just a few words can never properly convey. This simple act began to help me through the most trying moments of my journey over the past year. I suffered panic attacks and learned how to breathe through the intensity. I even ran away from home at times, to go to the studio to breathe and just be.
From this simple, but powerful turning point in my practice, amazing things began to happen in my time on the mat. Everyone has their own mantra and one of Nancy’s is “I am alive, I am present”. A few months after my first surgery, a dear friend and personal training client of mine was diagnosed with Stage Four pancreatic cancer. Emotionally, I thought I was now handling my journey with ease and grace. However, when he was diagnosed I realized I might not be as ready to help him and his wife as much as I had thought. My old panicky feelings were lurking again. Thankfully I found Leanne’s happy hour class. I was thinking about my friend during one class in particular. At a very specific point in that class and with no warning, the words “I AM ALIVE!” were shouted in my mind. Trust me, it stopped me in my tracks.
At that moment I finally had peace and realized his journey was his own and I could only offer love and support. I have such peace and calm in my life now. Great things have been bestowed on me. New found calm even came in the hospital after my second surgery. My blood pressure kept dropping low and the nurse became concerned. Shaking me, she asked repeatedly, “Mrs. Hopkins, are you okay?!” My reply, “Yep. Just practicing my yogi breathing.”
What a gift.