In honor of our intention to ‘Be on Purpose’ in the month of January, SWIHA staff member and Yoga Teacher, Joan Lloyd Collins, shares her story of discovering the power of holistic modalities.
What brought you to SWIHA?
My spirit guides and divine intervention. I called the Bay Area home for 25 years. Because I was driven by the teachings of western medicine, I pursued my Master’s in Public Health and my Bachelor’s in Nursing. However, things changed in 2010 when I developed a health issue. I went to my regular doctors—had scans, and tests of all kinds—and in the end the advice I received was that I had to live with it. That there was nothing that can be done.
Wrong answer. To help myself, I started looking into alternative medicine like meditation, yoga and acupuncture. My world changed, and I found a different way of healing.
My husband and I moved to Arizona in 2012 because the heat and beauty of the desert attracted us to the wide-open spaces. I remember looking for a yoga studio and finding Spirit of Yoga (SOY), however, the pictures made it look very exclusive and expensive. It took us about two years to finally go and see the studio. We joined that day, and within the year I enrolled in the 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training program, ultimately completing the 600-hour training as well. By 2017, I was co-teaching Yoga Teacher Training, holding classes around the valley and at SOY, and working at the studio. I truly believe there was a lesson for me to receive by finding SOY/SWIHA.
What goals did you have the past year and how did you achieve them?
To become more grounded I am an air sign, a Libra (cardinal), and thinking is very much a part of who I am. Although I don’t tend to live in the ether, I do have a tendency to stay in my head and weigh all sides of an issue, over and over. I have finally learned and started to develop and trust my own intuition. I’d also like to achieve one pull-up—still working on it, I’m almost there. And explore Herbalism, especially western vegetation.
If you haven't achieved your goals yet, what are you doing to get closer to them?
I continue my daily yoga/meditation and walking practice. I talk to god to help me on my path daily. I keep working on building upper body strength to complete that one pull-up. And, ultimately, become a part of the new way of healing.
How does intention/mindfulness show up in your life?
Mindfulness shows up in the garden. The flowers. The trees. In the seven wild cats—six are kittens—that we somehow became the caretakers of. The wind through the leaves. The late quiet of the afternoon. The peace at three-in-the-morning, when I’m getting up to start practice. It shows up in the flow of yoga, walking, and turning my face to the sun. Mindfulness shows up anywhere, as long as you are open to receiving it!