Heartbreak Kids Podcast
Summary: "Heartbreak Kids" is a podcast where we explore the meaning of “why” we show up to yoga how it helps us into our lives. I believe the practice of yoga brings about huge shifts in people's lives.
Harmony was one of those people that when you met her she was immediately someone that you wanted to hang out with. She was down to earth and real. When I met her in Mysore, India about 5 years ago our families became friends. Our kids played together, we celebrated birthdays and spent time studying yoga. She was always someone I looked up to because she just has the yoga in her. I always had to work really hard and study continues to have that stuff or live that stuff. She was given that gift and to be honest I don’t know if she knows how big of a star she is. This is a special edition of The Heartbreak Kids with Harmony Slater.
In this episode of The Heartbreak Kids we feature another one of The Trini Foundation scholarship students, Sarah Nelson. Sarah has been coming to yoga for about 8 months now. When she applied for a scholarship, I remember reading the application and thinking to myself “this is the type of person we are looking for.” Her answers were honest and down to earth. She needed help getting and staying in recovery. One of the biggest rewards as a teacher is to watch students grow. Sarah has grown in front of my eyes. Sobriety comes one day at a time, and Sarah shows up to class every day with a smile and drive. She is working hard to stay sober and it’s evident her practice supports her sobriety. Even after only practicing for a short while, she has made a big impact at Ashtanga Yoga Columbus. She has made herself a home here at AYC and has found her tribe. She is an example of how important it is to find community in recovery. I am proud to call Sarah my student and hope her story inspires others to find their path towards recovery – whatever that looks like.
Episode 9 coincides with Abi Wright moving to Columbus, to be part of our community at AYC. Many people don’t know this but early this I made a promise to my family. The promise was simple, even though I was traveling around the world I would still be present in families lives. I’m gone a lot. I started to realize that I was going to need help managing my time and entities. This is where Abi comes in. She is basically my personal assistant. She helps with my scheduling, ideas, and execution of these things including this podcast. She does all the hearts for this show and came up with the concept that is The Heartbreak Kids. I needed time with my family and support, and she needed something new. This podcast couldn’t have come at a better time for the people at Ashtanga Yoga Columbus. You can finally get to know Abi even bough she has been working behind the scenes to support our community. I was in Chattanooga doing a workshop and I remember this lady asking a bunch of questions. She wanted the details of ashtanga yoga and she wanted it all in one workshop. After the workshop, she stood in line to say good bye and she told me she was coming to her first Mysore class the next day with me. As I watched her practice I started to understand. Abi was good with the intensity of the practice, the sequence, the poses. She had a lot of the elements that make a good ashtanga practitioner. She was one of us! Even if was only her first time in a Mysore class. About a month later she made her first trip to Columbus where I was able to witness how hard she had been working. In a month she was already proficient at the primary series something that takes many people like me years to master. I started to realize that the postures were where Abi was going to find yoga. She was going to find it in the subtleties. He journey was purely not physical but all about her tuning into her life and the thought process that made her unable to see her true potential. It was an inside job not and outside job.
After a little break because of the birth of my son Xavier, I have another Heartbreak Kids Episode releasing. This one is with my friend Irene from Guatemala. As with many of my students, we connected over a common topic. Addiction. She told me that she had struggled with addiction and when I told her my story, she opened up to me. Our stories were very similar. We stayed in contact and I got to witness her growth which is always the most rewarding thing about being a teacher. Addiction give us so much guilt and shame so to help someone work through that is an honor and privilege. It’s why I teach today. And it’s why I continue to explore my student’s stories with this podcast. ” I knew there was hope for myself when I heard Taylor talking about how Ashtanga yoga changed his life and helped him with his addiction. That was a crucial moment in my life. I decided to give it a try and I had a feeling a could also have a better life without alcohol and drugs. Ashtanga came into my life like a thunderbolt…. it struck me right where I needed it the most. “My Ego”, my demons, and all the shit I was carrying came out. Now every day that I step on my mat, I have a new opportunity to be a better version of myself and wouldn’t change that for anything.” -Irene
When I met Hillary in Chattanooga Tennessee, I knew she was going to be a friend immediately. She was funny, talkative and we connected through how yoga had touched our lives. She started making trips to Columbus to study at AYC. I’ve had the pleasure of watching her practice grow but also see her fulfill her dreams of opening her business. She is a big part of growing the Ashtanga community in Chattanooga, TN and it is one of my favorite places to visit. Listen to her episode of how she came to practice, how she has dealt with the ups and downs of her life through her dedication to all aspects of this practice.
This episode is special to me because it features one of my dearest friends and fellow teacher at my home shala Ashtanga Yoga Columbus: Danielle DePompei. When I first Danielle immediately knew she one of my people. She was kind and considerate and hardworking. She was a good student who dedicated herself to the practice of Ashtanga yoga. She also became my dear friend and one of my yoga sisters. She moved to Columbus and started our night Mysore program at Ashtanga Yoga Columbus. Since that move, she has become a huge presence in all of our lives. Listen as Danielle shares her story and her soul and see why she holds such a special place in our hearts here in Columbus. ❤️ #welcometotheheartbreakkids #thisistheheartbreakkids #taylorhuntyoga #bringyourasstoclass #yogapodcast #whywepractice
Olivia was one of the youngest students that ever walked through AYC. She came in with this natural ability to do this practice. I have been practice at AYC for almost a year. I found the Ashtanga practice by accident. I walked into AYC thinking I had signed up for a beginners class to learn about Mysore style. When I walked in, I was filled with anxiety. I thought about leaving and every excuse I could use to get out of there as quickly as possible. After being a vinyasa practitioner for almost 4 years, the Mysore room was very intimidating. I am so glad I decided to stay and try it out. The Ashtanga practice has helped me deal with many things such as having addict family members.
John reached out to me before I first met him to tell me that he was struggling with some of life’s big problems. He told me that yoga was saving his life and he wanted the changes that he found in my life. When I saw him in the mysore room I noticed he practiced like I did. He was fighting for the change just as I did. John is new on the path of recovery as well as yoga- listen and be inspired by the changes already taking place in his life as he navigates his newfound freedom from addiction. From John: “I have been a student for 6 months at the Columbus shala. I am an alcoholic and addict who has received the Trini Foundation scholarship. I am an air force brat who was born in North Dakota (was not mentioned in the podcast) I have lived in Germany. Soccer ran my life and now it’s Ashtanga.”
Stephanie walked into our Mysore room and she was so rough around the edges. I taught her the series over several months. I remember every time that I showed her something new, she cussed and told me she was unable to do it. This was a pattern that showed up continuously. From the first day, Stephanie was able to do all of the primary, but getting her to believe in herself is what I thought what could teach her the most. “I started practicing Ashtanga yoga because I wanted to be someone else other than an ex-fiancé. I was exhausted from being the girl who worked 2 jobs, ate like shit, and was always down for a PBR and a line of coke. I started practicing Ashtanga yoga because I thought it made you look cool and I wanted so badly for people to like me for something other than my blurry past. I don’t know why I continued to go. It hurt. It made me think about myself and my actions. It did not make me look cool. Frankly, no one cared. No. One. Gave. A. F. This blew my mind. I’ve been a codependent woman for so long I thought that everyone cared at all times about what I was doing and it was my job to wear the mask to please them. But here, no one cared about the surface, who I was or why I stepped in the door. All that mattered is that I showed up and I was willing to deal with all the shit just like everyone else was trying to do. Because when you take care of your own shit, when you try to be a better person, when you tend to your own garden, that is when your true self-comes along and that is what’s important. That is what’s cool. And people dig it. And you are able to drop your mask and grow. This is not why I came to Ashtanga, but it sure as hell is why I’m staying.” – Stephanie RECORDING CONTAINS EXPLICIT MATERIAL
Episode 2: Amber Fogel In this episode, we talk about how Amber, a long time, a dedicated student of mine, found yoga and how her practice has changed over time. We also touch on what it means to have a teacher, how it’s helping her unravel long held patterns of anxiety and self-doubt and how it’s helping her navigate huge life changes. #welcometotheheartbreakkids
Meet our first Heartbreak Kid, Courtney Miller. Courtney has been a student of mine for several years now, and I’ve had the opportunity to see first hand the growth that she has been through. When I went to San Antonio for the first time, she walked in to meet me, I felt this sense of connection immediately: it was like we already knew each other- two people on the same journey. “Like many women, I spent my teenage and college years struggling with body image. In fact, I struggled with an eating disorder from middle school into my mid 20’s. No matter how many times I tried to break my habits of food restriction, I always fell back into the same routine. The practice of Ashtanga Yoga had a profound impact on my ability to understand my disorder and to manage the root cause – anxiety. By continuing to practice, I was able to slowly chip away at my self-hatred and find the self-acceptance underneath. As I accessed that confidence and self-acceptance over and over again, I found myself feeling something I’d never felt before: an appreciation for my body.”