WELCOME TO THE DHARMA DIARY
While I am more than a catchy proposition to grab your attention and keep you reading, I’ll sum myself up as a yoga student/teacher trying to continue a dedicated practice and connection to community (Sangha) while I travel. In-studio yoga isn’t as accessible on the road, so I was inspired to write the Dharma Diary to assist taking my practice more inward through self-study (Svadhyaya).
Dharma is a universal principle connected with truth (Satya). When one lives out their Dharma they are living in accordance with karma. It’s a disservice to summarize this too much, but I’ll definitely expand on the concept throughout this blog. It can be translated to “a right way of living.” Thinking on where my relationship to Dharma began is as far back as I can remember. For this blog to work I have to get really vulnerable, really fast because this entire project originates from my truth. So let’s rip off this bandaid…
hi! i'm mary.
Over a decade ago I “completed” my first group therapy program for eating disorders which surfaced in my early childhood. During my time in this program the main tool I learned was how to have a “better” eating disorder. Carrying this into my young adult life I found myself addicted to pain medication and toxic relationships. I knew deep down that I needed help again, so I started one on one work with a therapist a few times a week. At this point, my relationship to pain medication was totally underwraps and I worked solely on my eating disorder until the day that everything changed (that’s a story for another time). I was left with no choice but to come clean to my family, friends (what I had left) and therapist.
It was during this time that I began studying Buddhist literature and practicing yoga asana to help me manage anxiety during recovery. Months into my practice I knew I had found a tool to help me heal for the long haul. What I uncovered with yoga was a healthy relationship between my mind and body for the first time, a constant/unwavering practice I could turn to instead of a drug and a community that accepted me unconditionally. I needed to make yoga a part of my daily life and becoming a yoga teacher was my next step in making that happen. I am currently a 500HR Training Yoga Teacher and it has been my proudest life achievement.
Over the past 7 years I have relied on two yoga communities: one in my hometown of Chesterton, Indiana and most recently the very special Milwaukee, Wisconsin. This year, my husband (Brandon) and I decided to indulge our thirst for adventure and travel the US with our little cat (Griz). I write this story with anxiety about leaving teaching, an overall disconnect from yoga the way that I’ve known it, long distance between me and my main support systems and an eating disorder that likes to dial up over the loss of perceived control. While those parts of me exist, they don’t own me and this blog is my proclamation!
What I know is that my Dharma is to share from experience and vulnerability, so that others can find their own source of connection, heal and understand their Dharma too. I hope you’ll continue to follow along with me as I share the ups and downs of this shift, write about my travel/yoga experiences and curate yoga classes inspired by my new everchanging reality.