A few years ago I was strolling through my little town as I saw a woman with the warmest smile and welcoming eyes walking towards me. We hugged, and chatted and you would have thought we have been the best of friends, but we had never met. In fact, it would be another three years until we would cross paths again.
You can get to know Amber, hear her mission and testimony on her website https://beautifulandbeloved.com/. The way she approaches yoga is unique because it is focused on one on one attention and relationship building infused with her Christian faith. I wanted something a little more personal than my typical YOGA I do at the Y, and decided to attend one of her sessions. After the class, she told me about her new Trauma yoga therapy sessions she is trying to add to her business. Trauma yoga is a type of therapy that provides not only mental healing (the focus of most therapies) but also physical as well as spiritual healing. Trauma yoga offers a safe space to explore all the different aspects of ourselves to ultimately find love for ourselves, beauty in our bodies and purpose in our spirits.
Ok, so I am going to admit, I am not a frequent yoga doer in general or one willing to bring up traumas of my past. In fact my yoga knowledge is mostly from "Cosmic Kids Yoga" a children's yoga series I do with my kiddos. I have always prided on the fact that I was thick skinned and, what's the opposite word for vulnerable...guarded. So as you can imagine, it was super awkward at first, laying on a mat, under a blanket with my eyes closed with 5 other ladies I didn't know. Journaling painful moments of my past, stretching and breathing for what seemed like eternity and lots of child pose (my favorite part of yoga ha!)...but slowly within those 6 sessions, something began to shift in me. My body began to relax as I was able to literally extract my pain from it through breathing, moving, mindfulness and writing. And, to be honest, for the first time ever I was able to feel spiritually alive. Outside of my mind, beyond my physical being I was able to safely explore something outside myself. If you know me, I bet you are now thinking, Spiritual? Wow Milana! I would have never thought. If you knew me, you would know I am probably the least spiritual person you would ever meet, Yoga was all about ya know, stretching and trying hard not to pass gas for the past 15 years. But Amber's class taught me the power of healing I have never discovered before. That all the traumatic things that have happened and could possibly happen again, I now know my power and my truth and am able to get back on track living my beautiful, purposeful, vulnerable, beloved self. It has truly transformed my life. You can read more about this type of yoga by scrolling down after you click on the link above. So thank you sweet Amber for softening my heart and giving me the never ending gift of healing. <3
Today, I am thankful to call this beautiful lady my friend and I am so honored that she asked me to do a photo session for her business. Below are our favorite photos from her business branding session. I had the opportunity to photograph her community yoga classes she offers in her Palmer Lake, CO studio as well as spend time capturing a few environmental portraits for her website and social media pages.