5 Reasons Yoga is Changing My Life (And Why It Might Be Changing Yours, Too)

As most of you know, yoga has been an important part of my life. I talk about it, practice, teach it, and am forming a business and movement around it. But sometimes, when we get into things, it’s easy to forget that some people are wondering what it IS. So I want to talk about it!
This a fairly good length of a read. Definitely worth it if you have the time, but if time is limited today, instead of skipping the whole thing, I’d recommend reading “What is yoga?”, read the bullet points, and then skip on down to 5 Reasons why Yoga Is Continuing to Change my Life. 
I always come back to this, even as it is a big part of my life. Yoga, as known by a lot people today is a form of exercise that encompasses movement, mindfulness, breathing techniques, and meditation. It is used by many increase body awareness & focus, manage stress, get stronger, and increase body flexibility, to name a few benefits. But did you know that yoga was formed as a PHILOSOPHY? Before the handstands, splits, and glorious circus-looking postures, it provided guiding principles on HOW to live a well-rounded life that was full of consistent growth and happiness. It was formed on 8 “limbs” that included everything from how to treat people and yourself to how to manage your energy, to exercise, focus, and even seeing the world with an OPEN and NEUTRAL perspective (which is the ultimate goal).

But did you know that yoga was formed as a PHILOSOPHY?

Philosophy – (noun) The rational investigation of the truths and principles of being, knowledge, or conduct.

But that is an “on paper” definition. Here’s why it has made such an impact on me.
In 1995, my mother died of a heart attack from congenital heart failure. One night she was up and well, watching a movie with me, and when we woke up, she had passed in her sleep. As an 8 year old mama’s boy, It took me YEARS to accept this. It’s natural for a kid to be in denial when a person of that magnitude in his life is there one day, and not the next. But what I didn’t know is that this denial would cause me to live life feelig entitled, sorry for myself, and I lived waiting for her to come back save me. My mother’s passing intimidated me, and I lived life scared, and lost because of that fear. Although my aunt raised me and my dad was in my life (and I Iove them dearly), it just wasn’t the same.

My mother’s passing INTIMIDATED me, and I lived life scared and lost because of that fear.

Intimidate – (verb) to force or deter from ACTION

Years later, the feeling of “waiting,”‘continued, and as I became an adult, I never REALLY took control of my life. I dropped out of college, got a job, and stayed there for 7 years, highly motivated, but still lost. And It was a really good job, considering my circumstances, but I wasn’t happy, and on a deep, core level I still lived with that sense of entitlement, that one day mom would come back to save the day.


Because of the full spectrum of benefits that yoga offers, when I stumbled into Corepower “looking for something to add to my fitness routine,” I naturally started to “uncover” and feel things that I NEVER let myself feel. And although this uncovering process brought about my darkest years, it was the start of something great BECA– USE it allowed me to face my true self so I could finally step up to life, own my story, and excel in life. I courageously take leaps and chase my passion despite fear, and I’ve experienced happiness on the INSIDE.

Although this uncovering process brought about my darkest years, [yoga] was the start of something great BECA– USE it allowed me to face my true self so I could finally step up to life, own my story, and excel in life.

Here are 5 specific reasons why yoga is continuing to change my life and why it might change yours: 

1. Yoga has grounded me into my true feelings, uncovering misleading beliefs. 
  • I fought the feelings that my mother’s passing made me feel for years, and still do sometimes, but Yoga has taught me ground into every feeling I have, and ACTUALLY deal w/ it. It’s like if you have something smelly in your house: if you don’t deal with it, it’ll only get worse, and sometimes dealing with it is hard, so we run away from it.
2. Yoga has allowed me to look inside myself instead of OUTSIDE to find happiness. 
  • For years, I was in complete automatic mode. My goals were based on what I’ve been told is important. I was fixated on a mansion, a audi S8 car, and high rise apartment with a KILLER view. Now these are AWESOME goals, but there was no PURPOSE attached to them. And because I looked to those to define my happiness, I would have been unhappy for a long time. Yoga has uncovered Purpose for me, and I’m more happy right now, even without a car (although I’ll gladly take those things when things start to pick up, ha!)
3. Yoga has allowed me to categorize and organize everything about myself, making it easier to access and direct my energy.
  • One of the main reasons why I felt so long was because I didn’t understand how I worked as a human. I didn’t UNDERSTAND why I felt a certain way, or what it meant to be grounded, of act with POWER. I didn’t UNDERSTAND the value of being OPEN, or the value of communication. I didn’t understand the puzzle of life, and how to put it together. Through yoga’s movement and philosophy, I’ve been able to UNDERSTAND, at a higher level, my past, where I am now, and my vision for the future, and this has made me HAPPY.
4. Yoga has allowed me to OWN MY STORY.
  • For years I was ashamed of my story. I always kept my mother’s passing a secret to most. I have been ashamed to say that because I was lost, I fucked up my credit, and I have driver’s license issues because I refused to show up to court. I have been ashamed to say that at 29, I don’t have a car and I’ve been living paycheck to paycheck since I started working 11 years ago. But yoga and leadership has taught me that my story is my way out! It is how I can connect with people on a deeper level, because we all have something that we’re ashamed of. We all have something that if we share, just might REALLY help someone who is lost right now. And so I own that shit. And I have a newfound energy because of it!
5. Yoga has allowed me to strengthen my imagination, my vision, and REVERSE ENGINEER it to start to practically piece it together. 
  •  Most importantly, yoga has allowed me to see a BIGGER PICTURE that is more clear. It has put me in tune with my intuition that allows me to transcend myself even when my brain wants me to be stagnant. And MOST IMPORTANTLY, it has allowed me to see clearly the pieces of my bigger life puzzle, so that I’m willing to be present in THE WORK it takes to put it altogether.
So, how does yoga do all this? What’s the secret? Yoga practice is awareness practice. And awareness is the part of ourselves that will always be happy because it is always growing. It allows us to shed old skin so we can SOAR through life.

Own Your Story

Today, I dare you to own you story. I dare you to be proud of everything that has happened to you because it is those very things that are going to excel you, and continue to, forever.

Make it happen 
We all can use a little bit a break sometimes. But not just a “lucky” break. A system that allows you to take control of your life and keep control of it. A system that allows you to continue to grow, even when if feels like you can’t anymore. A system that can become an everyday part of your life that brings value into WHATEVER you do. If you have NOT taken class with me and are OPEN to learning more about yoga, contact me about my class and workshop schedule at dandredclayton@gmail.com.

If you have taken class with me before, I have a workshop coming up that I’m EXTREMELY excited about, and if you are excited about growth, click the link below NOW to read more information on this workshop. 


Til next time,


Comments 1

  1. C. Moya

    Loved this! I think we can all relate to your journey in some form or fashion because as human beings, we are all flawed…we all have stuff we run from or try to hide …and we’re all searching for answers, meaning, and connections to a larger picture. I stumbled upon yoga four or five years ago…but it was all physical for me. I attended the hottest, most intense studio in California, if not the United States. We pushed ourselves to the point of collapse every single day because there was little spiritual guidance in the practice and that was the only way we knew to achieve that magical release of stress and tension that yoga provides. Eventually, it started taxing my adrenal glands so much that I became sick from the thing I loved the most (yoga). That’s really how I stumbled upon CorePower…not by choice, but as a way to build back up my stamina so I could go back to my original studio (once my body healed enough from the condition I had). I thought – this will be a filler or a bridge for me. This is not REAL yoga. Real yoga is not set to music and it’s not Vinyasa…Real yoga is Hatha -style and it can only be done in the most extreme conditions…well, guess what…a funny thing happened this summer that changed my perspective on EVERYTHING I thought I knew….I started to find that mental/spiritual connection in these new classes…through the connection of breath to movement and the setting of intentions and honoring one’s journey with no judgement. It’s been life-changing and you have been a HUGE part of that transformation so thank you for sharing your story, because it resonates on so many levels – and I am sure with so many people! I am looking forward to learning so much more!

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