As I anticipated attending the Holy Yoga Immersion Retreat last November, I had mixed feelings.
Part of me was excited. For the year prior, I was fulfilling the requirements to be an instructor through Holy Yoga. The Immersion Retreat was the last step. I had been practicing as a Dietitian/Nutritionist for 10+ years, and God was calling me into new territory—a private practice which included yoga. It felt great, and scary, to be adding this new component to my career. I was enjoying the online training, and it was exciting to be stepping into this new calling from God.
Another part of me was afraid. As someone who has been dealing with infertility for several years, it is easy to feel alone. You have this inner ache to be a mom. You live in a world surrounded by moms, but you are a mother without children. So, you don’t feel like you are truly you. You don’t want to make people feel sad or awkward, so you often keep it to yourself. For this reason, it’s easy to feel alone in a group full of people.
At this point on my infertility journey, being in God’s presence through worship always resulted in crying out to my heavenly Daddy. Holy Yoga is a physical form of worship, so I knew there would be tears at the retreat. I didn’t want to cry as we worshipped our Father through movement. I didn’t want to feel this vulnerable around a group of strangers.
The night before the retreat began, I was listening to worship music in my hotel room thousands of miles away from home. God was working on my heart and leading me to pray specifically for those attending who were carrying the same pain. As I mentioned, being a childless mother makes you feel alone, so I prayed God would send another childless mother my way so they would not feel alone as I did.
At the retreat, I shared a cabin with 11 other women. The second night was spent sharing our hearts and our two beautiful leaders. I intended to keep my heartache to myself, but God nudged me to be brave and share when my time came around. He gave me the strength as I poured my heart out to these women I barely knew. He was with me as I shared how much I ached for children, and how long I had been lifting this pain to my Father.
I have never felt so much love and compassion from a group of women. When they prayed over me, the tears came and washed away my fears of being vulnerable. On this same night, I learned God placed another childless mother in my path. He led me to pray for this sister specifically, and then put her right there in my cabin. We were not alone.
As a group, we spent the week praying and crying and praying some more. For this reason, we nicknamed ourselves “PAC,” which stands for “Pray and Cry.” We grew very close and still keep in touch virtually, sharing our hearts and our lives.
The entire week was fantastic and transformational. It was a week I will never forget. God’s presence was there in the community, and I felt far from alone. Those “strangers” surrounding me all week are now sisters/brothers, friends, and prayer warriors. We came from different parts of the world, from various stages of life, and diverse backgrounds, but we are forever united through Christ and our love for worship through movement.
I arrived at retreat feeling broken-hearted and alone. I came home with a whole heart, tear stains on my yoga mat, and a community I will have for the rest of my life as I live out God’s calling.
Since the Immersion Retreat, I have started the private practice God put on my heart. My specialties are in working with women with disordered eating, body concerns, and other health issues, including one of the most common causes of infertility—PCOS. I offer nutrition counseling and one-on-one yoga-inspired movement. I also love to write, and God allows me to use this passion through different avenues. God is calling me to focus on helping other women right now as I trust Him to grow our family in His time; however, this will look. Knowing I have God’s presence with me, and this new community of prayer warriors behind me gives me the courage I need as I step out into God’s calling on my life.
The next Holy Yoga Instructor training starts in September and I can’t express to you enough how life changing and life giving this training and immersion experience was for me. Check it out today and connect with an Enrollment Specialists to see how you can be a part of this amazing community!
Post by: Dana Schaub MS RD LD RYT is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Registered Yoga Teacher. She completed the 225 hour training through Holy Yoga in November of 2018 and has received additional training in chair/senior yoga and yoga with weights. Dana has a business and blog under the same name, Whole Self Care. (www.wholeselfcare.net) She loves to write and help others on their journey of taking care of themselves through faith-based nutrition counseling, stress management, and personalized movement sessions. She also enjoys dancing and spending time with her husband and 3 puppies.