“I am in recovery from the disease of Alcoholism with 11 years remission/sobriety. It’s not just about getting the alcohol out of my system, it’s about starting the journey into discovering who I am, authentically.
Before my sobriety, alcohol was the escape from myself; a chance to numb my mind from all the self-hate.
When I was very young, I was sexually abused. The abuse warped and confused me and created my misunderstanding of what it meant to be loved. I entered into a codependency- looking for my inner value through others. In my teens, I started trying to find love through men and intimacy. I know now, that was the farthest from true expression of healthy love. I got to the point where I was so confused with how to navigate relationships, how to love and define myself, that I picked up alcohol.
The shame grew, growing into what felt like an insurmountable amount of hate towards myself. I got to a point where I was going to end my life. That night I desperately asked for help.
I asked for that help from something bigger than me; a higher power. I began my journey into recovery from alcoholism, recovery from crippling codependency, and a true understanding of authentic Love.
I started doing Yoga with the the intention of learning how to bring meditation into my life. The practice was challenging, especially savasana. But Yoga is magic! From my continued practice I kept hearing: “how do I make my life’s journey helpful to others?” How do I make a difference?
Again, I asked for help, and what came back to me was “BE A YOGA TEACHER.” I had been practicing for about 2 years. I had doubts about many things, most of all my abilities, physically, mentally and experientially. I cried through the fear and entered into a 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training the day after I got my first wheel.
Transformation is crazy and exciting, sometimes spooky and momentarily immobilizing. I’ve done a lot of soul searching. I’ve found that my journey of understanding and the action of Love is through helping others; it all starts with self Love. In my classes, students come and practice, getting into their bodies and learning what it means to be in the present moment; to be available to hear the still, small voice that wants only for them to know Love and to share it.
My mission is to hold a safe space for people to believe that they can have their own miracles; a space that will help them let go whatever non-truth they may have believed about themselves and find the gifts of release from the harms and hurts that they’ve endured throughout their lifetime.
During a powerful practice during my yoga teacher training, a miracle happened. I was in savasana and saw an image of a little girl who had been hurt like me. She had been scared and alone and imprisoned to a false belief. My whole body felt a deep understanding of letting go. I understood that she doesn’t have to feel like she’s going to be hurt anymore.
I knew then, in that moment, I wanted to be a teacher and I wanted to inspire; to put breath into what I was hearing and give life and light to others.
I’m teaching to everyone, anywhere in their journey and providing space for those in recovery from any harm or hurt.
Life can be messy. I still get uncomfortable about being messy, but over time I’ve been able to cherish that I’m a beautiful mess and I’m my most powerful when I’m in that state of mind- just like my practice: never perfect, but perfectly imperfect. Growing mentally, physically and experientially.
Existing in vulnerability and being authentic about it is powerful. I share from that place. When I show up for others, genuine and teared-up; when I talk about what I’ve gone through in my life, I help others go back, reflect, and then come to be grateful for their journey now. Even if it’s messy. I am working on sharing my evolving story of beautiful triumphs and my ever-going practice of staying in the now.” – Teri Benge
See how Teri works to grow her voice on her Instagram account: @teribenge5 and with: #imhereyoga