General, Health Benefits of Yoga, Yoga Transformation

Personal Yoga Transformation Featuring Anita Johnson

We often talk about the transformative effects of yoga on the body, mind and spirit and how yoga can bring more balance, harmony, strength and flexibility to our body and mind.  This can also result in an outer shift in our reality.

But wouldn’t it be nice to not just hear us talk about these transformations in general terms, but to hear real-life stories about how yoga has changed the lives of people in our community?

Stories you can read at any time that will help re-ignite your passion, love and commitment to yoga?

Glimpes into other people’s lives to remind you of the bigger picture “why” for your practice of yoga?

We think so…that’s why we are introducing a new series of blogs at Mangala Yoga, one of the premier yoga studios on Maui!

This new series will feature the stories of Mangala Yoga students and teachers…

Real-life “case-studies” of people who have moved into more empowering, purposeful, and rich lives through their practice of yoga.

With that said, this month’s story is from our very own Studio Manager and yoga teacher extraordinaire, Anita Johnson.

Find out how yoga helped Anita move through a painful job loss and the ensuing doubt and fear that arose.

This story is perfect for anyone navigating an uncomfortable or unknown transition in their life!

Thank you, Anita!


Anita’s Story

“Yoga has changed my life in more ways than I could have ever imagined. Sounds cliche but so true…

 I took my first “real” yoga class the day I was laid off from my job as a landscape architect.

I had so many thoughts going through my mind about how I failed, what my family was going to think, how I would balance my finances, where I would have to move for work, the thoughts just went on and on and on…

When I came home from work early my roommate invited me to go to yoga. My head was full of so many other thoughts about my life, I really didn’t have the room to make an excuse.

So I went.

As soon as we dropped into our seat, (mind you my first class was a heated vinyasa), I immediately felt better, but still a bit unclear about it ALL.

As the class flowed, I noticed my thoughts shifting into how to move my body and breathe and less about how I had no idea what I was doing with my life.

When we took our first chair pose, the instructor held it for what seemed like HOURS. I was sweating and shaking like crazy feeling as if I was going to collapse, then I heard her say,

“Everything is temporary and has an end both here on the mat and off the mat in our life.”

Shortly after, we released our chair pose and stood still. It was over. I made it.

At that point I couldn’t differentiate between the sweat and the tears, but all I know is I was drenched and hooked.

I knew that just like that pose, I was going to make it. Regardless of how unsure, unstable or uncomfortable I was with the life change in front of me. Yoga reminded me that this transition was happening for a bigger reason, it was part of my life’s purpose.

A month later, I found myself surrounded by a yoga community and although I was still looking for work I felt most at home when I was at the yoga studio.

Two years later (June, 2011), I participated in a yoga teacher training course.

Two months after my first yoga teacher training, I felt the “winds of change,” and I moved to Maui and joined Maureen and her vision of Mangala Yoga. This was August of 2011.

I have been here ever since.

Yoga continues to present to me opportunities to grow as an individual and has given me the tools needed to keep moving forward, by finding peace in all that shows up along the way.

I am way more calm, happy and in control of my thoughts and emotions because of yoga.”


How Has Yoga Transformed YOUR Life?

If you have a story to tell, please let us know! We would love to interview you and give you the chance to inspire others with your experience.

You can email us at or let one of us know you would like to share your story with the community.

Here’s to celebrating change and transformation in our lives!
The Mangala Yoga Team



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