Allow me to introduce myself, share my pilgrimage into yoga, and why I became a yoga instructor. My name is Lesley Kleiner and I am an ERYT 500 in the Fort Lauderdale, Florida area. At a transitional time of my life, burnt out from one career and not really sure what I wanted to do next, I started a cleaning service. My family found this to be quite ironic, as I didn’t know we had underground garbage cans. A friend at the time was running a yoga studio and needed someone to clean it. That was one foot into the yoga world, allowing me to witness the increadible healing powers of yoga.
Through this transitional time, I was in a car accident where I suffered severe neck and back injuries, as well as surgery for TMJ. After years of physical therapy, pain killing drugs and steroids, I finally decided to give the discipline of yoga a try, although fighting it tooth and nail. During my first class, I couldn’t even raise my arms above my head, turn my neck to one side or even attempt to bend forward. Something kept telling me to go back.
I was encouraged to come every day for three months with the guarantee it would change my life, and did it ever! It was by no means an easy fix, but the sense of well-being I felt after each class made me make that commitment. Learning to accept what we can do and not what we can’t do, allowed the practice to bring me back to my own empowerment. I re-connected to my own body’s ability to heal. We all have the incredible ability to heal, we just tend to lose the lines of communication to our own body wisdom. Yoga reopened those lines for me so much and I had found my new direction… Yoga Instructor.
I have now been pain-free for years and have taught for the past 20 years. I’ve started the yoga programs in two of our community hospitals as well as having owned my own studio, which I have since sold. Currently, I still teach classes, workshops and privates. Sharing my experience with students, hodling space for each and everyone, encourages them to pause into the nothingness, listen and breathe.