Who am I exactly?
As a new contributing writer for Christians Practicing Yoga, I was asked to write an introductory post to familiarize our audience with my purpose and motivations for being a part of this community. The first step was asking myself, “Who am I?” After being prompted with this question I faced a few different layers of answers. My default went a little something like this:
My name is Allyson Huval and I am a Christian yoga teacher. My first yoga class took place in my “flower child” granny’s living room at the age of six. Once I took my yoga practice more seriously in high school, my eyes were opened to new possibilities. Yoga has allowed me to be open to continuous growth intellectually, physically, and emotionally. I received playfulness of mind and acceptance of my body’s capabilities. The more I practice, the more I receive.
While my yoga practice was flourishing, I felt called to share this gift with anyone and everyone. After completing my yoga teacher training, I began researching the spiritual aspects of yoga. I founded Bethel Yogi, a blog dedicated to the intersection of yogic philosophy and Christian theology.
I am a registered yoga teacher for adults and children, certified to teach aerial yoga and registered with Christian Yoga Association. I love being able to extend the benefits of yoga by empowering students of all ages to help them recognize their full potential. When I am not teaching yoga, I am performing and practicing aerial silks.
I think that covers everything, right? Wrong!
While I re-read and re-read that introduction, it only felt like the tip of the iceberg. That was the surface-level understanding of how my yoga practice and faith came together in a seemingly perfect sequence of events. This is an appropriate post about me, but something just did not feel right. I felt a little dishonest.
So it was back to the drawing board...who am I? Well, my name is Allyson Huval and I am…. Who am I exactly?
Week after week I kept trying to grasp who this person is, why she practices yoga, and why she is a Christian anyway. I finally realized that whoever I am as an identity is not who I am at all. My identity is beyond this earthly world. Who I really am is mysterious and...beautiful.
So here is who I really am.
No matter what path I take, the “me” beyond thoughts and actions is worthy of the love of God because of the love of God. My soul is perfect and beautiful though my humanity betrays it. Jesus has shown this soul the the power of an interwoven mind and body when it recognizes divinity. This is why I practice yoga. I honor this sacred body with love and compassion. I practice yoga to discover the spaces that God gives me to occupy. I practice yoga to acknowledge the Holy Spirit who guides these feet down the rocky paths and extraordinary journeys. I practice yoga to enlighten this sacred mind with peace and care. I practice yoga to set my eyes back to the soul that God created me to be.
My name is Allyson Huval and I am a daughter of God. I am not the accomplishments I have achieved. Yes I am a Catholic, I am a yoga teacher, and I am a student of life. Above all the essence of who I am does not lie in that identity. I am fully known by Christ.