Taryn Pilius is one of our brightest teachers and volunteers who contributes to our mission in various ways.  Not only does Taryn oversee classes throughout the community as a colorful and engaging teacher, but she is also dedicated to expanding partnerships specific to youth and trauma populations on a personal level as well.  We are so thankful to have inspirations leaders like Taryn on our team and celebrate her testimonial about the healing power of yoga.  Please read more below!


Yoga is my medicine by Taryn Pilius, PURE Action Yoga Teacher and Volunteer

I coast down the hill on my bike, with the wind in my face I can smell the dampness of the fog in the air. Cross the street and into the trees of Golden Gate Park. I’m headed to my regular 6am Bikram yoga class. Hop off my bike and wheel through the studio to park it in the backyard where the outdoor showers are. As I enter the practice space my nose is inundated with wet heat and the smell of many bodies, getting very sweaty, in the same space for a long time. This is a smell that sticks to everything. I Get set up and lay down waiting for class to start.

Top of the mat class begins. Breathing, standing and balancing, floor series, more breathing, and rest. I step into the cool San Francisco air to shower and get ready for work. Thankfully the warmth of the shower washes away the sweat. Back on my bike feeling like I have just won a great battle and I head to work.

I wasn’t always like this; Present, aware, happy. Before I found myself selling my car and moving to SF I led a fairly sedentary lifestyle. Because of undiagnosed PTSD and anxiety I was always living in my head. Breathing shallowly and never feeling that breath. Bruises from letting my body wander about the day while I lived outside my body somewhere. I always had ice-cold-grim-reaper hands. This is caused by your body not sending blood to the extremities as a defense from getting hurt while not being present in the body. If there is no blood there, you can’t bleed out….

I walked into Bikram looking to get thin and fit, but found so much more. Hearing the symphony of a group of practitioners breathing, feeling sweat gather on my spine and roll forward as I forward fold, and feeling my heart speed up and slow down with the intensity of the practice all stuffed me back into my body and began a very slow transition to recovery.

Six years later and yoga is still one of the biggest cogs in the machine of my recovery. Two years ago I finished a 200 hour Hatha flow yoga teacher training and between teaching I have continued my training to include children’s yoga and trauma informed yoga therapy.

Over the rest of my healing journey and teaching career I intend to share this practice with as many people as I can.

– Taryn

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