Solstice Student Spotlight: Kendra Patterson

Tell us about YOU

My name is Kendra Patterson.  I recently celebrated the 11th Anniversary of my 29th birthday.  I’m a true Taurus through and through.  I grew up in Lynn, MA and when I was still young, my parents and I moved to Peabody.  Being the Taurus that I am I however, my husband and I purchased the house right next door to my parents in Peabody shortly after we were married.  Change has never been my strongest of suits.  My family currently consists of my husband, Jim, who I am blessed to say after almost 10 years of marriage and 15 years together, I still find a new reason to fall in love with him each and every day.  He was recently promoted to a Lieutenant position at a fire department on the South Shore and I can say, in all honesty, I could not be more proud.  We are also the privileged parents to two of the most adorable Labrador Retrievers...I know, I am biased.  Miley, who is 7 and Maxwell, who just turned 4.  I know sound like a crazy pet parent, which I will fully admit that I in fact am, but they fill us each day with such overwhelming joy.  We could not be more grateful to have them in our lives.  My career, ummm….my career.  I guess the best way to describe that would be that it is an ever-evolving process; yes, still, even at my age.  I’m hoping that one day light will shine on my marble head and I will have that “ah ha” moment that people talk about and I will find my path.  But until then, like most things that are truly worth it in this life, I’m still working on it.  For 14 years though, I was a Paramedic at a local ambulance service.  I actually met my husband while studying to become an EMT.  However, one day while at work, I injured my shoulder and was never able to return to working on an ambulance.  I have taken this time though to finish my degree in Biology at Salem State.  This too, however, has had to take a back seat this semester, as my husband and I are in the process of adopting our first child. 

How long have you been practicing yoga?  How did you discover yoga? 

I started practicing yoga in 2011.  It was suggested to me as a supplement due to the amount of running I was doing at the time.  That year alone, I participated in and completed over 28 road races all while training to run in the 2012 Boston Marathon.  However, as life does to all of us at one point or another, tragedy sadly hit my family during the summer of 2011 and everything, including any and all forms of exercise, came to a screeching halt.  My father was diagnosed with lung cancer.  Being an only child, my world now revolved around doing everything within my power to get him the treatment that he needed, as well as being a source of support for him during what was to become the fight of his life.  I was able to run the 2012 Boston Marathon in April of that year, and I attribute knowing that he was standing, waiting for me at the finish line, as the sole reason I was able to finish.  It remains to be one of the proudest moments of my life.  My Dad passed away a few months after seeing me complete the marathon, almost a year to the date of his diagnosis.  Although I wouldn’t change a single thing about what I did for my father that year, I do wish that I had found a way to continue with my yoga practice during that difficult time.  Words could never adequately convey the deep hole of depression and anxiety I fell into after losing my Dad, and although as anyone who has ever lost someone close to them can testify to, there isn’t a single thing that can “fix” that amount of pain.  I do believe though, in hindsight, if I had continued to practice yoga during that time, it would have been an immeasurable help. 

 

Favorite Yoga Pose?  Why?

Have you ever seen the meme online that shows a picture of an Instagram worthy yogi in some sort of pose you would swear you needed ribs removed to get into, with a caption that says, “What I think I look like doing yoga”… Then underneath, a picture of a deer sliding across the ice, each hoof going in a different direction, with a caption saying, “What I actually look like doing yoga?”  Well, that’s me.  I’m fairly certain even in shavasana!  Nevertheless, I’m still new to being committed to this practice, so I really do enjoy them all.  However, if I absolutely had to pick one, it would be crow pose.  The reason why, is because it challenges me each and every time I do it.  I remember being in Elizabeth’s class on a Saturday morning and everyone in the class, EVERYONE, went into crow pose when she called for it!!  I didn’t know if I wanted to laugh or cry. (I cried…just a little bit, but I’m still sticking to my story that it was sweat).  The next time it was called though, I tried, and I will continue until one of these days I nail it.  I just hope that I don’t get so excited that I fall, because that has happened, A LOT!!

How did you find Solstice Power Yoga?

My husband and I joke all the time about how we can’t remember what life was like before the Shops at Market Street.  Between going to Whole Foods or just running to one of the stores, it feels like we are always there.  As luck would have it, by just walking around one day, I found the studio.  My first class was with Stephanie Serpa and I loved it.  I’ve been hooked ever since!

What do you LOVE about Solstice?

When I started coming to Solstice, I was extremely insecure.  It had been a long time since I had any sort of exercise regimen, and I had gained weight since I was no longer logging 40-50 miles each week running.  However, never once was I made to feel unwelcomed…nor did I ever feel that because of some excess weight or being unsure of myself in the poses that I didn’t belong.  In fact, it was quite the opposite!  The entire community of Solstice was reassuring and made me feel like I was in a safe environment.  Students shared stories of when they were new, and it made me feel inspired that the people I was in awe of in class were once in my shoes as well.  And on top of all of that, I truly cannot say enough about each and every teacher.  Each one takes the time to offer assistance during their class, no matter how many or how few students are in it.  After class, each teacher takes the time to answer any questions about everything from poses, (I have had a lot of questions!), to questions about playlists, to offering links about mediation and furthering your yoga practice, or even just offering words of encouragement which, to me, means the most and is what keeps me coming back again and again.    

What would you like to tell the world about YOGA?

If I could tell the world one thing about yoga it would be how it is so much more than what just meets the eye.  Everything today seems to be based on what you see on one form of social media or another.  That being said, I could see how it would be easy to see someone on Instagram in this crazy looking pose and think to themselves, “that’s yoga”.  I’ve been fortunate enough over the past few months, with the help of the talented instructors at Solstice, to learn that is only a fraction of what yoga really is.  Yes, the poses are amazing, but let’s face it; I can’t go about my day in scorpion pose.  I can, however, take the inner peace I found on my mat that day and head into Market Basket.  

Anything else you would like to say/share/mention about you, yoga, Solstice Power Yoga? – or anything at all!!!

I recently had a procedure that is keeping me away from my practice for a few weeks and so many people from Solstice, teachers and students alike, have reached out to me asking how I’m doing.  I just want to take this quick opportunity to thank you all and express to you how much your thoughtfulness and kind words have meant to me.  I’m extremely proud to be part of the Solstice community and honored that you thought to choose me as a person to spotlight. 

Personal Quote or a quote that inspires you

Like my career, this is also something to me that is ever evolving.  I think because quotes or what you draw inspiration from is so correlated to what you are directly going through at that particular time or moment in your life.  As I had mentioned, my husband and I are currently in the process of a domestic adoption.  Although we are beyond thrilled to become parents, the road to get here has been a long and challenging one.  Therefore, my “go to” quote during this part of my life’s journey has been, “Don’t get discouraged.  It is often the last key that opens the lock.” Author unknown

 

 

Lisa Garlitz

Solstice Power Yoga, 250 Market St, Lynnfield, MA, 01940, United States