Graduate Spotlight: June 2019 June 1, 2019 holly krepps Our June Graduate Spotlight is Tiffany Burley. In her own words: My yoga journey and story are not your typical one. The things that I am about to say, some already know, and some know some, and I don’t tell them for pity. I speak my truth because I want people to know that whatever it is that you are going through please don’t think that you cannot rise above it because you can. Yoga was the number one factor in my healing. In 1991, when I was 17 years old, I was in the field with my cousin and my father who was a farmer when my father’s tractor over-turned with him into a canal. My father was trapped under the tractor and all my cousin and I could do was take turns back and forth from holding my father’s head up out of the water and racing back to the tractor to radio for help. I lost both my father and my mother that day under different circumstances.Later in 1996 my oldest son who was three years old at the time was diagnosed with AML M2 Leukemia, two years at St. Jude Children’s Hospital, 2 bone marrow transplants and we were able to come home. I started to practice yoga on my own after we were home, I bought every instructional video I could get my hands on. I had a grasp on the asanas of yoga, but I had no idea how important the spiritual side of yoga would come to be to me.On October 8, 2015, the day of my 43rd birthday and 19 years after my son’s diagnosis my husband was diagnosed with CML Leukemia. To say I was devastated is an understatement, to add insult to injury they found a lump in my breast a month later.I was a little bit broken and a year later in November, I talked my best friend into going on a spur of the moment trip to Horseshoe Canyon Ranch in Jasper, Arkansas where we tent camped at an outdoor rendezvous they were hosting. We did yoga every morning at daylight in front of those majestic mountains and I felt a sense of myself coming back every single morning. In that circle that weekend I kept hearing about Circle Yoga Shala, fast forward to a yoga retreat I attended a few months later and I heard more and more about Circle Yoga Shala. I did a Google run and loved all that I read about their life, living, farm, and yoga teaching. I liked their Facebook page and found myself watching their facebook lives every Saturday morning. The more I read and watched I knew I had to go there. I felt a part of this special little place in Arkansas and even though I had never even been there I knew it would be a finishing piece of my puzzle.The spiritual side of yoga has been my lifeline all this time and the asanas are just a bonus. I cannot thank them enough at Circle Yoga Shala. I was about to start a yoga teacher program in Shreveport, LA before my husband was diagnosed but I had to cancel that. That was somewhat a blessing in disguise because at Circle Yoga Shala I have been taught the truest form of yoga all the way around and I feel fully prepared to teach my students. They had us teaching day one and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. The support and love that you receive not to mention the wonderful meals are above and beyond anything that you would receive anywhere else. You truly feel like you are part of a family there.Sometimes when I think of my story I think of the Phoenix, a story of resurrection. I do know that Yoga is what helped me make it through it all. Matt and Holly Krepps are truly the best in training yoga teachers, from philosophy to sequencing to teaching you are completely prepared when you graduate. I feel blessed to know them and be a part of the Shala family. My plan is to start the 500-hr. program next spring and I’m looking forward to continuing my yoga studies and seeing what is to come. I want to share the love, light and most of all hope that yoga has brought into my life with as many people as possible.