Becoming Yourself on the Mat

In the beginning yoga was awful for me. I constantly had panic attacks, got stuck in poses, and heard the unlimited words of self hate to me. Although this continued each time, my heart still pushed me to continue. Like an inner being tapping at my door, eventually in one hatha class I felt that true peace, in my terms opened the door and waved to the very being of myself.

-Noelle Smith– 2020 VYC Ambassador – Campbell River

Being diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum at a very young age wasn’t easy for Noelle Smith. As a child and teen Noelle was raised in a world where people had not a lot of knowledge of the diagnosis, thus living in fear towards her and chosen through society as “never graduating past highschool”. This chosen by life evaluation resulted in her dealing with multiple mental illnesses and a lack of social life. However, it is through her dedication to herself by not giving up and not listening from the society that eventually had herself meet the World of Yoga. Starting the exercise-driven class had not been easy and Noelle hated it. She couldn’t stand the poses and had constant anxiety attacks through the physical closeness between teacher and student. She, however never gave up and within time Noelle finally understood the whole aspect of Yoga. She learnt through the poses, started understanding her body, and eventually overcoming the anxiety or in other words “release trauma”. It is through that experience that Noelle Smith knew she needed to connect to similar living human beings, impact her wisdom to others, as well as advocate for People with Disabilities, and thus becoming a Yoga and Meditation Instructor herself.

Currently, Noelle Smith teaches Yoga and Meditation classes in Campbell River B.C. and continues an online page via Instagram and Facebook.

My name is Noelle Smith, a 23 year old Yoga and Meditation Instructor, where my passion is to spread the word of yoga to all types of individuals who want to discover their true self and know their unlimited potential. 

My passion began on my journey through my early stages of life where I was diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum, or in the past it being Asperger’s Syndrome, at a very young age. This diagnosis basically ruled my life:  written in papers and words that I was incapable of graduating, being smart, and also being a ‘disability’ member of society. In this declaration and constantly being in trouble for me going above and beyond by my told expectations, I started to believe these words. 

People were afraid of me, my academics chosen by my teachers, and the very word “you can’t do it” was the way my world was and still tells me to this day. However, in my heart I knew I was capable of doing so much more. I basically worked my butt off through school, graduated with high grades, and began my journey through yoga in my own time.

In the beginning yoga was awful for me. I constantly had panic attacks, got stuck in poses, and heard the unlimited words of self hate to me. Although this continued each time, my heart still pushed me to continue. Like an inner being tapping at my door, eventually in one hatha class I felt that true peace, in my terms opened the door and waved to the very being of myself. The monkey brain stopped for a moment, self harmed words vanished, and enlightenment overtook me. 

I knew through yoga and continuously practicing yoga, that my being had unlimited potential and not a ‘dis-ability’.

In this inner discovery I now wanted to teach to the world, especially to those going through mental, physical, and disability illnesses, where I can speak my words of experience and help others reach enlightenment.

Yoga is the path to true enlightenment, through my experience and through my suffering I have seen and felt true peace. That is a fact.

Through my continuous practice,  was where I found The Victoria Yoga Conference and responded again to feel fear and anxiety. Fear for meeting others to judge me, Anxious for not ‘looking the part’. I pushed these fears aside and I myself went and traveled all on my own to this conference two years ago. 

Stepping into this community was a huge step for me personally, but there are no words to describe how much love I felt when stepping in. People accepted my flaws, rather than judging and bullying everybody was curious and open to me. It was peaceful for me, and I knew from the first time coming here that I wanted to become a part of this community.

That I did, and in hopes of teaching in the future and being viewed I can show to those individuals that we all have unlimited potential and understand that this ‘Dis-ability’ is all abilities.

 Allow yourself to push past those beliefs and take the step to attend The Victoria Yoga Conference, and my one statement to give you all beautiful souls is to not believe in outer words that self limit you, especially in self limiting yourself, cause that is bullcrap.

Allow yourself to open the door and see your true self, and wave.