Kelly Bell (Snyder)

I was first introduced to yoga in 2005, by a friend.  I was still married, my children were quite young and it was an opportunity to have an hour or so to myself.  It was really just a taste.  Shortly thereafter, I separated from my husband and divorce followed.  I had been a stay at home mom for 10 years and after the divorce my children's father disappeared from the scene.  Not having worked for 10 years, I scrambled to find work and begin the arduous task of providing for my family of 4.  Yoga went to the backburner. 

While getting back on my feet, I was introduced to massage therapy and decided to go to school as a means of subsidizing my income.  On my first day I fell in love with this healing art and knew I had discovered my calling, my passion.  One of the first things that I heard was that the body does not differentiate between physical and emotional trauma.  Emotional trauma gets stored in the muscles and if not released and processed will eventually manifest itself in the body and that's when pain and dis-ease are experienced.  I could identify with emotional trauma and wanted to learn more about healing myself and helping others to heal. 

I got back into yoga while I was still in massage school and noticed how it helped with my alignment as a massage therapist.  Upon graduating, I began building my business.  As I became more attuned with my clients' needs, I started to share specific yoga poses to target issues my clients were experiencing.  This was the beginning of my passion evolving from helping others to heal, to teaching others how to help heal themselves.

I continued to practice yoga regularly and eventually found my way to Pura Vida Yoga Center where I continued to deepen my practice.  After traveling to India (on a Pura Vida yoga retreat), I decided to go further with my immersion by signing up for Yoga Teacher Training and completed my 200RTT at Pura Vida in Feb. 2016. 

Teacher training pushed me in ways I never imagined.  It brought me to a place of understanding myself at a new level and experiencing every emotion I had ever felt.  In the beginning, I questioned if I had what it takes to teach.  Slowly I started to build confidence. Drawing on my determination, perseverance and a lot of courage, I taught my first class and afterwards experienced an incredible feeling that I can only describe as a high.  A high from doing something I had never imagined or contemplated for myself.  And not just from teaching, but also being of service to share yoga.  After completing the teacher training, I realized the journey had just begun.  What I love most about teaching yoga is the opportunity to share with others true healing for the body, mind and spirit. Reconnecting with the deeper part of oneself and with Spirit (source, God, the Universe). 

I wear a lot of hats these days, single mom, bread winner, business owner, healer, teacher, and probably a few more.  It is a lot to juggle and regular yoga practice, daily meditation and self-care keeps me present.  When I have too much stress and anxiety, I practice a slow, rhythmic and fluid breath.  Similar to the ujjayi, soothing and calming. As I tell students, "the breath controls the mind". Self-care is the most important thing we can do for ourselves.  Self-care makes it possible for me to be the best mom, best healer, best human that I can be. Meanwhile, in my free time you can find me at my favorite place...the beach.

My favorite pose is Astavakrasana - eight angle pose.  It was the first really challenging arm balance I learned and I loved the strength I felt in my body.  It was a moment of realization that if I can grow strong and do this, then I can do anything in life that I put my time and energy towards.  My most challenging poses are backbends and I am currently working on Eka Pada Rajakapotasana, king pigeon.  When I was quite young backbends were easy.  I attribute it to being carefree and openhearted.  Over the years I learned to protect my heart and so my body followed suit tightening in my left shoulder and chest making backbends difficult and painful.  Often you will hear, the pose you like least is the pose to work on.  Working with a challenging pose not only requires practice, but also acceptance of where you find yourself and extending kindness, love and compassion.  

Lastly, if you want to delve deeper into your own self-care and understanding, I highly recommend the book The Untethered Soul.