Meet Judy Milton
I have always been a creative spirit living by the mantra, “do what you love and love what you do”. My family, especially my grandson Austin, is my world. I feel truly blessed to have so much joy in my life.
Yoga keeps me balanced and focused and has been a major facet in my spiritual growth. It never had as much significance to me until my son Josh died by suicide in December, 2015. My world suddenly changed, as grief took over. I felt as though my mind was erased as we moved through the shock and sadness. My spirituality and faith kept me grounded when I could have spun out. Who could blame me? The loving energy of compassion and grace helped me walk through the fog and clear my head. I wanted my light and life back.
I thought about yoga every day, but it took three months to get back on my mat. One hour at a time, I could breathe and be in the moment. I began to feel like myself again, but knew I would never be the same person.
An opportunity for yoga teacher training came up. At first I thought that this wasn’t the path for me, but Josh told me to take the training and teach first responders. I googled “yoga for first responders” and there was a non profit by that name. I completed my 200 hour program, followed by training and certification with Yoga For First Responders® in Chicago.
Josh is guiding me and I am doing his work. I feel a closer connection to him and cherish that. It’s still my tether. Josh was a firefighter and so was his dad. Suicide is an epidemic with first responders. I want to shine a light on the darkness and bring awareness to post traumatic stress, trauma, suicide and grief. This became my mission, our mission. I clearly saw the path laid out for me and wanted to learn as much as I could.
I started there, but saw the need for a practice that encompassed more. This led me to Grief Yoga training with Paul Denniston, and back to my heart. I am now a certified Grief Yoga teacher. This practice revealed the bigger picture to me, and I realized who my students are: Everyone! We are all grieving something, from losses we experience throughout our lives, trauma and stress. I meet you where you are. It is really an honor to see someone and their grief, and witness their healing. It helps me as I continue to navigate my own grief, and see this practice as a gift I want to share.
I have woven traditional yoga with trauma-sensitive and Grief Yoga, breath to movement, pranayama, sound, and meditation to create a practice of Transformation, Resilience and Healing. To find strength, release and peace.
The sixth stage of grief is meaning. I found my meaning and purpose in this journey. Once again, I do what I love and love what I do, with Josh as my guide. My light is shining and my heart is so full.
“When one is called, one does not need to understand. One just needs to follow the call and trust that the path will reveal itself, as one faithfully walks it”.
Santa Cruz, CA
Paul Denniston/ David Kessler
Yoga for First Responders
Track 3 - Train the Trainer
September 2017 - February 2018
Yoga Alliance RYT 200
NW Yoga Society
200 Hour Teacher Training