Yogi Thomas Taulbee shares his transformation story

South Miami resident Thomas Taulbee had the world wrapped around his pinky finger. A University of Miami business graduate, his conference management company—conceived with an old college buddy on the back of a cocktail napkin— was flourishing. He was flying back and forth to New York regularly, wining and dining clients. There was more work to complete than a 24 hour day would allow. But then the bottom dropped out. Taulbee walked away from security and status to step back and reclaim his life.

That was five years ago. Today Taulbee has not only lightened up physically by losing 130 pounds, he has also transformed from a stress-driven type A overachiever into a detached and mindful yogi

“There was a seven to eight year period where I threw myself into the company and lost touch of who I was,” said Taulbee. “After my divorce and losing my mom; over the years it took its toll. I had some issues that were of concern to doctors. Being in the entertainment business it was easy to overindulge. I made the hardest but best decision of my life: to relinquish my position, turn it over to my business partner, and focus on myself.”

Although Taulbee admits it was one of the most challenging times of his life, he is grateful for it because he says it allowed him to understand what is important in life. “Every breath is a gift. You can have all the money in the world, live in the nicest house and drive the nicest car, but if you don’t have balance and self-worth those things mean nothing.”

Taulbee believes it was the support of family and friends, and his mother Bernadine (or Bunny as she was known) smiling down on him that gave him the wherewithal to make the intense life change commitment. “It was a gradual shift and it happened fairly smoothly. I started becoming more aware of my body and the things I was putting into it. When I crossed the finish line after running my first 26.2 mile marathon a light switch went off. At that moment I knew I had the discipline, strength, and self-worth to do anything. I didn’t need anybody to tell me I had it, I had it.”

As a Vinyasa (or artistic flow) yoga certified teacher, Taulbee now seeks to impart these life lessons to students and especially today’s youth. “Every single person has within themselves the ability to reclaim their life and that is the most important thing. When you hear a yoga teacher talking about being mindful, it means detaching yourself from your everyday world and being able to clear your mind to allow it to heal; not necessarily physically but mentally. I explained the difference in a class lesson recently as opposed to ‘mind full’ or your mind being too full of stresses and worries to be able to detach peacefully and breathe.” Taulbee advocates a plant based diet with non-processed nutrient dense foods. “One of the eight limbs of the Ashtanga yoga practice is “Ahimsa” which means no harm. The idea is to not do any harm to yourself or others. Everybody in their own way is searching for enlightenment. We can all learn how to be more at peace if we don’t allow stress to rule our life. It all comes down to being one hundred percent in that brief moment that is right now. It will never happen again and it is all we have.”

Thomas Taulbee teaches yoga at Green Monkey in South Miami, 5792 Sunset Drive. Classes are Mondays at 7:45pm, Fridays at 5:30pm, and Sundays at 12noon. To reach Thomas call 305-632- 6349 or email ttaulbee@gmail.com.

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