Taylor Diepold: Moving from darkness to light.

Diagnosed with childhood depression, Taylor Diepold, the youngest of three girls, managed her moods through excelling in athletics, holding three varsity letters, and later through addiction and eating disorders. She went through her first rehab in High School, but continued a downward path of abuse culminating in heroin addiction.

She struggled for years to overcome her addiction. Finding hot yoga helped to heal her mind and her body enough for her to return to college, eventually maintain a 4.0 average in psychology and anthropology. Inspired by the transformation that yoga brought to her physically and mentally, she transferred to biology major and did her senior thesis on the ‘Metabolic effects of a 30 day Bikram Yoga Training’.

Her preliminary research showed Bikram yoga can be used as a non aerobic strength training exercise and holds potential to serve as an aerobic exercise as well.  The results also inferred a neurological adaptation to the training; the body was more efficient at performing postures post training. She decided to further her studies by training for the competition. In her own words:

“I am an athlete and enjoy the discipline; however this type of training required much more awareness and kindness to my body.  I knew I needed to live honestly and from a place of love if I was to train safely and eventually hold a posture in complete stillness.”

She graduated this spring with a Bachelors of Arts in Biology, summa cum laude. She is studying to take the MCAT and plans to become an osteopathic doctor specializing in trauma. In her own words:

“I compete in USA Yoga because I think it is interesting, the training and being on stage is an opportunity for introspection; it allows me to be surrounded by a buzzing energy of passion and self exploration… It reminds me to be kind to myself, that each movement is perfect within and of it self.  The competition is a beacon of hope, a light that attracts light, an offering and a receiver of offerings.”

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