From Burn Victim To Badass Conquerer & Yoga Instructor

Sammy veall

We love a good phoenix story, you know, the stories about people rising from the ashes. Sammy Veall is a 23 year old Aussie Yoga instructor, but definitely not your average. First, her brand is Hip Hop Yoga, and if you think those two terms don’t even belong together, well prepare to have your mind changed!

Second, her yoga instructor career came about after an awful accident which left her with third degree burns to almost half of her body. Her story is one of inspiration, which the Australia press have been jumping all over. Sammy spoke with online magazine Dumbo Feather about her journey to fitness and health through a very unusual way.

She was 21, when the accident happened. A friend of Sammy’s threw gasoline on a fire that was dying down, and she was standing close enough that the flame engulfed her face and legs. But it wasn’t just the accident itself that left a scar on her.

“My legs were actually on fire so I had to drop to the ground and put them out. The accident itself isn’t something that I think about, but the memories of being in hospital for a month are the ones that hurt.”

During her recovery she turned to Yoga which helped her both physically and emotionally. “I needed the physical side of Yoga to stretch my skin out from the skin graft operations and I needed the emotional side to help become comfortable with my new body. Yoga made me feel happy with what I have and to accept all circumstances that happen in your life and be proud of them, no matter what they are.”

In 2012 she moved to the United States to be an actress, but soon realized it was not what she wanted to do with her life. Having a life changing experience like an accident can do that to you; give you greater perspective on what you want out of life. She moved back to Australia, and fueled by her deep love of Yoga, decided to open her own studio.

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She teaches hip hop yoga because that’s her favorite type of music. So why not mix the two and start something different?! Aside from the health benefits, Dumbo Feather points out in the interview that doing yoga for one hour can actually decrease depression in the brain. Having suffered depression throughout her slow recovery, Sammy realized the importance of sharing her journey with others. Along with her yoga school, she runs classes for a non-profit organization called Beyond Blue where she hopes to bring more awareness on the subject of depression in Australia.

“I still live with anxiety. Yoga for me was the one thing that pulled me out of this sadness and made me realise that you can be happy for no reason.”

“You can’t find happiness by getting things that you want or desire, for instance a new car, a new relationship or a big block of chocolate. Because as time passes this will fade and so will the happiness. Happiness comes from within”

This brave, badass young woman definitely has some inspiring words to say, and it all stems from hitting her own rock bottom. When that happens in our lives, and it always does, we have two choices. To stay down there or use that experience as fuel to get us back on top again. Sammy refuses to let the fear of failing hold her back from moving forward with her life.

“If I was afraid I don’t feel I would have done any of [this]. Never once do I ever think about failing, I have the image of success and happiness in my mind through everything I do. The mind and your thoughts are very powerful.”

If Sammy’s story speaks to you and you want to check out her classes and happen to be in Melbourne, Australia, check out Yoga 213. Keep up the inspiring work Sammy!

Sammy Veall

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