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Hello, I'm Annie.

I came to yoga to heal from years of dealing with undiagnosed endometriosis & PMDD. I stayed because it brought me to life. 

In case you were wondering, here are few quick facts about yours truly:

My family lives on a farmette which we lovingly named "Knucklehead Creek" in Glenville, PA. Our residence include horses, dogs, cats, chickens, ducks, honey bees, guinea pigs & have plethora of insects, birds, pollinators & wildlife visitors. I'm married to a fireman and  work as an elementary school librarian during the school year. My step daughter keeps us on our toes. 

I really love being outside, admiring and being fascinated by nature, loving on the animals and land that we are blessed to care for, exploring spirituality, creating community, reading nonfiction & poetry, drinking black coffee, bare feet & cozy socks, hanging with family and of course, all things yoga.  

Classes & experiences at Jaya Spirit are beginner friendly and open to everyone, because feeling good belongs to everyone. Below, you will find an open letter from me to Endo & PMDD Warriors. I share it with you because it tells my story, why yoga makes me tick and how Jaya Spirit came to be. Maybe you can relate or would like to add yoga into your daily life. You won't regret it. 

What do you love? What makes you curious?  What do you struggle with? Send me a note at the bottom of the page. I'd love to hear your story. 


An Open Letter to Endometriosis & PMDD Warriors

“I have been her kind.”

Anne Sexton

Hey There, Dear Warrior Sister, 

Allow me to introduce myself. I am Annie Cumberland, facilitator and creator of Jaya Spirit Yoga. So glad you are here! 


Jaya Spirit Yoga was started with endometriosis and PMDD warriors at the heart of the mission. My purpose: to create a healing space for warriors to gather by practicing gentle yoga and meditation in a way that is tailored to our unique needs bringing peace to our souls and rest to our worn out bodies. 

I am healing from over a decade of life with endometriosis and PMDD. I have a story that probably parallels yours in some way. Here are some thoughts, beliefs and experiences from my journey. Can you relate?

  • Thinking pain is normal. (It’s not.)

  • Believing everyone has bad periods. (They don’t.)

  • It’s genetics & depression is hereditary, so, this is who I am. 

  • Monster headaches 10 days a month.

  • Visiting all the wrong doctors - MRI for headaches, years at the GI for stomach pain, never any questions from my GYN. 

  • Vacations and activities all tainted with the memory of pain or a flare and having no words to describe it - for years. 

  • Falling and doubling over in pain at weird times. 

  • Worrying that people will think I’m “faking it” to get out of things. (Believe women!)

  • Actually “faking it” when it came to pretending I was feeling good. 

  • Losing myself - believing I was sunshine deep down inside, but having no idea where that girl went, or if I would ever see her again. Everything was covered in a slimy cloud. 

  • Carrying on like everything is fine. 

  • On a “good day” completely dreading its return. 

  • And let’s not forget about the stress of constantly just managing the bleeding. Shit. Full time brain cells devoted to that one. Still don’t have the nerve to wear white pants, despite all of those sporty commercials telling me otherwise.

  • Sitting creatively to look like everything is fine when you are pretty sure you are rotting from the inside out.

  • Heating pads and hot baths. (Swoooon)

  • So tired. So very tired.

  • Watching myself, like an out of body experience, being a total bitch to people, usually my favorite people, and not even being able to stop (not the best look.)

  • Feeling like a jerk for not returning calls, texts, emails because I was so anxious or in a brain fog. 

  • Suicidal ideation. Man. 

  • Eating EVERYTHING. (T’was a sugar, bread & pasta bonanza!)

  • Feeling like hell because of said bonanza. And then eating some more.

  • The depression, rage, grief, anxiety, fatigue, lost…

  • Spiraling out of control in my words, thoughts and actions. 

  • Ugh, BF. Brain Fog. Sitting at my desk at work having no idea how to complete a simple task.

  • Thinking, this is it. This is my life. 

  • The guilt of laying in bed or the couch. Again.

  • Painful exams and being told “this shouldn’t hurt” like it was my fault. 

  • Learning about endometriosis. Hmmm…this sounds like me….why haven’t I heard of this before?

  • Visiting a doctor who stated that because I wasn’t looking to have a baby “soon” I didn’t need to see a specialist - a hot bath and tylenol was “sufficient.” I could get an ultrasound but that wouldn’t “change anything.”

  • Going home and Googling the hell out of specialists, booking an appointment with my ultrasound results in hand. 


Suddenly, I hear these words as this superhero-doctor-woman looked me in the eyes,


“Annie, I believe you. You aren’t going crazy.”


“Your ultrasound shows serious signs of endometriosis and you have something called PMDD.”


Tears. Tears of every variety. 


Excision surgery in March 2020 - oops, wait, we kicked off the pandemic lockdown, so it was moved to June 2020…so thankful I could work from home during these months as the pain raging more than ever. The procedure found severe endo all over the place and. My expert doctor removed all she could find. I have been relatively pain free since recovery and living my best life - reconnecting with who I actually am without having a hormone and pain tornado cocktail swirling inside everyday. Celebrating two years of a relationship with my doctor, of surgery, of solutions, of a full and peaceful life. 

“I have been her kind."

Last year, I started to practice yoga, something I always felt a nudge to do, but couldn’t figure out how to do for all of the reasons written above. (It does seem I had a lot going on moment to moment, as do you, and that doesn’t even include all of the actual living - family life, divorce, grad school (twice!), step-mommin’, being married to a fireman (there’s a doozy), family members passing away, moving to a farm, full time job, grocery shopping, laundry, etc.) Our lives don’t stop because we are sick. 


Any how, I signed up for my first class in July. To be honest, I though it was an online/Zoom class. The day before it started, I received directions about where to park. AHH! Not in person! I'm nervous! But, I went anyway and it was awesome.  After just three sessions (once a week), old injuries weren't aching, I could breathe from my nose to my toes without it feeling stuck, my body felt a new quiet strength and trapped emotions were releasing themselves. It was so refreshing, relaxing, and honestly, felt like magic. 


Other cumulative results from yoga practice and meditation include: 

  • My body feels awesome. 

  • My mind is quieter. 

  • I can tell my brain to shush when it is telling me false information about myself.

  • Wow - The healing power of breath - amazing.

  • Recognizing when I need rest & not feeling shame for allowing myself to do so.

  • New awareness of what my body actually needs to be happy.

  • Communicating in a healthier manner with my partner/family.

  • More energy to devote to others. 

  • The ability to pause. 

  • Enjoying more equanimity (level-headed, calm processing) in different situations.

  • Recognizing when I am out of balance and knowing how to come back to center.

  • Deepening understanding of my faith, the divine and the universe.

  • I am in alignment.

  • I am home.


“I have been her kind.”


I can’t help but wonder if I had these tools when I was struggling so much, how my story would be different. Nothing in a yoga practice can cure or treat endometriosis or PMDD. But, it can allow our divine spirits to sparkle and invite us to feel at home in our center, despite the whirlwind we face daily. 


I tell you this long-winded story, because I want to share this magic with you. You deserve this magic, too. I am here for you, dear Warrior. Share your story. Take my hand and we will wander within to call our tired spirits back home. 




Say Hello. I'd love to hear your story. 

Talk to you soon!

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