Thoughts On Yoga Part 1

I started practicing yoga several years ago when a friend introduced me to Bikram. 90 minutes consisting of 26 postures, each repeated twice, in a room heated to 105 degrees....INTENSE, to say the least!
I stuck with the practice for about a year....as someone who lacking a "moderate" gene, this was right up my alley! Detoxing, blood pumping, uber-endorphin....bingo!
Then, as with most hyper-intense activities, I overexerted myself and got injured.

Wanting to recapture the yogic bliss I experienced without the stifling heat, I decided to try out a friend's vinyasa class. It was the perfect marriage of the aspects of Bikram that I enjoyed, but in a more gentle, nurturing environment. The only heat I experienced was that which I generated within my own body. The practice became, for me, more introspective, rather than comparing myself with the student on the next mat. I began to experience my practice as a moving meditation, rather than a competition. It became a spiritual practice for me...I connected with my Self/Spirit on the mat.

After a few years, I decided to sign up for teacher training. In all honesty, I had no intention of becoming a teacher when I signed up....I simply wanted to deepen my own practice and have a more thorough understanding of the asana postures. I quickly learned that 200 hour training just scratches the surface....the amount of information can be daunting: anatomy, yogic philosophy, Sanskrit terminology, sequencing, physical adjustments, alignment, and so much more!
At some point during training, I fell in love with the idea of teaching and sharing the practice of yoga with others. I have been fortunate to study with some phenomenal teachers; each brings their own unique personality to their style of teaching and I love them all for so many different reasons. If I had to choose, I think the most endearing qualities to me are their authenticity and passion. I aspire to bring those qualities to my own teaching.

As I've come to accept changes in my own body and practice, I've learned to become more compassionate and strive to meet my students where they are on any given day. I may never make my way into a handstand or scorpion pose and I'm OK with that. There are plenty of teachers whose strength lies in arm balances and exquisitely complex sequences; that's not my jam. I resonate with a mindful, slower paced teaching style and I want to share yoga with as many people as I can.

I consider myself a lifelong student of yoga and I am honored to have the privilege to share some of what I have learned with you. 

 Photo credit: Brandon Jamal

Photo credit: Brandon Jamal