I came to yoga around 2000 through a friend who loaned me a VHS tape of Bryan Kest’s 1-2-3 series. I’d roll out my mat in the living room and soon I was hooked. It was invigorating, challenging and calming all at once. I felt myself getting stronger and more flexible, and my breathing became deeper and more even. A couple of years later, after major surgery and a painful breakup, the time I spent on the mat became my therapy in every sense of the word. This is when I started going to a class; up until then I’d practiced only on my own at home. The cool thing about yoga is you can adapt it to your needs, your energy, your focus (or lack thereof) in each moment. Practicing yoga prepares you for your life off the mat—breathing through a difficult pose … or backing off with compassion when your body says “enough” … or focusing on your breathing while going through the poses to help focus and calm your mind. It’s an invitation to embrace challenges, to let go of ego and fear. Yoga takes you through some scary places sometimes—and through all the ups and downs of class, as in life, you realize you can Just Be: You are enough, even as you seek to grow and become more fully yourself.
In December 2013 and January 2014 I received my 200-hour teacher training at Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health in Stockbridge, Mass., so I can share what I’m learning with you. I’m certified to teach through the Yoga Alliance.