My Personal Practice
When I was about 24 years old I really began to practice yoga on a regular basis. I would attend a weekly class in the evenings at a yoga studio a few blocks from my house. I didn't know anyone at the studio and really enjoyed the experience of walking into a quiet space, setting up my mat, laying down on my back and relaxing into much needed stillness. When the teacher began class I would sit up for a minute and tune into the rest of the room, but then would get right back into my zone as the breathing and poses ensued. When she would slowly bring us out of savasana and ceremoniously end the practice, I loved the calm state of my mind and body. I would quietly gather my things and carry the peaceful feeling with me through the rest of my night. That class became an anchor for me during my week.
I was working a couple of different jobs at the time and was pretty good about making sure I had money to buy more yoga passes, but every now and then I would hit a point where I had to take my yoga money and put it into my car or towards rent. Once you get into a regular practice and you miss a week here or there, you can feel the tension building back up. It was in those weeks that I started to experiment with doing yoga at home. I would set my mat up in my room or the living room if my roommate was gone, turn on some good music and then try and remember the poses and sequences my teacher had led me through in class.
At the onset It was not the smoothest of experiences, where I would forget the order of poses or question if I was utilizing proper alignment. However, over time I began to notice how deep I could get into my practice. This meditative depth was often accompanied by a feeling of discovery, little aha! moments that would reveal themselves to me here and there. It reminded me of trail runs I would take by myself in the mountains; that feeling of my lungs pumping, body moving and mind freely flowing over the open terrain. That same feeling of adventure, but internal. Practicing at home did not replace my craving for my weekly yoga class at the studio, rather the two of them together fueled my passion for the art of asana and pranayama.
Over a decade later my personal yoga practice continues to be an anchor for me in the journey of life. I love that I have the ability to customize it to fit any location, amount of time or style of yoga that my mind and body are needing and that life is dictating. There are ebbs and flows to it, times where it feels more like a discipline versus an adventure, however I am so grateful that I have it in my life. I hope that the students who find my yoga classes of use are able to take some of it with them and create their own personal practice.
Have fun moving, breathing and being.
All my best,