My first exposure to yoga came on a rainy afternoon in 1996. Joanne and I had been trying to figure out an exercise program we could participate in together. “How about yoga?,” I asked, not quite knowing where the thought came from. After groaning, tugging and grimacing my way through that first class, I would never have imagined the profound and incredible influence yoga would have on my life.
I was a certified “yoga athlete” early on. I’d bring my tight self into class once a week and try to score a “touchdown-dog.” However, in time, once a week became four times a week and more importantly, striving opened up to surrender. It was at about that time I picked up a copy of Paramahansa Yogananda’s Autobiography of a Yogi and a whole other side of yoga opened up to me. I began to practice yoga with my heart, along with my mind and body. I completed teacher training at Yoga Zone in NYC (now ISHTA Yoga) in the Spring of 1999, receiving my 500-hour Yoga Alliance certification.
Everyone brings his or her own goals, intentions and yes, even baggage, to the yoga mat. It is my sincerest hope that with a whole lot of energy, creativity, inspiration and a bit of humor, we can all lighten the load – become less attached to our goals and more aware of the process, not just in class, but off the mat, where the real yoga begins.