I have a confession to make.
When I stepped in to my first yoga class, it wasn’t because I wanted to become a better person.
It wasn’t for any spiritual reason at all.
I walked into my first yoga class because I wanted to learn how to do cool tricks!
But then can you guess what happened?
I left that first class and I felt... DIFFERENT.
I knew that yoga was not just another workout to add to my weekly roster of cardio, weights, running and boxing. I used to use excessive exercises to punish my body.
I could sense it wasn’t “just stretching” or showing off poses that made people gasp.
I felt calmer after that first yoga class, in a way that didn’t just feel like another post-workout endorphin high. I was nicer (a big feat for a 17-year-old) and as I started practicing every week, then several times per week, I noticed my habitual reactions to stressful situations started to change.
Later I would notice other peculiar things, for which I had no name nor expectation, such as a tingling between my eyebrows after practicing, or a surge of energy rushing upward from my root during poses like Utplutihi.
You see... even if you THINK you’re just stretching, you’re doing a lot more. You’re working on your subtle bodies, your emotions, your nervous system, your wisdom body, your breath body. These bodies, or sheaths, are called koshas in Sanskrit, and they are as much a part of you as your muscles, organs and bones.
I later set out to get a better understanding of just what the heck was going on?! I earned 200 hours of Yoga teacher training in 2014, during which we took a field trip to Ananda Ashram, where our Yogic Immersion Retreat will be held. I got a quick glimpse of people who LIVED yoga. Many of them don't even DO asana. They live the yamas and niyamas, and have a dedication to living life simply yet richly in worship of the Universal Divine.
This was followed by my Advanced Training with Rose Erin Vaughan and Yoshio Hama last summer. It was that training that explicitly highlighted the power of ethics, yogic diet, loving intention, pranayama and meditation, in addition to a strong asana practice. In fact, the asana really just serves as a way to make you a nicer, more aware person so you can reach higher spiritual states.
Some results of my daily practice has been: greater mental clarity, awareness, physical resilience, confidence, and heightened communication skills. Not to mention I have the body I always wanted, but which alluded me, when I was an exercise-bulimic teen. I have the privelege of enjoying body that is strong, flexible, and capable, that is relatively aligned and free from pain and tension. I now dedicate my career to helping others uncover this for themselves.
I am looking forward to sharing these practices - no, this LIFESTYLE - with you in the fall.
I have a confession to make.