On International Yoga Day I want to take time to reflect on my yoga journey thus far. I was training for my for River Run in 2010 when my friend, Ziki, invited me to join her for a free yoga class at Lululemon. The only thing I knew about yoga was that it involved stretching. My big ego thought sure why not. A little stretching will be great. I run a ton and do lots of strengthening exercises. A little yoga will be easy. Like many Westerners I thought yoga was just a form of physical activity. Ha!
We attended an hour long power class. It was the fist time my body had ever been in downward dog. Lol. The physical part of the class was very challenging for me. Throughout the whole class the teacher was directing our breathing. She guided us into poses with our breath. Matching your breath with movement never occurred to me as a valuable thing, but wow! The teacher kept talking about how to use our breath and telling us to breathe. I had never had such an experience.
At the time I was working at a job that gave nightmares and my stress was so bad that it was affecting my relationships with my family. I left that first yoga class feeling cleansed and ready for the day. I felt rejuvenated and excited. I was so ignorant about yoga, but so thankful that my friend invited me to a class. That class changed my life. I discovered the power of my breath, the power of breathing in and out. While I had been breathing in and out my whole life I never knew that taking control of my breath and focusing on it could transform my mind and body. I was hooked!
I went back to Lululemon often for classes. I purchased a Gaiam video with Rodney Yee, which helped me to develop a personal practice at home. I used what I had learned about breath in yoga to help me when I was in labor with my son When my daughter was born in 2016 my husband gave me the best gift. My birthday was two weeks after my daughter’s birth. After giving birth it is hard to adjust to your new body. It’s hard to look in the mirror. It’s hard to find clothes to wear that make you feel pretty. It’s hard to get a moment to yourself. My husband got me a gift certificate to Yoga Den, a local yoga studio, that was less than a mile away. Best gift ever!
Attending yoga at a studio allowed me to explore and learn things about yoga and myself. I attended restorative and gentle classes. I also went to power and mind body classes. The power classes were the best fit for me. I started attending a Saturday morning class where the teacher constantly said “follow the wave of your breath.” This phrase stuck with me outside of class too. It still sticks with me.
I love sharing yoga with my kids. Both of my kids have been practicing yoga since they were two years old. My husband started attending Yoga Den with me on Sundays, which was great to share as a couple. Sharing our yoga practice with each other has been wonderful.
Eventually, I started attending classes three times a week at Yoga Den. I love the people and I love the classes. The Yoga Den community made me feel like I found my tribe. I wanted to learn more about yoga philosophy and have the ability to properly share yoga with others. In 2019 I enrolled in Yoga Den’s teacher training program and became a Registered Yoga Teacher. Shortly after I had the opportunity to teach yoga at my son’s elementary school. I loved it and started researching kids yoga teacher training courses. In 2020 I graduated from Kidding Around Yoga’s Teacher Training Program. I have enjoyed teaching kids yoga. I love being able to be silly and sing songs while also helping kids learn about yoga and meditation. I enjoy teaching adults too but kids really capture my heart.
As I continue to practice yoga I have found great joy in my personal practice. I continue to grow physically and spiritually. I enjoy reading about the philosophy of yoga and following various yoga teachers around the world. If you have some wisdom to share with me please do because I am forever on a learning adventure and love talking about this practice with others.
I want to continue to be of service as much as I can, and help others find peace and joy through yoga. – Namaste