I came to yoga much like I came to writing this, my first blog post. Kicking and screaming. I was in my mid 30’s, a manager at Microsoft, and I had been struggling with severe back pain for several years. When people told me I should try yoga, I laughed and told them “I can’t possibly do yoga, I’m not flexible enough!” Plus I had no desire to get into the woo woo world of gurus, gumby-like body positions, and new age mumbo jumbo. I was happy in my stressed-out fast-paced world, and I had no desire to change it. If you’d told me yoga was going to change my life, I never would have tried it.
I still don’t know what made me try that first class after so many years of prodding, but I’ll never forget how I felt after. I went home and said to my husband “I now know what the word ‘yoga’ means. Much pain.” That first class just about killed me. But oddly enough, even though my body hurt worse after class than before, my mind felt ever so much better. For that reason more than anything, I kept going back again, and again, and again.
That particular yoga style wasn’t right for me, but I eventually found the Viniyoga lineage. Over time as my mind continued to heal, my body more slowly followed. Pain diminished, strength returned. I learned that yoga isn’t about achieving a “perfect” pose. It’s about adapting the pose so that you can find the perfection within your own skin. And that the true meaning of the word “yoga” is union. Union of body, breath, mind and spirit. A transformation from a place of mental confusion and chaos to one of clarity and greater peace.
That’s ultimately what hooked me, and what gets so many of us coming back to yoga even on days the definition of life itself seems to be “much pain”. I can’t easily explain how it works (even though I’ve studied the teachings), but I can say from practical experience that it does. Ultimately I didn’t so much find yoga as it found me.
The rest, as they say, is history. I left my high tech world and opened Whole Life Yoga. Ten years later we’ve had the blessing of teaching thousands of people, hopefully many of whom we’ve helped. Now I find myself in this odd new place of stepping into a world I promised I’d never go – writing for a blog. Back to the world of technology and reaching out to you through cyberspace. Isn’t it funny how things seem to come full circle.
Whole Life Yoga’s blog won’t just be by or about me. In it, we will introduce you to many in the lovely community of yogis that is Whole Life Yoga. Over time, you will hear from many voices about what makes yoga and Viniyoga special. I hope you enjoy it.
Santi. Peace. Namaste
Come visit Whole Life Yoga in Seattle!