Nearly 10 years ago I reluctantly agreed to try a yoga class taught by a dear friend in NC. I quickly realized every "pose" seemed painful and often felt like a “near-death experience.” A lifetime of athletics and years in the military resulted in nearly a dozen surgeries all graciously contributing to scar tissue and an abundance of stiffness. A question haunted me for several days after that first yoga class, “What now?” At the ripe not-so-old age of 40, it dawned on me that that I was aging disgracefully. Although certainly an over-used cliché, that day did in fact change the direction of my life.
Over time, my practice, however raw made near-constant pain manageable and with it increased awareness of yoga’s benefits both in mind and body.
Initially my practices were sporadic and clumsy however, I found my way to the mat with increasing regularity. When I missed a few days, my newly-discovered teachers, Professor Scar Tissue and Dr. Stiffness, reminded me to practice. For years I practiced on my own knowing nearly nothing about yoga other than I liked to hold “positions” for a while because my body relaxed. Over time, my practice, however raw made near-constant pain manageable and with it increased awareness of yoga’s benefits both in mind and body. One day while sharing the changes I experienced from yoga with an injured athlete, we decided to practice together. Shortly after, I realized that I enjoyed sharing yoga’s benefits and wanted to learn how to teach.
My first yoga teacher training school required me to take yoga classes outside of the training and while on a trip to Brussels, I tried Iyengar yoga for the first time. More than 20 students with mats only inches apart filled the tiny studio in a 500 year-old building. As I walked back to the hotel I knew that the Iyengar approach was for me, further, I wanted to teach like what I had just experienced. I also realized that becoming a good teacher would require a tremendous amount of work and dedication.
Although I work for the government, I make time to teach alignment-based yoga at the Pentagon and to Veterans with physical, emotional, and post-traumatic stress challenges. In addition to deepening my practice and increasing my knowledge of yoga, I aspire to become an Iyengar teacher and share the benefits of yoga in areas underserved by Iyengar yoga. Injuries, practice, and study fuel my passion to share yoga’s benefits with others so they too can experience personal growth, relief, and a sense of peace. I can’t help but smile from ear-to-ear when someone comes to class and says, “I’m trying yoga for the first time."
Yoga has been growing in popularity among people of all interests and athletes of a diverse list of disciplines. The unique combination.