I fell in love with yoga when… I realized it was a legitimate path for healing my soul. Like most people, the physical benefits were the first reason I was interested in yoga. But the first time I found myself crying through a pose is when I knew this practice was going to change my life. This isn’t something I have been able to experience when I practice at home alone or in other studios around the country. That empowering strength to face my demons and still find a way to love myself comes directly from my spiritual teachers at Inner Bliss who push on my hips and pull on my arms while sharing their own stories of vulnerability and courage.
My favorite time to practice is… Mid afternoon when the chaos of my day is mostly behind me but the light is still shining through the windows. I feel like a cat basking in the sunbeams, and the brightness helps me keep my drishti.
I have been practicing at Inner Bliss since… 2007, I think. My instinct says it’s been between 8 and 10 years that I’ve been practicing there. One of the coolest things about being a yogi for this long is that for all the ways I like to push myself, I still feed on the basics to keep me grounded. Being connected to a community where the belief system is much more than the physical movement feels meaningful and authentic.
Most of the time I leave class feeling… Confident. It’s a simple thing that I often taken for granted until I wake up some days wondering why I feel so bad. That’s when I know I need to get to a class. Yoga has been a living metaphor for better understanding myself. By physically performing the counter pose to every pose, it’s taught me how to embrace the dichotomies of myself. No other practice, therapy, medicine, teaching, reading, or workshop has been able to give me this gift of self-acceptance like yoga has.
The pose I love most is… Any kind of arm balance because for me it’s training for what to do when life gets hard. It’s when I ask myself, “Am I going to fold under this weight or am I going to be determined and focused and just do what needs to be done." On really good days, arm balances remind me that I'm strong, I’m agile, and I’m capable of handling anything.
Words that lift my heart are…“You are enough.”
The breath is… The most powerful part of my practice. I never believed it until I had the pleasure of taking a class from Max Strom when he came to Inner Bliss. The entire class was spent teaching us how to breathe, and I mean breathe DEEPLY. Now, I can literally feel my body's energy slowing down in reaction to my breath, and it’s become a very powerful tool for regulating my emotions and stress.
Inner Bliss is… my church.