It is hard to write a short blurb about yoga, because so many extraordinary situations led me to the practice. I did not come to yoga in an easy way, in fact, looking back, I came to it out of great difficulty and necessity. I realize that periods when I have fallen out of practice coincide with dark times in my life. That’s something for me to think about when I feel like blowing off my practice! Anyway, long story made short below . . .
I caught glimpses of yoga when I was a street kid in the late 1980s. I was homeless, but had a job as a bus person at Life Café on the Lower East Side of New York. David Life still owned the cafe then, and he and Sharon Gannon were just starting Jivamukti Yoga. I was aware of yoga because of their fliers, and I was curious, but $8.00 for a class was a lot of money for me back then, so I put yoga out of my mind. (Looking back, they probably would have let me come to classes even if I couldn’t pay, but I was too proud to ask).
A little while after that, I began doing a few yoga postures as an alternative therapy for a back injury. It wasn’t until a few years later, when I took a yoga class that I became hooked. My teacher said, “There is no competition here. Where you are today is where you need to be. You are already perfect.”
Whoa! What a weight was lifted!
For a young woman who had run away from a home that was extremely competitive, mentally abusive and violent – yoga was a major relief. I was able to give myself permission to enter a place of non-judgment and compassion for at least an hour-and-a-half a day. Even better, I was able to feel grounded in my new feelings and take them into my life – with my relationships, my music and art, my work, everything! I had never experienced anything that felt so good so wholly (holistically).
Yoga had given me the chance to let go and start in the Now, and it still does.
When I practice yoga, physically I feel great, mentally I am clear, emotionally I have a light heart, and spiritually I am at peace. Yoga has been one of the joyful gifts in, for, and of my life.