I started my yoga journey practicing Iyengar Yoga at The Yoga Center in Bellevue, WA. Aadil, the owner is a well-respected yogi, which I didn’t appreciate at the time. I never attended one of his classes, I ony studied there about 9 months. It taught my hyper-mobile body some principles of alignment. I found it very boring, I wasn’t interested in pranyama in the least. I was so wound up back then, savasana was pure torture to my monkey mind. (I have since been influenced by Iyengar – I have great respect for him).
Then I discovered Power Yoga with my teacher Brian Bales at the ProClub, which I was a devoted member. Brian’s yoga is heavily influenced by Jivamukti philosophy and I got hooked. He hosted a class with David Life and Shannon Gannon. The course of my life changed with a divorce and a week’s meditation study with David Life That week forever changed the way I live (I am a pescatarian/dairy avoider, I’m a wee grasshopper by the way).
When Brian’s studio closed I floundered for awhile, sporadically attending classes at various studios. I was super lucky one day to notice The Ashram while driving by. Something made me stop and get a flyer that day. My first class was taught by the owner Gary Olson and I LOVED it. Gary is a presence. I started practicing exclusively at The Ashram. At first it was all about the asana aspect of yoga. I developed a strong and focused practice and an understanding of drishti – the focus point you adopt in various postures. Love love love The Ashram.
I asked Gary about meditation one day and he agreed to train me in Deva Meditation. DM blows my mind. It is a powerful tool in my yoga toolbox particularly as I struggle with anxiety issues.
Gary offered a teaching training program for the first time – and I immediately enlisted. I knew it would be an amazing experience. That is where I was introduced to Raja Yoga. I had already read Diary of a Yogi, but he opened my world to so many great teachers and their teachings. Our sutra study was fascinating and that is about when I started waking up at 4 a.m. full of energy to read, live and breathe yoga. I was lucky enough to start teaching Yin at the Ashram in Jan of 2013. Teaching has been an incredible experience and honor. I have long battled public speaking, but in the Yin Room I have basically become very comfortable in it. I wish I didn’t have to do it at IDRI at all. 😦 Such is life, it has gotten a lot easier.
I have become obsesses with yoga photography. It certainly influences the way I practice yoga each day – sneaking in a pose or two at work but also teaching a class there. I am loving teaching at IDRI and live in fear of my studio space being taken away. 🙂
I’m dying for the August Instagram Challenge to begin. I will be posting each day’s enter here of course. We’ll see how it goes!
I will continue to practice (and hopefully teach) exclusively at The Ashram until I move to Albuquerque in 2 years. No idea where I’ll land there, but I fully intend to practice yoga well into the future.