My first yoga class was a “demonstration” at the student center of Stanford University in 1969. The event was hosted by Ananda Marga Yoga and included Kundalini and Hatha Yoga. I had seen flyers all over town, and decided to go see what this was all about. I was 14 years old.
The room was filled with a mix of college professors, students, older adults, and younger people like me, and I fell in love. Deeply in love. Every pose, every instruction in breath, philosophical knowledge shared resonated with me at a deeply cellular level. I pursued yoga with a zeal and a passion that only a teenager could.
My conservative and somewhat judgmental mother and father did not approve. My mother made fun of my practice, teased me as being “on some kind of kick” that would pass, and my father scorned the “hippie lifestyle.” As would be the pattern in my life, when I felt that my love and passion was ridiculed and deemed meaningless by others, I imploded and put whatever it was away – in a closet, in a box – or locked within. It would be years before I picked up yoga again – and then only halfheartedly as the recessed memories kept haunting me.
Some 20 years ago I committed myself to a “new life and a new beginning” and never looked back. My path of recovery included a dedicated meditation practice, and yoga.
I found teachers wherever I lived, and pursued my practice. A few nasty accidents and injuries have limited some of the more advanced asanas – but they have not stopped me from engaging in my love and passion.
And then in 2015 I met Kia Miller. From the first moment that she walked into the room, she exuded “something else” that I recognized was the “real deal.” After months in the Northern Virginia area bouncing from one bad yoga class to another I had given up studio work for my own practice. But I was a student searching for a teacher. In Kia I found what I was seeking. After months of YogaGlo classes working her techniques, I saw Kia again in person almost a year ago. The pull to study with her was stronger than ever. A woman of impressive intelligence, knowledge, and integrity, I wanted nothing more than to immerse myself in study with her. (It is no coincidence that she is married to Tommy Rosen who I consider to be my recovery and spiritual teacher!)
This was not the first time in my life that I was drawn to becoming a yoga teacher. Dozens of opportunities have presented themselves to me ranging from the Kripalu Center to an ashram in the Bahamas. But each and every time I either didn’t have the money (often) or the time. Options of weekend study for the course of a year seemed daunting given a full time job or travel or living overseas. There was also the whispers of the past that would cast a shadow of doubt and inevitably I would talk myself out of pursuing the teaching certificate.
But not this time.
This time I carved out a month from a private practice as an integrated addiction therapist. I set aside money for the training, for room and board, and to cover expenses during a month of no work. As I explained to my husband, “It’s a calculated risk. This is a life changing experience, and I want this dream to come true.”
The fact that I am 61 is not stopping me. The fact that chemo-therapy threw my balance off years ago and I struggle with Tree Pose or Standing Pose, much less Dancer’s Pose is not stopping me. The fact that I may be struggling with Lyme disease is also not stopping me.
Instead, I have been running a mile almost every day with my dogs as part of a conditioning routine to help prepare me. I’ve been working my Omni-balls every day for core strength and stamina. I’ve been going through all the YogaGlo sessions with a fierce dedication that has felt unstoppable.
And so…. as each day unfolds in this journey that has been waiting for me over several decades…. indulge me as I capture the experience through daily postings and blogging.
After all, it’s not every day that a dream actually comes true.