Yoga means union, in Sanskrit. It is the union of the breath and body, the philosophy of uniting us all through spirit, as we understand ours more fully. Asana, or the pose part of yoga is the part most of us think of as yoga. However, asana is only 1 of 8 parts of Yoga. There are 7 other segments just as important, and arguably, even more important. When I first began my yoga journey, I took classes for fitness and it has greatly evolved, as I have. This is my journey.
Yoga has been a passion of mine for a very long time. I found yoga in 1997 through a dear friend of mine, Laura. She was so graceful and classy, looked amazing physically, and very mindful. She was super into yoga. So naturally, I was excited to join her when she invited me to an Iyengar class. I really had no idea what to expect, but I can say it was a very calming and interesting experience for me, and nothing like the yoga I do now! There were a lot of straps, a lot of stretching, and no flow at all. We sat in a circle, and let me just say, we definitely brought the median age down a couple decades. I was so grateful for the introduction, however, the style did not resonate with me too much. Luckily, I was still very interested in yoga, as I was always interested in expressive ways to move my body and stay fit. I had always loved dance, acrobatics and sports growing up and into adulthood. A while later, I saw a local Bikram studio decided to take a class. After the first class, I was hooked. This was my style! Fast, challenging, and hot! I loved it. My body toned up so much, my skin was clear, and I felt totally energized. I did Bikram for a year or two, and then branched out to explore other styles of yoga. Since then, I have tried almost every style of yoga there is- ashtanga, jivamukti, yin, restorative, iyengar, vinyasa, anusara, hot, power, viniyoga, sivananda, kundalini, hatha (what most of these styles are based on/are) - but I mostly gravitate to the Vinyasa and Ashtanga-based styles. I also feel we need different styles for different times in our lives, depending on what's going on.
Since my first yoga experience, I have had some incredible teachers, from West Palm Beach to Miami to New York City, and I am so, so grateful. I continue to learn every day from my teachers, my students, and my peers. . My focus has shifted from the physical, to the mental and emotional benefits of yoga. I am now teaching and rigorously studying meditation and the other 7 limbs of yoga more deeply. There is so much more to yoga than meets the eye. I absolutely love to combine Reiki healing with Yoga and Essential Oils for emotional and physical healing, to help people keep their bodies and minds clear and healthy!
Here are some of the many benefits of this 5,000+ year old healing art:
less pain, stress, tension
heals physical injury
heals mental pain
connects you spiritually
assists emotional releases
brings peace, ease, flow
gives you space to stop and breathe
gives you back your well-being