"There is something special about the practice of moving together, feeling the support of another human’s presence, while at the same time having your own very personal and often intimate experience."
Yoga asana, for me, is an incredible way of getting to know myself through the wisdom of the body. A teacher once explained to me how tuning into the body can be a revolutionary act. In our everyday lives we often relate to ourselves first though the mind, then the emotions, then the body. This hierarchy can leave us feeling at odds with our essential inner-knowing.
I began practicing Yoga in 2008. I had just graduated from college and moved to Portland. College had been for me a very trying period both physically and emotionally. After a few Groupon Yoga classes and doing yoga to Rodney Yee DVDs in my apartment building I decided to find a Yoga Studio and some teachers to call my own. Sellwood yoga became my first yoga home. There I found the tenderness of practicing in community. It was comforting to be in the company of others, feeling the the support of my teacher and other students in the room. The feeling of having a safety net communicated to my body that it was okay to be vulnerable; that I would be safe exploring my inner spaces through movement.
Healing began. I spent some of my early classes collapsed in tears, tears triggered not by my thoughts or emotions, but rather spouted from deep wells within my body—as if they’d been stored in my tissues, stuffed away in my body from times I had thought it wasn’t okay to feel stuff out loud…and now they were coming out.
In asana practice we are given this opportunity to feel into the body and fine tune our skills of perception. We begin to learn that each day, each moment, is a new and different experience and that progress isn’t always linear. And yoga studios can be these sweet, sacred spaces that introduce us to new teachers that can guide us in moving our bodies, and exploring our inner experiences. They also give us a place to be in good company. There is something special about the practice of moving together, feeling the support of another human’s presence, while at the same time having your own very personal and often intimate experience.
I am continuously inspired by my teachers. With love and gratitude I want to thank my earliest teachers at Sellwood Yoga: Julie, Savonn, Annie and Rosie. You all provided a safe and loving container for me to explore my incredibly vulnerable early yoga practice. Thank you.
I have such joy for having found the community and teachers here at the Bhaktishop. Lisa Mae, Monica, Kate Busby, Danielle, Jeannie and Tasha: Thank you for guiding me through the Bhaktishop School of Yoga with wisdom, humility and humor.
I am currently studying Inner Body Yoga with Todd Jackson. His style of integrating awareness of the inner body—the organs, the bones, connective tissue, muscles, breath and qi—influences my practice tremendously, as well as my approach to teaching. I am forever a student and relish in the opportunity to explore this style of practice each week.