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Yogi of August – Sally Yae


In 2004, I attended my first yoga class ever in Shanghai. Not knowing what I was doing, I just blindly followed the teacher's every movement during the whole class. Right before I was about to return to Taipei, the teacher suddenly said to me with a serious tone: "keep practicing consistently; you are not far from the path of teaching." The seed of teaching was probably planted in my heart at that moment.

My first class at SPACE was Rachel's restorative yoga. In a darkened room, with the lights off, only her voice guiding me, I embarked upon my yogic journey at SPACE with this quiet, effortless, therapeutic yoga. My second class was Sally Evans' strong and powerful Ashtanga class. These two completely different yoga styles piqued my interest in yoga.

When I was young, I used to compete in track and fields and often time I would come in first. As long as it was a competition, I needed to place in the top. My father's room is still filled with all my medals. At one time, I even entered a beauty pageant and unexpectedly I placed first. This competitive spirit started when I was young. Everything I did, I needed to be the best. I thought there was nothing I couldn't achieve or attain. When I did fail at something, I would get very upset, criticizing myself and not wanting to face or accept my weaknesses. It may seem to others that I'm multi-talented, yet I mastered at nothing; I had a difficult time finding my true direction in life.

I brought the same competitive spirit into yoga. The first time I practice headstand in an Ashtanga class, I fell down three times in a row. I finally stopped after I fell on the person in front of me, but it did sparked the desire to conquer the challenge of Ashtanga Yoga. It was after I attended Stephen Thomas and Naichin's teacher training that I started to understand what yoga was really about. I realized that I shouldn't have the attitude of "wanting to take on the challenge of Ashtanga Yoga". I also comprehended that to be a vegetarian is not just about non-harming; its meaning is much more than that. With my yoga practice, I went from being directionless to being able to slowly find my way.

Wanting to receive more, I tried letting go more. I tried to allow myself get back to the zero state, while observing myself accepting the process of letting go. All in the hopes of getting back to the real me. Slowly, I learned not to compare, not to harm, and not to be attached, with a willingness to face my own emotional ups and downs. In Ethan's Ashtanga class, I learned to practice with steadiness and ease, so I can feel even more love and grace.

I like to thank all the nurturing care from the SPACE community: Matthew for creating such a loving yoga center, Wendy for her guidance in various workshops, Carol for her suggestions, all the Ashtanga teachers for their teachings, Naichin for leading me into the flow of Grace, Chi for initiating me on the path of teaching, Nikki for reminding me of emotional control and sharing. And I'm grateful to all the students for their support and encouragement. It was with everyone's support that I was able to realize my own uniqueness and learned to cherish the moment even more. Peace to the world!

Love
Each month we will honor a SPACE student for his or her passion and dedication to the practice of Yoga. May their stories serve as inspiration to us all!
Asana of the Month
We will focus on a different Asana every month and delve deep into and explore all its inherent possibilities!

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