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Yogi of April – Nini Chen

Four years ago, I would have never thought yoga would be such a significant part of my life. Like most people, I was just an ordinary office worker. Being in the stressful and highly competitive field of finance, my body and mind was constantly under pressure and often fatigued. But since I was still young, I was never really concerned about the toll it took on me. That was the case, until one day insomnia came knocking on the door…

I then quit my job and forced myself to join a yoga center. After experiencing my first ever yoga class, miracle happened. That night I went to bed, my whole body went soft and I slept soundly and deeply all the way until the next morning. Even with such a remarkable result, yoga still didn’t immediately become the center of my life. At that time I have being out of school for awhile and I decided to renew my plans to study abroad. But the interesting thing was that after I went abroad, plans of studying never materialized. And when I came back to Taiwan, it was like I went around in a big circle and I ended up back to the world of yoga.

Unfortunately, after practicing for about a year and half, I started to have pains in my knees. I went to see three different doctors and they all suggested to take pain killers and to stop practicing yoga. It seemed to me that they couldn’t really help me, so I had to find a solution on my own. It was then that I did some research on the web and found Adnan’s bio and SPACE’s teacher training information. I attended the information session. Even though I have never taken Adnan’s class, but he seemed so healthy and lively, it was hard to believe that he once had a major knee injury. Adnan’s warmth and friendliness made me feel very at ease and comfortable, so I decided right then and there to sign up for his teacher training. Through Adnan and Basia’s guidance, my became more curious about yoga and began my exploration of it. As teachers, they were always able to bring life and humor into their teaching. And after 20 very fulfilling days of training, my knee pain also disappeared.

The daily two and half hour morning practice during the teacher training had helped to rehabilitate my knees. This experience with the injury made me realize how truly important it is to practice yoga the correct way. It made me wonder why my previous yoga teachers had never impart this piece of vital knowledge, but I felt very fortunate to learn this lesson from Adnan and Basia. Not long after the training, I packed up my bags, along with loads of love from Adnan and Basia and took off to the birth place of yoga – India – to farther my studies. It was a trip that solidified my belief that yoga was what I want for the rest of my life.

About half of a year after I came back from India, my body became very weak. To try to restore and rebalance my overworked body, I started to take Yin and Restorative yoga classes. I remember when I first took my Yin yoga class about a year and half ago, it was not a happy experience. Someone as stiff as me had a hard time being still in one pose. My body felt uncomfortable and thought what was the fun in that? But, after three months of Yin yoga practice, I realized it was really what my body needed at the time. It just so happened that the time period that I was able to take classes coincided with Patia’s class schedule, so I went to her class often. I really like her teachings and guidance. She is a very thorough teacher. In her class, her sweet voice would softly fill the room as she reminded us to surrender to the practice, to use appropriate props and not to tough it out in an improper position. I’m sure many other inflexible students like me are very thankful to her care and support. I also would like thank the help and guidance from Ann, Vicky, Lee, Ada, Amanda, Rachel, Michelle and Justin for getting my body back to health during these three months of practice.

I am still practicing yoga regularly and I’m also working towards the teaching path. I’m grateful for all the wonderful teachers at SPACE, whose teachings have benefited many. As a fellow yogi, we are very fortunate to be able to practice at SPACE.

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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