This is my tenth year on this path of practice.
To me, yoga is a part of life. It is a tool that stabilizes my emotions and allows me to feel I am truly living in this world.
At the beginning, it was because of an invitation from my college friend that I first stepped into a yoga studio. I still remember it was in a big room filled with more mature women, and my friend and I felt like two freshmen barging into an advanced course. I just remembered that the whole class all we did was trying to keep up with the different movements, not remembering any names of the poses. Through all the stretching, there were also some strength training and after each class I always felt I grew a little taller and my body and mind felt some release. Even though at the beginning I didn’t really quite know what was going on, but I was interested enough that I wanted to keep on practicing.
After I graduated college, I worked in the high-pressured hospital environment and I wanted to stabilize my emotions through yoga, so I took classes with various teachers and continued to practice. That went on until I met teacher NaNa, who taught me what yoga was and how to integrate it into life. Then in 2014, all of a sudden I had a thought that it would be great to be able to share yoga with others. So through NaNa’s recommendation, I heard of Heidi’s teacher training. To prepare for the training, I started practicing more frequently and reading yoga books. Initially reading these yoga texts were like reading a foreign language; every time I read them, I started to fall asleep. Thankfully during Heidi’s training, through her short story telling, it all slowly became clearer to me and I was able to start understanding some of the yoga history and philosophy.
During the training, Heidi had discussed the important meaning of Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. They are also very important to me, especially Sangha. It is like a community of friends who can practice together so there will be greater motivation to work harder for advancement. And during this training period, I met many good friends I can practice with. It was because of their encouragement and support that I was able to progress farther.
On this path, I particularly wanted to thank Heidi and Jamey for their guidance. Heidi’s precise instructions allowed me to clearly know how to get in and out of a pose. With a somewhat serious and somewhat humorous and easy-to-understand way, she allowed my asana practice to refine greatly. Jamey’s subtle instructions allowed me to connect to my body in each class and to adjust my mind/body condition during each breath. Moreover, I wanted to thank Michelle. Through her mindfulness guidance, I was able to directly observe how my emotions arise and learn not to run away from them but gradually digest them.
There are too many people and things I need to thank. I’m grateful to all the teachers I have studied with, to the cleaning staff who need to rush in after each class and clean up and set up the mats, to all the staff at SPACE for this clean and comfortable environment to practice.
The path of yoga maybe tough and lonely because to walk the path that only you believe in is very difficult. However, it is also this kind of practice of required focus, I was able to face each of the challenges in life with greater resolution.