I love new journeys—the rush of deciding, the fun of anticipatory planning, and ultimately the scary/exciting sense of free-falling: being all at once aware of where I am and unsure of the destination, giving myself over to a teacher or to the experience (or both, hopefully) that all come with doing or learning something new. And like anything else, bringing yoga into your life can be like that. But it can also take you completely by surprise, changing your life so gradually, that you are only slightly aware of having participated in the transformation until all of a sudden, it seems, you find yourself teaching yoga to others because it is the most natural thing for you to do.
For me, taking the first steps—and many thereafter—to becoming a teacher of yoga were a bit like this: exciting, wonderful, full of promise. (And I am so thankful for all of my many, many beautiful teachers for guiding me with strength and grace!) Starting to do yoga as a student was something of a less passion-filled experience. I was skeptical, I was hesitant, I was shy. I questioned it (I still do that, only now with more love and openness). I was brazen enough to think I could learn from a DVD (because I’m a dancer and quick to pick up movement and was too untrusting of myself and of yoga to go to a group class at first). And there was nothing wrong with my entry into yoga. That what I was ready for at the time. Eventually, I did make it in to class, and looking back, I am so thankful for the space my teachers gave me to have my own practice just as it was. There was no pushing to be better or to be right, to work harder or to achieve more. Just be where you are and be okay with it—that was the vibe I got. And because I needed that, I came back. And because I believe everyone needs that, I am now teaching yoga.
There is no right way to start yoga—except the way that’s right for you. In my book, it’s not even important that one do yoga asana (the poses and “physical” practice that most people associate with “yoga class”). There are more ways than one to bring yourself into balance, yoga doesn’t have the patent on that, to be sure. I just happened to find this yoga at this time. And I like that in this practice, the experience of balance, connection, peace are acknowledged as accessible, states of being that we can and should enjoy in our daily living. So get out there and find your yoga, whatever it may be, however you come to it.
Om Shanti, om tat sat.