This post is part of our Viewer Journeys series, in which we introduce you to a yogi or yogini from our community whose story has inspired us. We feel that sharing their stories will enrich your own journey. Do you have a story to share with the community? To be featured, send your story to firstname.lastname@example.org
When did you first find Namaste Yoga?
One Saturday morning, I was recovering from appendicitis. The kids were flipping through the channels and found Namaste Yoga. They thought it looked fun, so they started trying to do it and were giggling and having a great time. I watched it and realized it was something I really wanted to try as soon as I had the "all clear" from the doc. I watched a few episodes as I was recovering, and as soon as I was ready, I dove in!
How long have you been practicing?
I've been practicing since September 2009. I think I have missed two days in all of that time... and those were not good days! It's become like breathing, I simply must do it!
Most impressive transformation since you have started Namaste?
It's easy to notice on the surface, I lost about 20-25 pounds. But more than that... I hadn't realized how drained I was. My marriage had been out of balance from the beginning and the ten years that followed. I poured heart and soul into my daughter and the process of her diagnosis and day-to-day care, my son is a rambunctious boy! We'd built a house, moved three times, suffered job losses and completely re-invented our lives moving back to my family's dairy farm. I had lost myself completely! I truly felt lost, empty, maybe even soulless. I had lost the compass of who I was and what I wanted and needed out of life altogether. I kept giving, doing what I thought everyone needed me to do... I was at zero.
Namaste gave me the place - a half an hour every day... that wasn't too much to ask for myself, right? The beauty in the asanas was so soothing and mesmerizing. My breath became more controlled, my mind calmed and in that calm came the question: "What do YOU want?" It started with "What do YOU want for lunch today?" (It wasn't the Mac 'n cheese my son continually clamors for!) and grew into "What do YOU need from your spouse?" "What do YOU want for your life?"
My marriage is growing stronger. I have to say this has been assisted not just by yoga, but also counseling and the kindness and compassion of some very wonderful friends. I am learning to ask for what I need!
I am so inspired by the practice, I want to share it with others, so I am taking steps to see if I can grow my yoga practice and training with the intention of one day being able to teach it to others... particularly special needs kids and their parents! When Autumn chooses to do yoga with me, she is so beautiful and I feel our bond strengthen. That is incredible! Yoga is a gift to yourself and all those who are touched by the ripples of your life force, because it allows you to bring your best, most balanced self to the table.
Favorite Namaste Yoga sequence?
There are a few. I LOVE Riding the Wind! When I extend into the tree variation and everything is balanced and strong I feel so powerful! If I am struggling with that pose, it tells me I need to step back and examine myself - something is out of balance. It may be just my very weak ankle, but something needs my focus. I guess that pose is my personal barometer.
I love the crane poses because I struggle with them! Nothing in life worth doing is ever easy. I improve a little at a time and those small successes bring me large doses of happiness!
The entire Five Elements DVD has been monumentally inspiring! I love all of the new practices, Firefan (because of crane!) and the exposure to Ayruveda, which is entirely new to me. It has given me a new way to view myself; the people around me; and especially my daughter, who has Sensory Integration Disorder, and the children whose meetings I attend as a member of our school's special education committee.
We label these kiddos with "disorders." I wonder if, in reality, they are just very strong in their individual element and need help balancing that. I think it's a much better way to view and treat these children than raising them with a mindset (unintentional as that may be) that they are broken. I would never replace all of their assistance with yoga/ayruveda; but I think it should be added to what they already have and could be a TREMENDOUS supplement and tool to them as they grow!
Labeling a child as "Pitta" as opposed to "ADHD," for example, would also provide a much more positive mindset for parents and administrators to view and approach their children.
Why Namaste Yoga?That may be difficult to explain. I had tried two other yoga DVD's previously. I think the energy was purely physical. I didn't feel the soul of it, you know? There wasn't enough variety in the practices, either, so I don't think they were caring for as many aspects of the physical, mental and spiritual being.
This post is part of our Viewer Journeys series, in which we introduce you to a yogi or yogini from our community whose story has inspired us. We feel that sharing their stories will enrich your own yoga journey. Do you have a story to share with the community? To be a featured Namaste Yogi, send your story to email@example.com