I wasn't sure what to expect when I started practicing yoga. A friend of mine was enrolled in a teacher training program in New York and offered to teach me as she worked on her certification. We practiced together in her apartment and I found it to be a nice way to move and stretch my body.
Later that fall, I accompanied her to a Jivamukti "open level" class in the city. I spent at least half of the class trying to catch my breath in child's pose while those around me jumped back through vinyasas, breathed gracefully as they balanced on their hands, and stood on their heads with ease. Even though I was sore for about 4 days after the class, my mind was more relaxed - I had found a bit of calm amidst the chaos (of the city AND my brain). I realized there was more to this practice than I had originally thought.
After years of being a student, I took the leap to become a yoga teacher. We delved into studying the sutras, yogic philosophy, and the science that supported the extensive health claims of the asana and pranayama practices. I knew the effect my daily practice was having on my own body, sense of being in the world, and treatment toward myself and others, but putting it into a scientific context helped me to understand more deeply exactly how transformative yoga can be.
A friend sent me this article written by a neuroscientist that reminded me of my own yoga journey - re-training my body and my brain to find calm amidst the chaos. I'll be focusing on this theme in my class from 6:00-7:20pm this evening at The Yoga Fusion Studio - I hope you'll join me!