I bow to Saraswati, the Goddess of words and writing;
When I came to my mat for the first time 10 years ago, it was because someone had told me “I just did the hardest thing I’ve ever done, and it was yoga.” And I said, “I’m in, tell me where.” At the time, I had an eating disorder and an obsessive exercise problem. I felt lost and out of control, and I dealt with my problems with extreme, aesthetic physical discipline. I don’t remember my first class at Hilltop. If it wasn’t physically the hardest 90 minutes of my life, I faced it in a different class in my first month. They had a special, I think it was $30 for 30 days and I went to class every single one of them. I was absolutely hooked.
Yoga doesn’t teach us anything new. It reveals, uncovers, what is already there. The studio that raised my practice was very traditional, they spoke Sanskrit and talked about chakras. I didn’t understand at the time, I listened to my teacher and didn’t pay any mind to the other stuff. But suddenly, as my body strengthened I started to respect it. I started to love it. And more than anything to want to nourish it and to worry that I had damaged it. As I spent more time there, I couldn’t help but start to understand. My teacher asked us during a guided meditation to ask ourselves what we need. I cried the whole day. Finding yoga is a huge burden being lifted off of you.
I am the most grateful in my life for the opportunity to teach yoga. I’ve turned into one of those weirdos that speaks Sanskrit and talks about chakras. But don’t let the stereotypes fool you, it is the hardest work you will ever do. And when I say that I love you, know that I mean it, because whatever reason you came to your mat (and there are so many, and they are all perfect), you still came to your mat. That divine spark is in all of us, even if you haven’t seen it yet.