Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A Yoga Story: Meredith

1. What made you decide to take your first yoga class? Describe the experience. Yoga was a calling. I starting taking yoga in 1996 when I was living in Las Vegas. There was not a single studio in the city at the time but the voice in my head kept saying yoga. I really had no idea what yoga was other than seeing Lilias Folan on PBS a few times as a kid, and what I remember of that was being impressed by her matching leotards and tights. But the voice would not go away. Having a few friends into astrology and homeopathy I asked around and was directed to my teacher Sherry Goldstein. What was neat was she was teaching in random places such as apartment complex rec rooms and dance studios - spaces devoid of yoga symbols and decoration. Even though our practice spaces weren't yoga'd out, there was no hiding the spiritual aspect of the mind, body, spirit connection. I was hooked immediately.

(Sherry still teaches yoga in Las Vegas in her 2 beautiful studios, the Yoga Sanctuary.)

2. Tell us about one of your biggest yoga a-ha moments.

I have lots a-ha moments in yoga, but the biggest came in 2007. By this time I was back home in Rhode Island and practicing yoga with an old grade school friend who had opened her own studio (where I now teach). One evening before class and she said to me, "Hey, I'm doing I teacher training starting next month, you should take it." Before I had a second to think about it I heard the words, "OK, sign me up" come out of my mouth.

Normally I like to ponder things a little before committing plus this required good size financial and time commitment too, so I was surprised by my quick answer. A few months earlier my grandmother had passed leaving me a small inheritance that would cover the tuition. Also, at the point I was doing freelance makeup for weddings (weekends!), so I decided to retire my brushes. I honored what weddings I had contracted and figured ways with my teacher to make up the class time I would miss. I had known since my first class with Sherry that someday I would teach, thus began my next yogic journey balancing time, money, studying, and teaching.

3. Besides the teacher who is supposed to teach you yoga, who or what is your best yoga teacher? (Think unconventional teachers here... nature, your dog, your kid, your dentist...)
This one is easy: my dogs. My heavenly angel Nicki, who graces my twitter pic, was the great quiet sage. She taught me how to fully give in love, how to be patient, how to be still, and how to live what is in my heart. Scarlet, my Facebook pic, teaches me everyday to live joyously in the moment, how to be heard, and how to let go.

4. Where is the craziest place you've ever done yoga?
When I moved cross country back to Rhode Island I drove. I did yoga at every rest stop to keep my body from getting stiff. I got plenty of interesting looks as I did sun salutes and headstand in the grassy patches.

5. Describe your yoga journey in 3 words.
Living in presence.

Meredith blogs at The Pondering Yogi.