Thursday, February 21, 2013

Welcome!

Hi.
My name is Savannah.
I think I've tried to start this inaugural blog post about fifty times in my head.
Where to begin?
How do I sum up what yoga means to me?

After much contemplation (and over-analyzation), I've decided to just start and see what flows out.
So here goes...

Through the years, I've tried a handful of "gym" yoga classes but they never really stuck.  I just didn't get what the hype was all about.  There was no connection for me.  Nothing to pull me in.

Then I slowly reached a point where my exercise dwindled to the occasional walk of the dog.  I cancelled my gym membership.  The number on the scale crept ever upward and I stopped the little jogging I had been doing because my knees and ankles hurt.  I was depressed and, quite honestly, miserable.

Given my past experiences, I don't know what prompted me to seek out yoga at that time, but I did.  I think that deep down in my soul I needed something BIG.  Something altogether different to shake things up.  To shake ME up.  My weight and my periodic depression are things I have battled my entire adult life.  I think I recognized that my old, tired "solutions" were never going to be the answer.  In hindsight, I think I was also searching for a deeper and more meaningful connection with the divine.  There was no way - given my limited exposure to yoga at the time - that I could possibly know yoga would offer me help with these things.  Perhaps it was a bit of manifest destiny?  Regardless, off I went.

A YogaWorks studio had opened near my home a few years back.  I even went in right after their launch to check it out, but I was turned off by the membership.  YogaWorks stayed in my consciousness though and that is where I returned in search of change.  They had a free week ad listed on their website and I told myself I'd try as many classes as I could in that time and then make a decision at the end of the week.

What can I say?  That free week was a little over a year ago now (January,  2012 to be exact), and I've been practicing 5 - 6 days per week ever since.  I find the teachers at YogaWorks to be extremely knowledgeable and articulate.  The sequencing of the classes is always intelligent and maintains a great flow.  But more importantly, here was a group of people who were willing to challenge me.  My YogaWorks instructors could see more in me than I could see in myself.  Kick my legs up over my head into a headstand?  Are you crazy!??!  Yet they believed I could do it and with dedication over time, I did.

And, of course, MOST importantly, the instructors at YogaWorks slowly introduced me to Patanjali's Yoga Sutras and the seven limbs of yoga beyond mere asana.  For me, this was the missing key.  My thirst for knowledge was (and still is) insatiable.  It felt like I had discovered this fountain of wisdom that I had been meant to drink from all along and now I urgently had to make up for a lifetime's worth of dehydration!

So much has changed in my life since that first week of free yoga.  I've traveled to take classes and workshops from some of the best yogis out there.  I've delved into the world of Ashtanga and I've begun a fledgling meditation practice.  I've grown in delightful ways both on and off the mat.

But life isn't all a field of daisies.  I still struggle with my weight and all of life's challenges.  I'm learning to overcome these though and I realize that a lifetime's worth of patterns aren't going to magically disappear without a lot of hard work.  Rome wasn't built in a day, as they say.  (Can you say samskaras, anyone?)  Still, I truly and earnestly believe that yoga is the tool that will help guide me out of any darkness.  I believe that with my whole heart.

My intention with this blog is to write about my personal journey here with honesty and integrity.  I want to share all of it - the good, the bad, and the ugly.  I have found such insight and support from reading other people's blogs that I feel really compelled to offer what I can.  I write for myself but I also write in the hopes that what I have to say might help just one other soul along his or her own path.  And isn't that what's at the core of our existence on this planet anyway?  Being able to connect with one another and realizing that at the end of the day, we're not so very different after all?...

Thank you so much for taking the time to read my post.  I appreciate it.

P.S.  Look for a list of my favorite blogs and books to appear in the sidebar soon!

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