My first exposure to yoga came on a rainy afternoon in 1996. Joanne and I had been trying to figure out an exercise program we could participate in together. "How about yoga?," I asked, not quite knowing where the thought came from. After groaning, tugging and grimacing my way through that first class, I would never have imagined the profound and incredible influence yoga would have on my life.
I was a certified "yoga athlete" early on. I'd bring my tight self into class once a week and try to score a "touchdown-dog." However, in time, once a week became four times a week and more importantly, striving opened up to surrender. It was at about that time I picked up a copy of Paramahansa Yogananda's Autobiography of a Yogi and a whole other side of yoga opened up to me. I began to practice yoga with my heart, along with my mind and body. I completed teacher training at Yoga Zone in NYC (now Yoga Works) in the Spring of 1999, receiving my 500-hour Yoga Alliance certification.
Everyone brings his or her own goals, intentions and yes, even baggage, to the yoga mat. It is my sincerest hope that with a whole lot of energy, creativity, inspiration and a bit of humor, we can all lighten the load - become less attached to our goals and more aware of the process, not just in class, but off the mat, where the real yoga begins.
Thanks, thanks and more thanks for my wonderful wife and kids-- Joanne, Caitlin and Ella- family and friends - near and dear, new and old. For such abundance, I am truly grateful.