• I am a Yoga Whore

    Don’t get yourself all excited from the title. This blog is not about sex in the yoga studio, or the crazy positions that are simply an added bonus of a healthy yoga practice. I am a yoga whore because I have learned that my practice has grown deeply because I am open minded about trying all types of yoga from all types of teachers. Please don’t let anyone (including yourself) stop you from experiencing the many styles and types of yoga.

    Many of you already know that I did my yoga teacher training at Strala Yoga with Tara Stiles and that I have been practicing for a little over 2 years. Here is what I’ve learned since I entered this crazy Yoga world and became a yoga whore.

    The first time I tried yoga it was a Bikram Yoga class, yes I have done Bikram yoga. OMG! it was so freaking hot in there I wanted to puke but stayed, although my teacher Julie wasn’t one of those crazy Bikram teachers that would not allow you to wipe the sweat of your eyes so you can actually see what the heck you are doing. After 90 grueling minutes the class was over and I was left with mixed feelings, I thought holy crap that was the longest 90 mins of my life and I can’t wait to do it again. I went home feeling energized and more importantly the yoga bug was planted in me. I went on to practice for about 3 weeks and it was in a Bikram yoga class that I got sick and spent 5 years after that getting better.

    Fast forward to late 2008 when I entered Powerflow Yoga, a hot yoga studio in my home town. I put my mat down and wondered if it was going to be just like those classes I took years ago, the teacher started with chanting OM and I felt kind of silly chanting out loud but, I went with the flow. 75 minutes of a Vinyasa flow class later I was in yoga heaven I said to myself this is it I found my favorite pastime.

    At that point I found myself planning my days according to the yoga schedule and also the teacher I “liked” the most, it wasn’t until 2 months into it that I got the balls to try a new teacher Jeff a Jivamukti teacher from Hoboken whose class was early sunday morning and packed. I dragged my husband with me and to my amazement he loved it.

    At this class there was A LOT of chanting and the weird names for all the poses. I loved it! This is where I found the connection of body, mind and soul. I began to read about yoga and downloaded all sorts of kirtan music to my computer and found myself very happy every time I listened to it. I now devote most of my sunday and Wednesday mornings to Jeff and his Jivamukti classes. Every time I take Jeff’s class I learn something from him. One time he said something that really stuck with me “don’t just take yoga from the teacher you like, take yoga from the teacher you don’t like and don’t just do it one time do it a bunch of times.” I think Jeff’s point was that from each yoga class something important can be learned, if and only if you are open minded. Taking his advice I started my yoga whoring ways. I began to take every teacher on the schedule and any workshop I could get to.

    This brings me to Scott a 22 year old college student and his girlfriend Anna also 22 (I think). These 2 “KIDS” knew a whole lot of crap about yoga and I want wanted to learn it all. I started taking Scott’s class and since they were small he had time to give us each individual attention. It was from these small classes that I learned some of the coolest and most challenging poses and still stay with my breath. I credit him for all the arm balances I know and the correct way to do the poses.
    Scott and Anna also shared with me lots of good stuff about the history of yoga and much, much more, now my husband then 40 and me 28 were being schooled by 2 kids. This was very humbling. I opened my heart and mind to the concept that I could learn something from any Yogi, old, young or in between. This concept is what Jeff was preaching. Once I removed my ego from my practice I was able to deepen my spiritual connection. Isn’t that what Yoga is about!

    After 2 years of practicing yoga I found my OCD was almost gone and my 6 kids said I didn’t yell as much so I decided that I wanted to become a teacher. I struggle to find a place to take my formal training. I could not go away for a month like most of my friends because of those pesky children that depended on me, I’m telling you kids come between you and your yoga (I kid, I kid).

    I could not find a place to do it so one of the teachers at PowerFlow suggested I do the Baron Baptize boot camp. She said, “Since you already know so much that will be perfect for you.” So I signed up for it, put my deposit down and was ready go. I had then been meditating for about 4 months and developed an obsession with Deepak Chopra who until about 4 months before I knew nothing about. I was through him that I found Tara Stiles and I began to follow her on twitter and became friends with her on Facebook. Shortly after that she posted that she was offering a yoga teacher training at her studio Strala Yoga so I decided that is it I’m doing it. Talked to my hubby who thought I was crazy “you met this girl online and now you want to go meet her?” He said.

    The next sunday after listening to His Holiness The Dalai Lama speak in NYC we headed to Strala. At Strala we met Tara and her husband Mike and let me tell you their whole approach to yoga quite frankly scared me. What do you mean you don’t chant Om before class and you don’t use the Sanskrit names for the asanas. OMG! what did I get myself into, then I remember Jeff’s quote and if the universe put me there then I belonged there.
    TT started and let me tell you about the amazing people I met, my life was better than ever, I had so much fun and learned tons from everybody and yes the spirituality part was left out of it but, I continued with it in my own personal life. Once I started to teach my own classes at Strala I would teach how the students at Strala liked it and at PowerFlow I would chant Om and use the Sanskrit names for the asanas, and it didn’t make any of the classes better than the other. I had the same passion and love while teaching both approaches.

    At the end of the day, respecting my students is my first priority.

    I recently discover Anasura Yoga and I’m in love. Michal the teacher has so much knowledge and an accent that I love. She too gets mixed up while teaching because English is not her first language so now I don’t feel so bad when I can’t get the word out correctly. Hehe. I had been looking at the Anasura class in the schedule for quite sometime and didn’t want to go because I had forgotten Jeff’s quote and didn’t want to try a class where the flow was not a Vinyasa flow. It’s amazing how quickly one forgets.

    After 6 weeks of taking this class my practice has improved, my body is definitely feeling more balanced (since it has been cut open so many times) and I have learned so much from Michal that I can now pass along to my students. I also have taken classes by Kay Kay and workshops by Ashley Albrand and Raghunath in NYC. After each of this I go home with something new to offer my students. This unquenchable thirst to learn is why I will continue my yoga whoring ways.

    I guess what I’m trying to say is be a yoga whore! Practice all types of yoga. Try different teachers a with an open mind. I go into a class, a workshop, or a studio and take what I like and can benefit from and I leave the rest. (By the rest I mean BS, drama and poses I would never be able to get into :).
    I have learned something wonderful and positive from each and every teacher I mentioned here. They all have their own way of teaching and explaining ultimately the same thing. At the end of the day it is all done with love. Be a yoga whore like me. You won’t regret it and you won’t get pregnant.

    XOXO
    Yoga Whore

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