I grew up in the mid-west. We moved around a lot when I was young. My dad’s job was to put boilers in power plants and most of them were along the Ohio river where it was easy to get coal to the plants. We lived in other places too – Louisiana, Illinois, Virginia, and Michigan. We moved almost every year or every other year. As a kid it was fun because I got to meet new kids all the time. It wasn’t so much fun when I got to high school and had to deal with the pre-formed clicks that exist at that age. I’ve been in DC longer than anywhere else – by far! I’ve been here 25 years so its home. I started taking yoga about 10 years ago when Tranquil Space was in the church. Yoga came to me at a time when I needed it. I was going through a divorce and had to deal with lots of unpleasantness. I found yoga helped my body but mostly helped me to slow my mind down and to keep calm and open. Its a practice, no doubt, and not perfection. There are often challenges, particularly in the hot weather we’ve been having, but I’m grateful for the moments of peace I can find when I can find them.
Why do I teach yoga? Its fun. It can be a creative outlet for me and people seem to enjoy it. I use to teach climbing but find that yoga is much more complicated and infinite in its possibilities. What else do I do besides yoga? Many of you know that I’m a climber – that’s my passion in life for now. It gives me the opportunity to go to beautiful places and climb amazing pieces of rock. In a few weeks I’ll be going to Squamish in British Columbia – a lovely place with very tall faces to climb. Like yoga, climbing makes me be totally in the moment. Totally in my body. Totally focused. It clears the mind and renews the soul.
I’ve had the opportunity to practice with several great teachers over the last few years. As many of you may know, I took Ana Forrest’s teacher training a few years ago and have studied more with one of her master teachers, Heidi Sormaz from New Haven. Both were great experiences that challenged me physically and emotionally. I think that’s what yoga is meant to do for us – provide the challenge. We then get the opportunity to see how we react to it and resolve it for ourselves. Yoga can be a gateway to change. It has been in my life and I hope you find it in yours.