I have my friend Linds to credit with beginning my yoga practice. I was well into graduate school, and she and her husband moved across the parking lot from us and had memberships to the YMCA. Folks, they drove me to the Y every Tuesday and Thursday, so that Linds and I could take yoga with the silver sneakers crew (senior citizens). It was a perfect way to begin yoga because the teacher was really focused on alignment and it was gentle. We practiced there together until these dear friends moved away, and then after a Creepy interaction with an old guy at the Y after a different yoga class I stopped going to the Y.
I found my practice again at a studio in Nashville, dropped it and picked it up again in Chicago, and then found my yoga community here in North Carolina, which has been invaluable in this state finally feeling like home. But as much as the people in my community of teacher trainees and studio, what I so appreciate about my practice these days is the relative ease with which I can access it.
My mom practiced yoga daily for years before I finally got into it myself. When you practice something [mostly] every day for even just seven minutes—the minimum time our teacher used to define how we should think about our daily practice—your ability to refer back to it increases exponentially. Yoga is so much about taking a moment to pause and connect with my breath and myself that it makes a huge difference in my ability to do that, and get through the day with greater equanimity.
I went into my teacher training with the idea that I wanted to deepen my own practice and probably not really teach, but my feelings on that have changed, based on the profound change that yoga has made in my life. I am definitely not perfect, but I am so thankful that the emotional reactivity that I’ve struggled with my whole life feels much less a problem now than it ever has. After just seven minutes a day.