My first experience with yoga was in a high school PE class. I was a competitive swimmer in perfect physical condition at the time, but I remember thinking, “This is really important.” I didn’t know why. Then I promptly went back to “sleep” and a decade of darkness followed. In my twenties the search for some sort of light became an urgent and full-time matter. One day I stumbled across a man wearing a mala; he was a homeopath and talked about yoga. I listened.
He invited me to various events and suggested a trip to Pennsylvania to visit the Himalayan Institute founded by Swami Rama. Although I had never heard of Swami Rama, when I arrived it was clear to me that I was in my Father’s house. I dropped anchor-I knew I was home. During my years at the Institute I worked in the art department of Yoga International magazine and traveled a couple times to India. I had received a formal education, but at the Himalayan Institute I learned things that seemed to be hidden from the rest of the world.
When I gathered enough courage, I re-entered the “real” world. The avalanche of joy that had been promised to me quickly showed up in the form of my two daughters, Savana and Lily, the treasures of my heart. We were living in sunny Florida where I always wanted to be. When my girls started school I was struck by what the students were not learning, so I volunteered to bring meditation to the classroom once a week. Meanwhile, I discovered a group of people like myself, who were trying to bring yoga into the school system. I jumped at the chance to get Yoga Ed certified. I now teach yoga to children in both public and private schools.
Teaching the next generation is thrilling for so many reasons. Classes are full of wipeouts and hilarity. At the end of class when I finally manage to get everyone into Savasana, I draw from the great teachings that have been most meaningful to me-the 12 Steps, Abraham, A Course in Miracles, the Vedas, The Gospel According to Matthew, and the Gita-and attempt to bring it all together in a way kids can grasp. It’s pretty easy actually; I just let part of myself be a kid again!
Some of my favorites:
Favorite food: Anything Mexican and super spicy!
Favorite book: Autobiography of a Yogi by Yogananda
Favorite posture: Standing Forward Bend
Favorite kid’s posture: Headstand Prep