My wife introduced me to yoga in 2008 by taking me to a hot yoga class in Shanghai. I'm sure that you are used to reading about how so and so took a class and discovered they were a natural and how their first class was a revelation, but that wasn't my experience. I discovered that yoga... was tough!
Working towards goal poses like crow and headstand was addictive, but the more I went, I was introduced to the other side of yoga; the side that isn't focused on the shape your body can make. Once I realized that yoga was about being comfortable in the poses and finding balance both in body and mind, things started to make more sense. All of a sudden I was being drawn back to the mat, not just for the exercise, but for the mental clarity that came after.
As I moved from Shanghai, to Hong Kong, to the US, and back to Canada, my yoga practice gave me a chance to reset and recharge. I have had the opportunity to practice alongside dedicated students and learn from inspiring teachers. Each epiphany and challenge along the way has transformed my practice and given me the desire to share what I’ve learned. I’m happiest when I’m learning something new and interesting. This process of continuous study is something that keeps me engaged in the practice.
My path has taken me from classrooms full of kids, to consulate offices full of paperwork, to a pretty famous store named after a fruit full of customers, to a start-up with an endless to-do list, until finally my path brought me full circle and I ended up back in a classroom. The ups, the downs, I recognize now that these provided me with invaluable experience. It is the same with yoga. Whether you are feeling healthy and strong and can push yourself or if you have an injury or limitation that seems to be getting in the way, yoga is about accepting where you are.