How did you find yoga?
I began having migraine headaches in my mid-twenties. I went to a visionary body worker to help me, and he gave me a grim diagnosis.
He said, “you’re in horrible shape, and if you don’t start taking care of yourself NOW you will be dead by the time you’re 40.”
Naturally, I wanted to know what he recommended. He suggested yoga, swimming, and weight lifting. Since I had plenty of experience with the last two, I elected to look into the activity least familiar to me. I sampled the yoga classes in my hometown of Madison, Wisconsin, and after a few different classes landed in a Forrest Yoga class. It was a great fit for me, and started a new chapter in my life.
How have you overcome fear?
For me fear is the thing that backs me into a corner. When people say to me, “you’re so brave!” or “You’re so strong!” mostly what I think, is “I had no other alternative.” Fear is the thing that will stand in the way of the things that you most want in your life, and so, if you’re determined to get them, you hold that longing in your heart even as fear threatens to put you back in the corner. People who overcome fear are those who have no other choice but to prevail. Otherwise, they would stay put.
What are the benefits of your practice?
What isn’t the benefit of my yoga practice?! Above all, these days, I’m thinking about how it is an invitation to Spirit to be present in my life. I want my own personal practice to bring Spirit in, I want the classes I attend to do the same, and I want my own classes to help my students feel in the company of Spirit. There’s nothing more consoling than spending your time in arms of Spirit.
Tips for beginners?
I have three things you DON’T need to do to begin yoga.
1. Loose weight
2. Be flexible
3. Have the correct wardrobe
Just go to yoga. That’s the most important thing.