My yoga journey!

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I love yoga. I started practicing when I was fifteen years old. One of my friends moms taught a class at my high school in Japan. I knew about yoga before that and really wanted to try it. I was hesitant, because I was very Christian and yoga was so unknown back when I started. I really wanted to become more flexible. I always found it hard to do certain things in ballet, because I am naturally very stiff.

My first consistent yoga teacher started a class at the YCAC the local sports club in Yokohama. Her name was Gwen and she was really cool. I remember being in class and hearing her say the Sanskrit as well as the names of poses in English. I found I needed to watch her in order to figure out what I was doing. I was encouraged by Gwen. I seemed to be doing really well. Downward facing dog was so foreign to me and hard to hold.

Years before I started yoga I had injured my knee when I was in a PE class in Hong Kong. One of my classmates sat on my knee while I was doing sit ups and it strained my knee. I’ve had reoccurring pain throughout my life in that knee. I tend to hyper extend my legs and my hamstrings are very tight. They always have been that way.

Gwen opened a studio called Yoga Garden with her boyfriend Patrick. It’s located in Motomachi near the Ichikawacho train station. It was a beautiful studio with a garden on a roof area. The space was so calming. We’d practice and then have a lovely cup of herbal tea afterwards. I loved going to the Vinyasa flow classes. There was a point system and I went a lot.

When I went to college in Australia there were yoga classes. I was so obsessed with yoga I would do yoga everywhere. I went to one of the yoga classes, but became disconcerted by the attitude of my teacher. It was a really big class and she would focus on one of her students. I had brought my ex-boyfriend and another really good friend of mine. They were doing really well, but I was so off that day. I never went back to a class. The teacher was actually the wife of one of the professors from the Outdoor Education course I was enrolled in.

I was in Australia for three years and did not practice yoga at all. My ex-boyfriend broke up with me when I moved to Colorado Springs. I started going to a studio called “Yoga Imaging” that was started by a lovely teacher called Thea Luby. I was heart broken by my break up and found light and healing from practicing yoga. I loved the way Thea taught. It brought me deeper into the practice of yoga. I practiced a lot, but found there were days I  was just too sore to go. Thea’s studio moved a few times. I followed. I stopped going as much when she moved her studio into her house in Manitou Springs.

Years ago I went to Playoga Studio. It had appeared down the hill from my house. Started by Becca Roodhuyzen. I loved that I could walk down the hill. I can’t remember the first teacher whom I met there, but I remember she was a Colorado College student. Playoga was a new experience for me “It’s yoga or its funny.” I learned that you didn’t have to be perfect to do yoga and that you could laugh about yourself. I was very serious and precise before that. Playoga studio moved to 8th street and it took me a while to go back. When I did go back there was a really tall blond teacher called Kris whom I really liked. I went to Belize and my now fiancé had broken up with me.

I decided to take a 50 hour Anusara training with Becca. It was focused on principles of alignment. Anusara was started by John Friend. I read “How Yoga Works” I learned about  the asanas and how they help people heal. Also I read Brene Browns “The gifts of Imperfection” One of the messages that resonated with me was that everyone is vulnerable. I found that at the time yoga really helped me heal from the pain I was feeling. Not only did it do that, but I also found it helped my relationships with other people. What I found at the time was that I was not ready to teach. I was still learning about yoga for myself.

My fiancé and I got back together and I continued to practice yoga. I found that the alignment principles really changed my practice. At some point I found myself back in Belize volunteering with Manatees, howler monkeys and spider monkeys. I practiced yoga once with a friend who had done a 200 hour Anusara training. The grass we all practiced on was uncomfortable but we embraced it.

This year I embarked on a 200 hour training with Becca. I have found that “Creating Space” is my favourite part of yoga as much as muscle energy. My meditation practice is improving and I am finding that practicing more often is making a huge difference in my life. I am excited to see where this teacher training will take me.

 

 

My passions: Introducion

Let me tell you a bit about myself:

I’m a world traveler with a passion for animals, nature and yoga. I began life’s journey  in New Zealand where I was born. Throughout my life I have lived Australia, Hong Kong, England, Japan and am now based in Colorful wacky Colorado where I spend my time doing yoga and going on new adventures on a daily basis. I’ve been to many other places around the world.  I enjoy learning about different cultures. In this blog I plan on writing about what I know about animals, nature, traveling and yoga. Sometimes those things combine in a very interesting ways.

My love of animals stemmed from being brought up around them. There have always been cats in my life, I grew up with them and know quite a bit about them. My cats are each very special in their own way. They have taught me a lot. When I was a teenager my dad found a day old kitten in our driveway. I fell in love with her and learned how to hand rear kittens because of her. She is now thirteen yeas old and lives with me in Colorado. Along with other cats I have rescued.I will mention more about rescuing and fostering cats and kittens later in my blog.

My wonderful Labrador is a Canine Good Citizen. She came to me in Australia when I was living in a very difficult relationship with my now ex and his family. My little brother went over to retrieve her and my cat I rescued. She was going to be drowned if she didn’t find a home. She was born on a farm.

In Australia I studied Outdoor Education/ Nature Tourism  as well as working on a Certificate in Animal Services. I have an Associates in Zoo Keeping Technologies and with that have worked and interned in various zoos and rehabilitation centers. Volunteering at The Belize Zoo and Wildtrack’s Belize are two animal experiences that really changed my life. I will go into more detail about them in a future blog.

A while ago I was volunteering at a local cat shelter and learned even more about cat behavior, training as well as socializing. I fostered a lot of tiny kittens that came into the shelter and went through the heart breaking reality of losing some of the really sick kittens. You fall in love with every one of them. Its a very hard thing to do.

Currently I am studying to be a Yoga instructor. The style of yoga is based on Anusara yoga. It covers alignment and what I have found is that knowing which muscles to move and where to point your knees really helps in changing the way your body feels. I will share more about yoga in my future blogs.

To summarize I will write about

  • Cats
  • Dogs
  • Other animals.
  • Nature
  • Travel
  • Yoga