I first began practicing yoga in a dark conference room of the public library in Pittsburgh, where they had free community classes on Saturday mornings. It was led by a woman in her 70s with a thick Hungarian accent. I was 15 at the time and the only person in the dark room who wasn’t a senior citizen.
It was 1979. I felt like I had stumbled upon a secret. Everyone in the room was so flexible and limber, youthful despite their ages. The guide had such a velvety and hypnotic voice, teaching and showing us the poses with encouragement, rather than a boastful demeanor of her own movement prowess. I showed up every Saturday for a year.
Off and on during the years since then I have taken yoga in the gyms I belonged to, always enjoying my return and wondering why I had ever stopped.
Seven years ago I tried a 90 minute hot yoga class and immediately felt like it was a challenge I would never get used to... I kept returning day after day to see if it would ever get easier. The heat was 105 degrees Fahrenheit minimum and the humidity was at least 46%. Every time I went into the studio, I was bringing a different set of experiences from the past 24 hours, resulting in that the practice was different every single time! What I ate, drank, moved, how I slept, my emotional experience from the day before, it ALL affects the next day’s practice. So I was totally hooked on the familiar and yet unknown on a daily basis!
As humans we are constantly changing and that is the reminder from my yoga practice. It has helped me heal from 3rd degree burns on 3/4 of my body. It has helped my arthritis in my back and knees. It has helped my attitude for the reminder of the day after my practice. It has helped me be a more patient, compassionate, empathetic, and kind spirit on the planet.
I encourage everyone to enjoy the benefits from yoga. There are no fancy tools to buy to do the work either. Bring your body, and the mind and heart will follow. I promise.
KJ Landis, Superior Self