It’s funny. There were no fireworks, and the stars didn’t exactly align the first time I found myself on a yoga mat.
It was 2002, and never quite the athletic type, I registered for a class called “Yoga” to fulfill a wellness credit required for college graduation. Ironically, it was the only class I ever withdrew from in all four years of film school. Perhaps it was the lack of personal attention possible with 40+ students; Maybe it was just impossible for my untrained mind to go ‘inward’ under fluorescence in a cold, dingy gym. But whatever the reason, my first yogic experience was mostly disappointing.
But as most yoga practitioners have experienced, there is something that inevitably draws you back.
A few years later, my fiancee bought me an 8-week beginner’s session at an Iyengar studio to help me chill out in the weeks before our wedding. Already frenzied by the fact that we were broke and attempting a post-wedding move to New York City, those quiet, morning yoga breaks proved to be exactly what I needed to quell my worries and nourish my soul.
The timing of that class couldn’t have been more perfect — it prompted me to buy a mat and some yoga pants that would prove essential over the next couple years of soul-searching. It was after the “failed” attempt to establish a career in the New York film industry, moving back upstate to live with my in-laws, and spending months jobless, growing further into debt and depression that the yoga mat became home: the one place I felt grounded and strong.
When I finally landed a job that shifted my direction and gave me the hope and sense of accomplishment I had been craving, I took my yoga practice with me. It too, shifted — from the quiet, therapeutic forward bends that soothed my depression to handstands of joy against the wall at our new apartment.
The more I practiced, the more clarity I found in my own path — and each time life presented me with challenging situations, yoga helped me navigate and resurface as a stronger, wiser woman.
Yoga had been so instrumental in pulling me out of my sadness, that once I found peace in other aspects of my life, I wanted even more. I found a home studio and my practice grew from once every couple weeks, to once a week… then twice… then at home, too. The more I practiced, the more clarity I found in my own path — and each time life presented me with challenging situations, yoga helped me navigate and resurface as a stronger, wiser woman.
In 2010, I arrived at Lotus Gardens yoga teacher training with the sole intention of deepening my personal practice and exploring other schools and styles. What I found was my voice, a deep passion to share, and a calling to build an online yoga community that would spill over into my every day life.
Today, I work full time as a Web Designer for Vassar College while reading, writing, studio-hopping, and exploring the many avenues yoga touches in my life. Through sharing my adventures, lessons, and observations, I hope to help others find the courage and inspiration to blaze their own yogatropic path.
Raeanne Wright, CYT