My first Yoga practice wasn’t in a yoga studio or a gym. It wasn’t under the instruction of an experienced teacher or guru. I didn’t go through a traumatic event that led me to start practicing. My first experience with Yoga was in my one bedroom apartment about 5 years ago. Me, my TV, and my P90X DVDs. I had no idea what Yoga was; I just knew I had to complete this workout once a week as part of the program.

Before I started practicing genuine Yoga, I had a preconceived notion that Yoga was just a physical practice. You get into extremely awkward poses, you work on your flexibility, you stretch out your muscles so you can do more pushups, lift more weight, run faster, run longer. I thought of Yoga as a complementary workout to my gym routine. I still remember the first downward facing dog I took. “This is awkward!” was my first thought…”Why am I doing this?”

I came to Gaia Flow Yoga in July of 2011. The first class I took was Chrystal’s Weekend Warrior. She told us to get ready to fly. “What? Why are we flying? What have I gotten myself into?”, I thought. The practice itself was challenging of course, but I found myself back on the mat because I was eager to learn more. I wanted to know more about the spiritual sadhanas and what Yoga was really about. After a few weeks, I fell in love with Yoga. It kept me grounded, it taught me how to be a better person, how to treat others with respect and compassion, and it allowed me to grow.

I am honored to be part of the Gaia Flow Yoga family and am grateful to have started my journey with Chrystal, Andres, and my fellow teachers and students. I hope to continue this journey for the rest of my life, to continue to grow, continue to love, and to live in the present moment. In the meantime, I hope to see you on the mat soon.