November 6, 2017

Yoga 101 - Mind, Body and Spirits?

I got involved with Yoga many years ago. It all started with a few classes at my gym (this was not a trendy gym and was way before Yoga became popular).

Madonna was being interviewed on TV and talked about Yoga. She said it combined mind, body and spirit. I thought it sounded perfect for me and a good fit. As I relaxed in front of the TV with my martini, I knew that I'd have to take a Yoga class very soon.

A few days later, I took my first class and didn't know anything, except for some basic stretching and breathing. I sat in the back of the room and tried as hard as I could, I was gonna relax if it killed me. I resisted this new thing called Yoga but enjoyed the teacher. Slowly I "got over myself" gaining some confidence and understanding the technique. Before long I was front and center (no surprise) feeling totally present and in the moment.

What I liked most about my teacher was that she was a real character and I could relate to her. She was an artsy tough Italian chick from Brooklyn... with a real New York edge. She'd enter the Yoga room with a lot of energy, a real whirlwind wearing a leather biker jacket. After a few deep breaths, she'd start to unwind, welcoming us and making us all feel "warm and fuzzy" by adding a few positive words of wisdom. She'd light incense and start to chant (remember this was a gym). She broke all the rules and I loved it!

In between the chanting and exuding the positive energy, 
she'd spew out a few curse words to the gym staff that would 
occasionally interrupt the flow of our class. I thought OMG this woman was crazy but I loved her - I felt right at home. I thought... this is me, "I could do this, I could teach". She encouraged me to go for it once I told her how I felt. It confirmed my belief that Yoga, like life isn't just black and white. There's an entire rainbow along with many shades of grey. Very apropos in today’s world!

After I received my first degree in Yoga, I celebrated with a martini... namaste! And just as I learned from my first Yoga teacher (and of course, Madonna) it's all about mind, body, and spirits"and that's nyc2vin".

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