So here I am back in Oakfield, NY. I left when I was 18 years old and had no plans of ever coming back. Now, 18 years later (now you know how old I am) I chose to live here out of any other place in the country. It turns out that the girl that couldn't wait to escape "Blahtavia" was really happy to live near family and old friends from high school. I've lived in Buffalo, Washington D.C., Baltimore, Pensacola FL, Jacksonville Beach FL, San Diego CA, and Monterey CA. I feel like I've just made a lap around the country and landed about 3 miles from where I started from.
I think my love for yoga started back in the 80's when I was on the gymnastics team (Go Batavia Gymnasts!) When I was a little older, I used to walk to the YMCA from the middle school Monday through Thursday and stay there some days and practice from 3:30 until 8:00pm. I'm not kidding. Team practice didn't even start until 5:00 or something...but I was there practicing on my own while the "little kids" had their classes. I was hooked. It was easily the best part of my childhood. As long as I was on a balance beam or tumbling...I was happy. That was when my love affair with handstands began.
I used to attempt a handstand on anything that looked like it would make it a little scary or ...to me, just more fun. That would include large rocks, ledges of any sort, anything that had a drop off of doom, and of course any piece of furniture in my parent's house that would support about 65 lbs of me upside down without tipping over. Yep, that was me and I have to say, I don't feel like much has changed in that department.
I didn't always practice yoga, but I never stopped doing handstands. I was on the UB diving team in college and loved showing off my handstands during practice. You know, fooling around on the edge of the platforms and pushing off to dive...even on the end of the diving board just because it was fun.
In my freshman year, I fractured my lower back during diving practice (and no, I wasn't goofing off doing a handstand). That was the beginning of my path to yoga. I'll give you the details sometime in another post, but the short story is that my back was killing me after that. All the time. At age 20 my back felt like I was 80 and just mulched my yard. Every day. I went to a chiropractor all the time, sometimes I had to have a friend drive me there because I had "thrown my back out" and couldn't push the clutch in my car to drive. It was totally uncool and downright depressing.
It didn't take me long to figure out that a regular yoga practice got rid of all the pain. Not only that, but it kept my body lean and muscular. No more weights at the gym. No more boring treadmill or stair master. Plus, I felt like I had more energy after the workouts. I didn't want to go home and take a nap like I did after the gym.
I love yoga so much, that I ditched my well-paid government job in DC to be a yoga instructor and yoga therapist. I can easily say that I love teaching yoga to anybody...any level...any age...I love it. I know it works for me, and I've seen it transform my clients. I'm really happy to be here in Batavia for the next 12 months, and look forward to sharing yoga with you all while I'm here.
See you in class!