I am a yogi, a mom and a nerd. In what way would I order these traits, I am not sure, but I try to maintain a balance between all of them. My first exposure to yoga came after a car accident in the early ‘90s. My injuries were primarily soft tissue damage and my body was not responding to western medical techniques. Nothing worked to relieve the pain that I was experiencing. I would have these severe headaches that would last for days and sometimes even weeks. I had tried going to a chiropractor, taking pain medication, exercise, physical therapy all without any success. Eventually I was introduced to yoga through a manual therapist and began to see its benefits. Between yoga and the manual therapy I very quickly came back to myself. The pain went away and strength and vitality returned to my body. Yoga and manual therapy gave me hope that I could be normal again. In fact I could be better than normal. The therapy helped with things I couldn't manage on my own and the yoga enhanced the therapy and gave me energy, focus, and a greater ability to handle whatever life threw at me. I could finally return to normal activities such as being able to carry laundry up from the laundry room, and after a few months I became strong enough to carry my twelve foot long, sixty-five pound kayak by myself!
From that moment I knew that there was something to this yoga and I wanted to do more. So I started a daily practice that was nothing sort of miraculous – people told me that I glowed and wondered what was different. Situations that would be difficult for most such as the death of a family member, job changes, etc. became in a way sort of effortless. For me it was clear that it was the yoga that gave me this “glow” and this strength to tackle life’s challenges with more grace and ease.
The repeated suggestions that I teach as well as a desire to share what I had found with others is what lead me to take teacher training. It is kind of a natural extension of the things I had already done in my life and around something that I am passionate about. It’s been said that it takes patience to be a teacher and yes, I have always had patience, but yoga enhanced it. Rather than just patience, there is a certain amount of compassion needed. You need to always be able to meet each student where they are - not just once - but each and every time you see them.
As a mom, as with teaching, yoga helps me to be patient and compassionate. It's still a work in progress and I learn every day, but yoga helps me to be able to be there and see what needs to happen now. Without worrying about tomorrow or the next moment, but be there now especially with my 10-year old. I have been able to develop a much better understanding of her and what she needs. Definitely I have developed more awareness of how what I do impacts her and how it impacts different situations.
The tradition I follow is through Sadhguru who has devised this system of yoga called Isha Yoga. I started practicing Isha Yoga with the simple practice of Shambhavi Mahamudra (a kriya or inner energy process) after taking a program called Inner Engineering in 2009.
In 2011 it was announced that Sadhguru would open a Hata Yoga School. This was the opportunity I had been looking for: the opportunity to learn classical hata yoga and have the opportunity to offer the same as a teacher. I then spent 5 ½ months at the Isha Yoga Center in Southern India, studying hata yoga and related practices along with anatomy and physiology and exposure to Traditional Indian Medicine (Ayruveda and Siddha) and food and nutrition to support the practice of yoga.
I look forward to offering these practices and sharing classical hata yoga so that individuals and groups can move towards reaching their full potential whether they are seeking general health and wellbeing, relief from chronic ailments, finding their center or are looking at more spiritual aspects of practicing yoga.
Here are some videos that inspire Barb! Please explore and share if you would like!