What is it that keeps you coming back to Homegrown Power Yoga?
I have a hard time articulating exactly why I first started coming to HPY regularly. When I first started, I was trying to recover from a fairly traumatic illness, and I felt that no matter what I did, I would never feel like a normal person again. I was trying the “fake it until you make it” approach, and going about my daily life as it had been before my illness, but it wasn’t working. I felt awful -- physically, mentally and emotionally. When I started coming to HPY, little by little, I started to feel better. When I completed my first 30 day challenge, I felt much better than I had in a very long time. I understood what Alison meant when she talked about the practice being restorative, and I started to believe that recovery was possible, and that I actually could go beyond being the person I was before, and continue to grow -- physically, mentally and emotionally. That was well over a year ago, and I still make it a priority to try to come to yoga every day because I realize that discovery never ends. Each time I attend, I feel like the practice continues to restore my faith in myself, in my abilities and in the community around me, which is supportive and wonderful.
How has practicing here at HPY impacted you/life?
It’s given me so much... At the beginning of each practice, I walk into the studio and even if I don’t know everyone there, I feel as if I’m surrounded by friends or at the very least, good people with nothing but good intentions (at least for the next hour :). At the end of each practice, I feel immense gratitude for my health, myself, the practice, my family and life, Alison and all the good things I have. Each practice reminds me how connected all of these things are, and gives me a sense of peace no matter what else is going on outside the door. I’ve brought my kids with me when I know they are all tangled up inside and can’t get a hold on things. I see it’s immediate impact on them, and they walk out feeling better because they have used their bodies physically, but mostly because they have taken some time to just be. That’s hard for all of us, but especially kids. HPY has helped me find a place I can just be and feel better, and that I can bring my family to do the same.
If you could give advise to anyone who is on the fence about yoga, what is the one thing your would say to them to encourage them to go for it?
I think the only thing you can say is just go. When you really don’t think you want to go; when you’ve convinced yourself it’s not for you or you’re not ready or you’re not stretchy or bendy or “one of those yoga people,” you should just go. No one in the room is ready or stretchy or bendy or knows all the moves or is “one of those yoga people.” They are just people who want to feel as if they’ve done something during the day to make themselves feel better physically, mentally and emotionally. I would say drop everything you thought you knew about yoga, the “kind” of people who do it and what you think will happen, and just go and find out. It’s different for everyone, but you always get what you need.