JOEL D. RICHARDSON
I have been practicing yoga for the last four years. I decided to give yoga a try and after one hour of breathing and stretching I felt much better. The sadness was gone. I kept going and find --through yoga-- a better way to deal with my emotions. I also find a new life that has bring me well-being in subtle ways I never had imagine. Then, I quit smoking and my body demanded to eat healthier food. I guess that all of that because of yoga. Now, I am more flexible (mentally and physically), more united to other beings in ways I can't explain and also more connected to people who matter in my life and to nature. And, some how, I have more compassion for myself and others.
I arrive at the studio ready to be elsewhere preferably doing nothing. My day has been challenging, distressing, depressing, stressful and fulfilling. . .and I have been sitting down all day. Within 5 minutes I can feel the day's stress level dropping and my mind beginning to change focus. I struggle to shift from a sedentary outward focused mode to being very aware of body, mind and movement. By the end of class, I am energized and at peace with myself and my day, ready for what the next day may bring.
The residuals from my accidents continually vie for dominance. Regular practice holds them at bay as well as teaching me the life lessons of gently challenging my current limits; never allowing the vision I have of perfect expression to be discouraging; and, that even at my age, I can improve and integrate all facets of my life.
I love so many of the asanas, but right now I am most excited about the progress I have made toward a good triangle. Practicing with Lynn and the other teachers has been healing, exciting, humbling and a blessing.