Like many yogis I remember my first yoga class very well. I was in my preteen’s and on summer holidays in cottage country Quebec with my family. My aunts friend offered yoga classes on a dock overlooking a serene lake. The setting was so beautiful and I loved the class! I was never a very athletic kid. I wasn't a fast runner, I was afraid of the ball in various sports, I was often picked last in gym you get the picture. This yoga class was so different than any other activity I had done. It was an activity that was at my pace and it wasn't competitive.
I continued to discover yoga in my teens. I had a membership at my local gym. They offered a variety of group fitness classes and yoga was my favorite! Once in a while an experienced yogi would be in class and I would be almost mesmerized by their graceful practice and amazing flexibility. I would buy yoga books and magazines to read at home. One time, my mother opened my bedroom door and found me in a child's pose on my bed. "Monica, what on earth are you doing?!" "It's a yoga pose Mom!"
In 2006, after my partner and I had finished our college programs we moved from Oshawa, Ontario to Calgary, Alberta together. Once in Calgary I discovered yoga studios. How exciting! I found a studio that had classes and teachers that resonated with me. Just like most new yoga practitioners I wasn't "good" at it right away. I was wobbly, I wasn't very flexible or strong but I never felt defeated. I always left feeling amazing after class. It became clear to me Yoga was so much more than a physical activity. I knew it wasn't about being good at something but rather about being good to yourself.
Once I developed a consistent practice things started to shift. I started to have "Ah Ha Moments" on my mat regularly. I would suddenly understand a concept or be able to do a posture that I could never do before and I would feel so accomplished. I still feel very accomplished when that happens! I started to really understand that yoga was a beautiful moving meditation and the benefits of the practice were felt in all aspects of my life.
Now yoga is an integral part of my life and I couldn't live without it. In 2013 I applied for my 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training with Rameen Peyrow at his SATTVA School of Yoga. What an amazing experience! All those questions I had been pondering for so long had been answered. I completed my Prenatal & Postnatal Advanced Teacher Training in 2014 with Amy Bidrman. I look forward to continuing to learn, to being a student of yoga for the rest of my life. I also look forward to continuing to share this gift with as many people as possible.