Like many yoga teachers I was once a professional dancer. Also like many dancers, I had to give up dancing because of physical injuries over the years. However, the desire to express my soul and mind through body language was deeply rooted within me.
When I hurt my back dancing, my doctor showed me a simple pose to do. After only a couple of weeks practicing the pose several times a day, my pain had almost completely gone away.
I went back to my doctor and asked about what he’d shown me before. “It’s yoga,” he said.
Where dance had taught me to show my body in movement, yoga taught me to feel my body in movement.
That’s how my yoga practice began. I started taking yoga classes, and I loved the movement and strength required for poses. I found meditation a challenge at first, but one day I realized that I had slipped into a focused state without having to struggle. This is the way yoga (and life) works: if you continue to work hard, you will eventually succeed.
Yoga is the greatest miracle that happened to me and has forever changed my life. Contrary to most people who say they are changed from the inside out, yoga changed me from the outside in, making me become a better person.
The more I practiced yoga, the more I loved it. I found big differences in yoga and dance: while dance felt hard on my body, yoga felt like it healed it. Where dance had taught me to show my body in movement, yoga taught me to feel my body in movement.
I also realized that there is, in fact, a synergy between yoga and dance. I found the good parts of dance, alignment and emotion, and brought them to my yoga mat. Alignment in dance is important to understanding how to move. Emotion is also a key part of dance: dancers are naturally good at expressing emotion.
I also found that other aspects of physical fitness and my life in general that work with yoga. I believe it is only natural to connect them instead of keeping them separate. Bringing these things together has allowed me to have a more dynamic practice.
Yoga can bring people acute awareness, allowing them to discover and connect with the universe. Everything has its own place in this universe, but all those places are still within that same universe. Why shouldn’t we be able to connect yoga and dance since they seem to fit together so well?
Dance and yoga. Body and breath. Doing and teaching. Yoga has brought so many combinations to me, and I am excited to share with you the way all these things mesh.