Happy Transformation Tuesday, friends! I am going to tell you a little story about my own transformation from sedentary office worker to dedicated ninja! When I initially moved to Los Angeles in 2007, I barely knew a soul or had an inkling as to why I had insisted on moving there in the first place! I was pretty lonely, so I would just spend my days working at my new gig as a receptionist at a veterinarian and others exploring the vast city, via metro, getting off on random stops to see what I would find or who I could potentially meet.
Now you should know around this time in my life, I hadn’t seriously trained since probably high school track and field a few years prior, so I was extremely de-conditioned. I had heard there were beautiful parks where you could hike any time of the day and glimpse beautiful views of the massive city! This is how I stumbled upon the infamous Runyon Canyon park: trails, celebrity sightings galore, and free yoga??? I had to check it out! I had never practiced Yoga before and was curious to see if it was for me! I remember my first teacher was this fierce, drill sergeant of a man with a glorious mustache and a booming voice that could probably be heard all over the canyon! It was the scariest, most beautiful intro to Yoga I had ever experienced. My initial assumption was that Yoga was going to be gentle, probably slightly boring, and involve mad contortionism. This guy’s stylee was brutal, bootcamp flow and what I would later learn termed “Power Yoga” with rigorous strength-based sequences that hooked me immediately! After class, I probably passed out during Chavasana and just laid there reveling in that “noobie yogi” state of complete mind-body ecstasy! So that was the drill for the next few months, invading as many Yoga classes as I could find, until I made the decision to become a teacher! Until this time in my life, I had never really understood how the well-being of your mind is linked to the health of your bodily “temple,” and vice versa. I never asked myself those deep questions about the self, or the importance of living in the present moment and infusing meditation and breath awareness techniques into your daily life. This knowledge changed every thing for me….and eventually I got the opportunity to teach at Runyon for the last few years I was in L.A. sharing what I had experienced on that grassy hill with my students!
Fast forward to the present, and now I am living in the Big Apple, except now I have a few years of Yoga under my belt….my ultimate “toolkit” for viewing the world or any new situation through rose-colored glasses! I am unafraid, and excited for the possibility of trying out some new classes around town and getting back into teaching again! I have said it once and I will say it again: Yoga is for everyone, EVEN YOU!! Don’t let your assumptions of what you think it will be like get in the way of your curiosity to try it out! Or if you already have a strong Calisthenics background, adding a bit of Yoga to your routine is a great way to develop a deeper body awareness that can help prevent future injuries and also be a great addition to your recovery days. Al Kavadlo, Master PCC, trainer and author of bodyweight training bibles such as “Raising the Bar” and “Pushing the Limits” has another great book called “Stretching Your Boundaries,” all about integrating your Yoga and Calisthenics practice to increase your flexibility and improve your skills!
Click the photo below for a link to his amazing book!