Like many of us, yoga changed my life in ways I did not imagine. I wandered into my first yoga class in 1999 out of curiosity and a desire to change up my physical routine. From a young age I was the sporty and athletic girl who was building strength, but not as much flexibility. From that first class I was hooked and shifted all of my energy into practicing, reading and learning everything I could. From early on, Iyengar yoga and alignment-based vinyasa became the heart of my practice. Because these two methods require diligent attention and focus on alignment, I learned how to be in present time. I learned how to be with myself.
And while I love the physical aspect of yoga, what became the most meaningful and profound part was the self-study, self-awareness and clarity that it awakened in me. It's the self-realization we talk about in yoga. I discovered that I had been living with a lot of anxiety and fear, and through yoga I started to feel in my skin, as well as a sense of self-compassion and self-acceptance. As I continue to dig deeper, all of the parts of me connect and make sense. This feeling of being whole inspires me to share my experience of yoga through teaching. I am so grateful that somehow all of the choices in my life led me to this place where I get to do what I love and I get to bring something positive into the lives of others on a daily basis. If I can inspire at least one person a day then I feel that I have accomplished my goal.
I enjoy creating a space for students where they can define their own meaning of yoga. My hope is to inspire students to look beyond the physical and to use the whole practice of yoga as a means to deepen the connection with one's true self. Ultimately yoga teaches us to go inward, and by creating an attitude of santosha, or contentment, we are able to embrace all of the parts of our self and harmonize with the world around us. We can be grateful for not just one thing, but everything.
Find out more at annevanyoga.com