For 2016 we are honoring a yogi from our community every month. This December we invited Arleen O’Brien to demonstrate her favorite poses from 2016 (all of which will show up in our December Flow, the year in review sequence we do each year), and share her yoga journey. Namaste, Arleen! Thank you for being such a bright light in our community!
I began my yoga journey about three and a half years ago when I was going through a difficult time: a long-term relationship was coming to an end, I was trying to balance an intense work schedule, and I was learning how best to cope with my mom’s declining health.
I needed to make some kind of change in my life. I wanted to find something that made me feel good, but also filled up some time to distract me from all my worries.
Yoga was something I had always wanted to try, but hadn’t because I felt like I was behind the curve of the yoga craze. And I wasn’t too thrilled with the idea of being one of thirty people squished into class while having no idea of what I was doing!
When I nonetheless searched online for yoga studios in my neighborhood, I stumbled upon Yoga 216 and immediately felt like I had hit the jackpot! 6 people per class and I didn’t even have to bring a mat or water, sign me up!
As I began practicing regularly and feeling better physically, I realized that when I was in the zone of a class, I wasn’t thinking about being sad, or work, or my mom. It dawned on me that there really must be something to this yoga thing that is thousands and thousands and thousands of years old. I was hooked.
The studio’s alignment-based approach also spoke to my pitta* spirit and I wanted more. I headed into the world of Teacher Training. First I completed the Level 1: Deepen Your Practice program, which exposed me to many different facets of yoga. Now I am enrolled in the Level 2: Teaching Yoga program.
Yoga and Yoga 216 have become such important parts of my life.
I’ve learned so much from amazing teachers… who have awoken a passion I didn’t know I had.
I’ve made new friendships with so many wonderful fellow students… who have created a sense of community for me.
I’ve learned ways to quiet my mind, listen to my heart, and energize my spirit.
It was all there the whole time; I just didn’t know how to tap into it.
Now, I feel like I’m getting somewhere with it… hence the magic of yoga for me! Namaste 🙂
*Pitta is one of Ayurveda’s three doshas, or qualities of energy + personality. “Pitta types” often garner much calm from well-placed organization + structure! – Esther