For 2016 we are honoring a yogi from our community every month. This June we invited Valerie Perez to demonstrate our pose, Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon Pose), and share her yoga journey. Namaste, Valerie! Your daily practice inspires us in equal measure.
I began yoga 14 years ago. A decision I made when I turned 40 was to embark and commit to a practice that I had dabbled with, but never found strong commitment to. I continued to practice a couple of times a week and found great benefit from the different types of Yoga that came my way.
It wasn’t until Yoga 216 opened its studio, that I became fully engaged in a daily practice -that I have been following for almost 3 years now. Something needed changing in my life. I was going through tremendous emotional turmoil and my body was full of injuries and pain. Acupuncture, chiropractors – anti-inflammatory and PT all helped a little, but my physical body was not healing, and as I was aging the sports injuries from an active life continued to plague me.
My sorrow from a failed marriage and a stressful career all added to my general dis-ease and depression and fatigue plagued me. When I arrived in the studio Esther was there to greet me and welcome me into this wonderful clean, stylish and calm environment that seemed more like a spa than a yoga studio. My first class immediately led into a second class and so on. I found that the simple act of breaking down each pose over a month and then on to the next pose of the month kept me engaged and coming back for more. I had found a safe haven to heal my body and soul. I just kept on coming back. Really that simple!
The careful instruction and alignment that is placed at the forefront of Yoga 216 mission for teaching, is what I consider to be the primary reason for my growth as a yogi. My teachers know me intimately and know my body and what it can and cannot yet do. Each morning I start my day at Yoga 216 and not matter what happens the rest of the day, I feel that I can do what is needed. What a gift the Yoga 216 studio and teachers have given me! A place where I feel I belong, where I can develop my physical and spiritual practice, where I have changed my life.
Really that simple!