The post was inspired by the thoughtful interview Nadine had with Crescence Krueger, one of her yoga "mothers." Crescence speaks of how the powerful experience of motherhood brought her in tune with her body and, as a result, her personal yoga practice. This deepening encouraged her to pursue training as a doula, which also affected her role as a teacher. It got me to thinking about the moment, if you can pinpoint it, that your practice becomes something greater than just a series of poses.
It's what I call becoming a "true believer." And this becoming usually leads to teaching, because you want to share your personal discovery of yoga with those near and dear.
My conversion was a result of finding physical release in classes I had with a very strong and moving teacher in Washington DC. Oya Horiguchi was Iyengar-trained and also a Phoenix Rising therapist, and her sequences always brought me great relief during stressful periods (which was most of the time) while I worked in the costume design biz. I grew to crave the open, satisfied, and calm feeling I always had driving home from her studio in Falls Church. I wanted to share this feeling with my colleagues and friends, and I began a year-long apprenticeship with her, which became the beginning of my teacher career (and, subsequently, my writing one).
Pregnancy and motherhood also affected my practice, because it made labor and delivery so bearable (easy is definitely not the right word) and made me appreciate the 10 minutes here and there that I can actually slip into a Dog or two, or a short session of pranayama. The release and centering it provides is priceless when chasing two little monkeys around.
I suspect, for most people it is a combination of inspiring teacher and significant life event--whether happy (childbirth, career change) or upsetting (life-threatening accident, addicition, violent relationship). Yoga offers a way to deal with all of these situations, and with an understanding, skilled mentor it can affect your world in profound ways. You sort of become a yoga evangelist and want to share the "word" with everyone who still sees yoga as a bunch of twisty poses by goofballs in turbans (or simply a sexy workout).
Some believers can be sort of annoying, I suppose, if the urge to share is too in-your-face, but most seem peaceful, generous, and nurturing. Of course, I'm talking about all of you. You wouldn't be writing and reading if you weren't finding peace, right?
So, tell me, when did you become a true believer?