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This week-end marked the last week-end of our teacher training. I am now a certified yoga teacher, recognized by the Yoga Alliance (gotta send them my form and my payment)!

My last week-end was truly special. As you know (if you’ve been reading this blog!), the past few months have been difficult physically, and I haven’t been able to practice much. Last Friday afternoon, I had a first appointment with THE specialist of pregnancy acupuncture, who treatment me for my sciatica and other pregnancy-related problems. And then I had the best week-end ever in months! I was even more pain-free than after my new special sciatica yoga practice.

It was a good thing because, over the course of the week-end, I was going to attend 3 yoga classes (so that all the students could do their evaluation — regular students of the studio came in, but everyone in the training participated to all classes as well). Friday night, my practice was very solid. Same thing on Saturday morning (I did everything I didn’t teach).

On Sunday morning, but for reason, I felt very emotional. Hormones, last day of training, fatigue (we went out to an Indian restaurant the night before to celebrate and came home late… for yogis!), or a combination of all these things? I don’t know, but I was on the edge of tears. We did a wonderful meditation during which we visualized ourselves at 5 years old, ourselves at 15 years old, ourselves at 20 years old, and so, standing in line with ourselves right now and congratulating us, cheering for us. It was very powerful and a few tears came up.

Then the students started coming in to the reception area, so we opened the doors and turned on the music. It was Krishna Das. Krishnas Das always has this power of making me feel energized, strong. I did a few stretches on my mat, preparing for class. For the first time since I got pregnant, I think, just doing this, I felt “like before.” Like before putting my head lower than my stomach made me feel like I was going to throw up a little bit, like before my left started hurting so much that sometimes I could hardly do Uttanasana without shaking. It was just me, the real Julie, on my mat, with all the energy and the security I usually feel when I’m on it. I felt so good, I felt like I’d arrived.

It was amazing to feel like this on the last morning of my training, and I’m very grateful for it. I now have another option than communications/advertising when I go back to work after my maternity leave. And I know that this other option is the one that allows me to be the real me. My teacher already told me not to forget them whenever I would be ready to start teaching. And I am making plans to give private and corporate classes as well. A baby coming up, and eventually, a new career. I feel like it’s a brand new life beginning, a life in which I can have pretty much everything I really want and need (which isn’t that much). Sunday morning just showed me how very simple and good it was.

I went to a second acupuncture appointment yesterday, and I still feel amazingly good. I went to swim 20 laps this afternoon. It’s not that much (500 meters), but it had been almost a year since I last went swimming, and I was beat when I came out. It felt good though. Almost no pain in my leg, and I was a bit freed from the weight of the belly (and those boobs!) while I was underwater.

Tomorrow, I’m going to my second gestational diabetes test. Last week’s was inconclusive. Hopefully everything will be ok. Then, if the weather allows, I might go to the park for a yoga practice. A regular one, not one for sciatica. I’ve been feeling so strong these past few days, I’m dreaming of a sun saluation with jump backs, or Sirsasana. Of course, it’s not gonna happen : the belly won’t allow it. I’m not even able to walk back to the front of my mat from Adho Mukha Svanasana in one step — the belly gets in the way. I tried doing Sirsasana the other day. I’m not used to the additional weight, I can’t balance. But it doesn’t matter. I know yoga those sun salutations and Sirsasana will always be there for me, whenever I’m ready to reunite with them.

Teacher training homework of the month: celebrate for at least a whole month!!

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Well, I did it! I broke the ice, I taught my first class, and I’m glad it’s over!

I was nervous on Sunday morning, but not as much as I expected. As people came in and I was able to greet them at the door, the nervousness slowly left me. It’s usually a full group (about 28 students), but only 9 people showed up. It was Mother’s Day, after all. I was glad anyone showed up at all, I was afraid I’d end up having to go back home! Seriously!

Everything went very well. I think teaching a class from beginning to end — rather than teaching a part of someone else’s class — is actually easier. It’s your group, you’re the one warming them up and bringing them where you want them to go… I actually enjoyed it and I was able to be myself much more than any other time I was in front of a class before.

I think I was able to keep my theme alive all throughout the class. Thankfully, the day before the class, I was walking on the street and smelled — before I was able to see — the first lilacs of the year. I loooooove lilacs. They smell so amazing, they’re one of the earliest flowers to come out in the spring and their appearance just makes me feel wonderful every year. The theme of the class was the breath — how we spend winter with our lungs shut, trying to keep the cold from coming in, and how at spring time we can finally let the warm air fill our lungs… Throughout the class, I invited the students to smell the lilacs and, when came the time to do Vrksasana, do be lilac trees. I think it worked well!

My class ran a bit short, though. After one hour, all I had left was Savasana — and it’s a 90-minute class! Oops! I inserted a few twists on the floor, and a long Savasana (it was about 15 minutes — which is actually what they always teach us: for each 30 minutes of a class, 5 should be Savasana), and another very short meditation at the end, and it ended up being ok.

I was on a high when the class ended. Of course, I did notice that some poses didn’t work too well, that some people ended up in weird positions — including a 8-year old boy who was there with his mom. But I didn’t want to adjust people too much — we’re taught that you shouldn’t assist before you’re experienced enough with teaching. But overall, I thought it went very well.

But then I was sweeping the floor when all the students had left, and my teacher came to tell me she was proud of me for breaking the ice. Then she said that we could talk about the things that I didn’t do right for a long time — and she started naming a few. That’s fine. I agreed with a lot of things she said. But I was a bit hurt because, besides saying she was generally proud of me and that I had potential, she didn’t mention one thing positive specifically — just the negative. Yes, I made some mistakes, but I think I also did or said some things that were really good as well. I would have liked for her to recognize those as well.

But that’s me: always having a hard time with criticism. At least, a lady said she really liked the class and registered for 15 more at the end, and a young man who was there for the first time said I was a really good teacher, that I had a very soft voice and that it was a fantastic experience and that he would be back. Another woman said I was very pretty with my belly. Made me feel good!

Of course, I know no one should teach yoga to feel good about themselves. And as my teacher says (not the one who was there on Sunday, another one), you should take 50% of the compliments, and 50% of the critics. That’s what I’m trying to do. But it was nice to hear good comments like this, from people for whom this was their first experience.

Now I need to write my 2nd teacher’s training essay, and study for this week-end’s exam (a kind of oral presentation: I’m talking about adjustments, restorative poses, and doing a press review of the articles we read throughout the year).

Audrey’s been moving a lot since yesterday. I’m starting to feel her move when I put my hands on my belly. Dutchboy will be able to feel her really soon (he wants to wait until she kicks hard enough for him to really feel her). It’s so exciting!

This week-end was the 7th of our teacher training and for the first time after a training week-end, I can genuinely say that I am exhausted.

We practiced and taught a lot over the week-end: practice/teaching with a partner Friday night (creating a forward bend practice — I was particularly proud of ours), another forward bend practice with the usual Saturday morning group (the group that I started assisting) yesterday, practicing adjustments and teaching a partner in the afternoon, and another practice/teaching to the whole group this morning (forward bends again). It was more hands-on and less theory than we’ve had so far.

I really enjoyed it. The forward bend practice in the morning did wonders for me. It’s a practice that is usually more cooling and brings us back to the earth, but yesterday’s practice was actually more active than most Saturday morning classes. Usually, it’s a lot of postures on the floor: apanasana, supta padangusthasana, bidalasana, gentle seated twists, etc. But yesterday, there were a lot of standing postures and at some point I could really feel the heat rushing to my face (particularly in prasarita padottanasana) and it was so nice. I have a major problem on week-ends: I am so stressed out and give myself 110% during the week, and so when the week-end comes, I’m totally comatose. It’s as if to have a normal day, I should get up at the same time as on weekdays and get out of the house. If I sleep a little bit later and take it more easy… I just want to sleep more. Saturday morning practices usually don’t help me much in that regard: they just make me even more comatose. Yesterday’s practice woke me up more, it was great.

I started getting really tired in the afternoon, though. My belly is finally starting to show, and I have some dizziness and some moments when I have trouble assessing the space around me — I’m becoming more clumsy than I ever was (which is a lot… ask my boyfriend who’s used to getting hit on the nose in the middle of the night!). So while we were practicing the different kinds of adjustments and teaching poses at the same time, at some point I just really lost everything. My balance, my words, everything. I couldn’t stand in trikonasana — and I was supposed to be demonstrating it! I couldn’t find the words to say what I wanted to, either. It was just too much. It’s the first time something like this happens to me: so obvious that everyone notices it and I can’t deny it. And apparently it’s not gonna get any better. Ms. Perfection here will have to get used to this!

We did a lot of chanting, too. There’s a Metta board at the studio, on which people who want a loved one to benefit from everyone’s energy put that person’s name. For the past few days, students have been invited to stay after class if they wanted, to chant for those people. So this week-end, we chanted Om Tare Tutare Ture Soha (108 repetitions) twice. This morning, the room was full; we must have been at least 30 students. The energy was really fantastic.

This afternoon, we watched Yoga Unveiled (we usually finish at 1 p.m. on Sundays, but this time we stayed to watch the movie), and I think that’s what killed me. It’s a very interesting movie, but it’s so long, and after sitting on the floor all week-end, my bum was killing me.

I’ve actually been having these bum pains since the last training, 5 weeks ago. At first I thought it was from sitting on the floor all week-end, but then it never went away. My sitting bones are always hurting like hell, as if I had been bicycling too much. It hurts when I sit, it hurts when I lay down… Not fun. Must be the pregnancy. My friend (who’s pregnant with her 4th girl) told me she’s had similar pain at the second one.

So yes, I wanted to die during the movie… And I have to admit I slept a bit through it as well. But it really was a nice week-end, and I’m trying not to project myself into the future — tomorrow — too much. Don’t want to think about the crazy day that’s awaiting me tomorrow. Lots of work, election day, concert… I’ll be home late and running all day, and I’m not looking forward to it. But we’re not there yet.

For the moment, I’m just sitting on the couch, relaxing. Dutchboy is watching Blood Diamond, and we’ll watch the premiere of Gene Simmons’ new season in a few… Then off to bed to read a bit and enjoy the comfort of the best mattress in the world — just because it’s ours! Then, horrible Monday morning, but not a minute before.

As the pregnancy gets more advanced, my energy level is rising again. About time! But it’s also getting much busier at work, so I rarely get home before 19.00 at night, and by then I’m so hungry I can’t think of anything else but food… And of course, I can’t practice yoga with a tummy full of food and baby!

So my yoga practice isn’t re-established yet, but I’m planning on it. I am! I didn’t make it to the class I started assisting this morning because of the snow: it’s a 30-minute ride, and I warned the teacher I assist yesterday that I wouldn’t take the wheel if it didn’t look good outside. I was always scared of driving in the snow after I had an accident in 1997, and now that I don’t drive that much anymore (living in the middle of the city, with a metro station 500 meters away from home), it’s even worse. Anyways, it’s not worth the risk.

But today I am planning on studying the sutras, and hopefully getting a small practice in. I should do the practice of the month — for the training — at least once, but actually I miss a more active practice, more Ashtanga-based. We’ll see. Maybe I’ll just throw in a few sun salutations. It’s been a while.

In other baby news, we went for our first echo this week — for the nuchal translucency. Until we saw this little bean on the screen, I didn’t even really believe I was pregnant! Seriously! But then we saw that little thing… the hemispheres of the brain, the nose, the mouth (opening and closing — it was drinking amniotic fluid!), the little hands, the little feet, along with little fingers and toes, that little beating heart (we heard it too – 160 heartbeats a minute). It was the most amazing feeling in the world! I can’t believe that baby bean is growing inside of me! We’re already so in love with that little thing, and we already think it’s got the cutest nose in the world. Ridiculous feeling, but I guess it’s only the beginning!

Baby bean

And well, yesterday we got the results from the test, and the chances for trisomy 21 are extremely low, and even lower for trisomy 18. Everything’s going so well so far… We’re so lucky!

One more week into the pregnancy. I’m at 10.2 weeks now… Getting closer and closer to the “safe” milestone of 12 weeks — the end of the first trimester and less chances for a miscarriage. Still touching wood: everything is going perfectly well so far.

We had our first doctor’s appointment this week. Spent about 20 minutes with the nurse, then 1 hour with the resident, who was nice enough to do this whole thing in English so Dutchboy could follow and answer every single one of our questions. Medical exam. Hmm. She inserted the speculum and opened it very wide. The first thought that crossed my mind was the delivery, and I really thought “Oh. My. God. What did I get myself into???” Let’s not think about this for now!

Everything is going well. I may have a cyst on my left ovary, but that apparently happens a lot in pregnancy, and it already has started to shrink. She didn’t try listening to the baby’s heart. I have my echo to detect Down’s Syndrome and other anomalies (“clarté nucale” in French) on March 15, so we’ll get to see and hear the baby soon enough. I already felt very reassured after this week’s appointment.

Our calculations for the due date were correct: September 22. One day before Dutchboy, two days before our anniversary. Busy month!

Yoga-wise, well… there isn’t much going on. Actually, I spent all day yesterday writing my first essay for the teacher’s training. So I did some yoga-related work. However, no practice. I have absolutely no energy for that. I mean, today, I took not one, but TWO naps! I’m so frickin’ exhausted, it’s unbelievable. On Friday morning, at work, I almost had to lean against the walls… I had never felt so tired in my life, I think. I know it’s normal, I know my body is working extremely hard, but it’s very difficult to manage. Besides having been able to leave at 3 o’clock on Friday afternoon, I don’t have the possibility to leave work early, I don’t have anywhere to lie down and close my eyes at lunch time… It’s a bit difficult. But I gladly endure all of this, because in seven months we’ll have a little baby and that in itself is the greatest thing that could ever happen in our lives.

I am looking forward to the moment when I’ll have the energy to get back on the mat. I’ll try to get at least my morning meditation practice back; that might give me a bit more energy. I know the second trimester is supposed to be easier. I’ll be into it soon, so we might see some changes shortly. In the meantime, sleep is my new yoga.

Teacher training this week-end, so my interest in yoga has definitely been revived (I won’t even blame myself for eclipsing everything from my life for the past month but the baby) and I’m back on track. It was very interesting. We studied twists and lateral extensions, restorative sessions, and focused a lot on anatomy. I love anatomy. Always have. One of my two favorite teachers ever used to often take the anatomy book out in the middle of a class to show us how everything works, how it’s all related, and how you need to work each pose. For me, who’s always felt alienated from her body and for this specific reason needed to learn more about it, those were the best moments.

I discovered a beautiful anatamy book this week-end: The Key Muscles of Hatha Yoga

The Key Muscles of Hatha Yoga

As you can already see just by the cover, it’s a book that illustrates the body’s bone and muscle action in the main hatha yoga poses. Extremely interesting for me — sheds a totally new light on my practice. So after the training today, I went to Boule de Neige (a store I can’t believe I had no idea existed until this week-end: it’s 5 minutes from where I live, and they sell all those yoga books you think you can only find online… the first thing you notice when you come in is the incense smell — if bookstores don’t already feel welcoming to you, this will!) and bought it.

Also went to Lululemon to spend that gift certificate Dutchboy gave me at Christmas (we had said no presents!). I hesitated a lot — those clothes are so fitted and I’m already expanding. I went for the Athletica vest, in a size 8 (larger than what I would normally go for — damn those sizes are small, I’m normally a 0!). It’ll fit me for a few more months, but there was nothing I could have bought there that could fit me both now and in 6 months.

Then spent the rest of the day grocery shopping and cooking. Made a fantastic tomato and pasta soup with sweet potatoes, red kidney beans and a bit of carrots, brocoli and cauliflower — but I ended up with way too much stuff in the soup and not enough liquid. Also made my mom’s oatmeal chocolate chip muffins… Yummy!

Back to work tomorrow. It’ll be a very busy week, and I’m not really looking forward to it. I’m always tired lately, but I don’t get the chance to slow down because things are too busy. At least the pregnancy is going well. The digestive troubles are much lighter already, and I haven’t had real nausea. First appointment with the doctor on Thursday morning. If we’re lucky, we’ll hear the heartbeat. Should be a very emotional moment. Today, I was hanging up my coat after coming home, and realized that in one year from now, there’ll be a tiny little baby coat on the hook next to it. Those are silly little details that make me (and Dutchboy, too!) go gaga at times.

Off to read a bit. I have an essay on ahimsa due next week-end for the teacher training.

Days 2 and 3 knowing that Junior is in my belly. Weeeeeeird feeling!

Teacher training this week-end, so I’ve been doing a lot of yoga by default. Yesterday, we had to create a backbending sequence, and then teach it to each other. This morning, as usual, we joined the regular Saturday morning class, and of course Nicole made it a backbending class, since it’s the theme of the week-end. Lots of theory throughout the day, and we ended with another sequence of backbends — supported this time.

Two observations this week-end, not necessarily yoga-oriented: I’m so tired and yawning all the time, and my stomach is bottom-less… I eat all the time! I’ve never been so happy of feeling so weird!

P.S. Thank you so much to all of you for your congratulations and nice wishes!!!

1. The start. What brought you to yoga?
To make a long story short, I had cancer (neuroblastoma) in 1980, at the age of 6 months. As a result of that cancer, my right ankle is partly paralyzed and I have a drop foot. Chemo and radiation also caused my spine to grow into a severe scoliosis, for which I had a spine fusion in 1993 (all my thoracic and lombar down to L3 vertebreas are fused together). With a body different from most people’s, I was always able to practice physical activities, but in my own way, and within my own limitations. However, after the surgery, I took many, many years to fully recover, always feeling pain or discomfort — if not in my body, then in my conception of my body. In 2003, after considering it for a while, I finally found the guts to call the local yoga studio, expose my situation, and ask it they thought yoga could be for me. The woman I spoke to on the phone had a very warm voice, very comforting, and told me “You don’t adapt to yoga, yoga adapts to you.” She recommended a specific class, I told her I’d be there, and so I went.

2. First class. Describe your first class(es) or practice and your reaction to it.
On the night of my first class, I was extremely nervous (I developped anxiety problems after the surgery), but I went nonetheless. I was greeted by the woman I spoke to on the phone, who introduced me to the teacher — who already knew of my condition and made me feel very at ease. I was instructed to put my mat at the back of the class, to have a better view of more experimented students. When the class started, to my great surprise, Helene (the manager of the studio, whom I had spoken to on the phone and who had greeted me), kneeled next to me and throughout the class, showed me variations of the most basic poses, that I couldn’t even do like a normal beginner back then. 90 minutes with individual assistance… It made me feel very cared for, and also very emotional. We did what they called “frog” pose; a preparation for downward-facing dog. I remember feeling all the blood rushing down to my face and, with it, all the emotions as well. In Savasana, again, I felt really emotional. After class, as soon as I sat down in my car, I bursted into tears, crying like a baby all the way home. I had never felt like this in my life: it felt like my whole body had released. Something happened. Something good, that brought up a lot of emotions. The next week, I was back, on my mat.

3. The addiction. How/why did you get hooked?
After two months, I was already going to two classes a week. The Wednesday night class, the first one I registered to, soon got very demanding, and I loved it. Of course, I was unable to do a lot of simple things. We were preparing to do poses like Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana and Ardha Chandrasana with our foot up against the wall, and even that was something I couldn’t do (my foot won’t stay flat against the wall — just like it won’t stay flat if I squat). But I was also working out way of doing the poses in my own way, and reaping the benefits. My second class was on Saturday mornings, with another great teacher. Then, one week, I couldn’t make it on the Saturday, so I went on the Friday night. My first class with Nicole Bordeleau — it was another revelation. We worked so damn hard, but she had a way of teaching, of putting things into perspective, of adjusting people, of walking nearby, looking you in eyes and congratulating you on your courage (never on the perfection of the pose; this is not about performance). I started going every Friday night instead of Saturdays. It was nothing against the Saturday teacher. It was just that I needed to practice with Nicole, she was just the right match for me. In January 2004, I was going to 3 classes a week.

4. The history. Describe the development of your practice and history with teachers since then.
My practice of 3 times a week hasn’t always been consistent. It’s difficult to commit to that many practices when there’s university, work, friends, and boyfriend. But even when I’m not practicing, I’m reading about yoga, writing about it, or talking about it. It’s always been part of my life since class #1, and I feel extremely passionate about it. Within a very short time, I went from wanting to get out of my body (it would be so much easier if I was bodyless… just a floating head, maybe?), to wanting to be in it as much as possible. I discovered that being in my head was what made me suffer, and that when I finally integrated my body, I realized there wasn’t so much pain or discomfort as I imagined. I took a first yoga workshop, with Hart Lazer, reknowned Canadian teacher, in May 2004. It was then that I did my first supported Urdhva Dhanurasana — realizing that even with the spine fusion, the possibilities were endless. That was another moment when I came up and felt the tears rushing. Through my practice, I also realized that although some parts of my body were weak (my right leg, my back muscles), they also made me very flexible and I was able to do this a lot of people weren’t. I’ve been to a lot of classes where I was the only one able to bind in Baddha Padmassana; and Janu Sirsasana A on the left side is extremely easy, too. I’m very flexible in the hips — touching the forehead to the floor in Baddha Konasana is almost effortless, and the back stays straight by default (the steel rods give me an advantage!). I also found out that my arms were very strong. I do a solid Chaturanga Dandasana, and all the inversions are a lot of fun for me. I get a kick out of having my head upside down, and staying in downward facing dog for 5 minutes is more of a psychological challenge than a physical one.

Being encouraged by all of these beautiful discoveries, I started to attend as many workshops as I could — yoga or meditation, with Nicole or guest teachers. I soon started being interested by the possibility of one day teaching yoga, realizing that my “disabilities” could actually give me the tools to facilitate the well-being of others through yoga, in the same way my teachers were doing for me. Most importantly, I finally accepted my body and its specifics, and I was at peace with it. I was able to look in the mirror, see the spine deviation (not visible for many, but definitely for me), see the scars all over my torso, and my atrophied leg, and still find myself truely beautiful.

A year and a half ago, I moved to the city and had to get rid of my car, therefore studying with Nicole became difficult. I tried a few studios — going to place where teachers from Nicole’s studio also taught (it’s always comforting to be in the hands of people you already know). But these were Ashtanga studios — not the right practice for me. Too demanding, too much action, not enough explanation. What helps me in my practice is when the teacher stops and explains how the body is built (bones, muscles, ligaments, etc.), how the articulations work, and knowing that, how we can work in our practice. I found that in Ashtanga, there was too little of that, if any. Also, getting to the studio was always difficult. Lots of walking, taking the metro with your clothes, your mat, on top of your handbag and your lunch on your way to and from work… Lots of trouble, and I didn’t enjoy my new practice enough to make it worth it.

Furthermore, in the practice of yoga, after a few months, I started to feel pain in my sacro-iliac joint. By January of last year, this pain was definitely inappropriate, and I couldn’t practice anymore. Every upward facing dog, every chaturanga, every backbend was difficult. I ended up going to physiotherapy and not practicing yoga for quite a few months. Ashtanga was definitely out of the question now, because I realized it was the fast-paced, not enough time for alignment, performance-driven environment that led me to get hurt in the first place. Ashtanga is supposed to be a very traditional practice, but I never saw much meditation or centering time, or any kind of teaching not related to the physical expression of yoga in the Ashtanga studios I visited. And they’re very recognized places, with authorized or certified teachers.

When I was ready to get my practice back, I finally tried another studio, a small place with no teacher that I knew, that I had never dared trying until then. And there, I finally found the feeling that I was when I was studying at my first studio. It’s a place run by a young woman, who teaches almost all the classes herself. She’s a great teacher, very funny, who integrates a lot of philosophy, meditation, pranayama techniques into the practice, and makes the classes fun and playful. There, I was finally able to get a 3-times a week practice back, and get a sense of balance in my practice, like I used to before I moved to town.

To me, a balanced practice includes active, demanding asanas, but also gentler sessions, sometimes restorative. The ideal week, for me, includes a fast-paced practice, Ashtanga-style, a strong Hatha practice with inversions and staying in poses for 15 or 20 breaths, and a gentler practice, almost beginner class. It’s always good to review the basics, and there’s always something new you learn.

5. The future. What are your practice goals for the future?
I started a 250-hour teacher training with Nicole last September. I’m learning — and embracing the fact — that there’s so much more to yoga than the asanas. And although I went into this training without the pretention of wanting to teach when I could come out of it, my view on things are changing at a rapid pace. At this point, I am seriously making plans of quitting my day job (which makes me more and more unhappy as it promotes a very stressful and unhealthy lifestyle, with values much different than my own right now) to try to make a living out of teaching AND going back to university to study kinesiology.

Pretty much since I started getting serious about yoga and realized how much it was helping me, I got interested in how yoga can help people dealing with disabilities or major pain: cancer patients, people with HIV, multiple sclerosis, scoliosis, or just “regular” back or knee pain — basically anybody who could see their life quality enhanced by the practice of asanas, or meditation. At this point, I would like to study kinesiology, learn the scientific basics of the human body, to be able to integrate them with my ongoing study of yoga and help other people in the same way I’ve been helped. There was a time in my life when I wanted to escape my body. Now I want to be in it because it’s the best place to be, and I’d like to help other people discover that as well. Your body’s the most important thing in your life; it’s the only vehicle that’ll take you through it.

Since I started the teacher training, of course, my personal practice is more alive than ever. We’re supposed to practice 6 days a week (although that’s difficult to maintain when you still work in the “real world”), meditate every single day (easier to maintain than the practice, but still not always possible — yet), study the philosophy and history of yoga. The more I dig into, the more I love it, the better I feel.

Is it pretentious to dream of living off yoga? Or to think that *I* could bring a lot of people? Or even to think that I wouldn’t be the one bringing yoga to people, that I would just (gladly) be a channel for yoga? Should I just be happy of what yoga has done/is doing for me, and to each his own? Yoga has made my life so much better, and I know it can do even more for me. I want to follow that path. And I would also like for other people to discover what yoga can do for them. Of course, you can’t force yoga upon anyone. But you can give the tools to the people who are open to it to help themselves. That’s something that would make me happy. If that’s something possible is another issue…

In the meantime, I have my personal practice.