Fitness has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. As a child, it felt like I did all the sports; from gymnastics and tee-ball to soccer and basketball. My love of fitness continued throughout high school and college and it is still with me!
To this day, I can still recall my first yoga class (and first teacher). I was a student at Cornell University (Go Big Red!) and I was home visiting my parents for the holidays. At the time I was a track and field athlete training 5 to 6 days a week; I was strong both physically and mentally and I knew I could accomplish anything I put my mind to. Then I found yoga.
I took the first class with my mom. I was able to mold my body into the poses with ease. It was pleasant enough, but I didn’t feel challenged. I figured I would take another class at some point in my life, but I did not form any lasting connection to the practice.
The next morning I woke up and whoa buddy was I sore. I felt every single muscle in my body. Hidden muscles emerged just so they could torment me. The funny part is that I had no idea what happened. Did I have a dream and fall out of bed? Then it hit me. This was yoga.
Although it was not quite love at first practice and it would be years before I developed a daily personal yoga practice, that class created the foundation for my yoga journey. It challenged me physically without inflicting undue strain on my body, it calmed my mind leaving free to conquer the challenges of being a student-athlete and it led me to where I am today and my love for yoga and mindfulness. I am forever grateful for that first yoga class and to the path it created.