1301 Lafayette Street, Fort Wayne, IN 46802

10329 Illinois Rd, Fort Wayne, IN 46814

Phone: 260-627-YOGA (9642)


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

A New Beginning - Finding Prana

posted by guest blogger Rachel Davison

Prana (n.) Sanskrit
"vital life" (from the root prā "to fill", cognate to Latin: plenus "full"); One of the five organs of vitality or sensation; "breath"
I have always felt a little bit like I follow the wind, that I move where and when life takes me with little resistance. I moved to Fort Wayne last August without knowing a soul.  A teaching job found me and brought me to the Midwest, to Indiana, to a small city, for the first time in my life.  It seemed like a time for new beginnings and I decided, before I moved, to start a yoga practice once I arrived. In my search for a studio I found Pranayoga.
I had taken yoga classes a few times before, but mostly in college and never regularly.  After my first (free!) class I was impressed and decided to make a commitment to myself, my body, my future health and well-being. September 1, 2011, I bought the unlimited pass. I knew it wouldn’t be easy, but I committed to coming 6 days a week for the first month. After that, I would see where things stood.
While l am relatively young (29), I was far from fit. Those first weeks I spent more time in Balasana (Child’s Pose, Wisdom Pose) than I did in any other pose.  Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana) was a kind of inverted torture, my stomach distended and pressing into my chest, wrists shaking. They said it was a resting pose. I didn’t believe them and my labored breathing was anything but peaceful.  I remember, after week three asking Dani, the owner, if I would ever stop being sore. The dull ache of my newly formed muscles became a constant reminder of my commitment. Did I mention I was mostly taking only basic classes?
But slowly I began to notice the changes: by week three I was finishing sequences, staying in Downward Dog for those five long breaths, by week four I could turn my head up to face the ceiling in Trikonasana (Triangle Pose) while still being able to breathe. I could feel the strength forming, flowing.
It wasn’t only the physical changes that I noticed. Life changes that are associated with high stress: new job, new city, maintaining a long-distance romantic relationship, working with young adolescents…it was a surprisingly peaceful time and while I like to think that it is just part of the inherent stability of my character, I wouldn’t be giving credit where it is due. This peaceful transition into a new life was largely influenced by the peaceful hours I spent in that little studio on Pearl Street. Every teacher, every practitioner, is uplifting and genuine and called to their practice and teaching by a deep love for yoga and for their students’ well being.
Obviously, I kept going.
I remember my first headstand (Month 2). Discovering my love of Wild-thing (Camatkarasana) with its long cat-like stretch and challenge. After about 4 months, I was able to finally do Chaturanga without having my knees on the ground. My breathe steadied as my ankles steadied in Tree (Vrksasana). And I kept going.
I came to love Prana and yoga: The difficult heated practices where the sweat soaked the small of my back and dripped from my eyelashes. The peace of the decadent, candle-soaked Restorative, where adults go to relive the peace of preschool naptime. The feeling of my body changing, my strength growing as my chants, my prana, deepened. Seeing the smiling faces of my friends, my yoga family.
After about six months I decided that I had to learn more. I began to look into the opportunities to take my teacher training. To grow my own practice and to help others discover the joy in yoga that I have.  I have decided to take the Fall 200hr Yoga Teacher Training.
As a kind of spiritual preparation I will also be traveling to India this summer. Among other adventures and experiences I will spend a week in yoga practice at an ashram in Rishikesh, on the banks of the flowing Ganges, where yoga was born.
The year has been transformative, inspirational and flowing and I thank Dani and her staff and all the practitioners for their loving support.  Namaste.