Happy Thanksgiving! Many people travel "home" for the holidays but what is home? This picture from the blog, Hearts Expanding, says it best.
The search for the elusive Guru, teacher or "home" studio is a long standing epic in yoga culture. Indeed I myself have been on that search before as well. This picture really just sums it up. It is that place where you can totally express yourself and grow in your practice not just by your will alone but through the loving support of the students and teachers of your yoga community.
You would think that with yoga studios popping up on every corner that "home" would be easy to find but not necessarily. Let me go ahead and switch this blog post over to talking about myself. You will probably find a bit of yourself in my story.
I started practicing Ashtanga back in 1956 (okay that is an exaggeration but that is what it feels like), in a little studio in Atlanta and I absolutely fell in love with it. It was my only practice for years and that studio was my home. When I was not there, I was missed. I had friends there. They totally understood me and my practice grew in leaps and bounds.
Then I moved to Charlotte roughly 4 or 5 years ago where hot power yoga is king with just a few pockets of revolutionaries teaching Ashtanga, Iyengar, Anusara and Vinyasa yoga in non heated rooms. Talk about culture shock. I mourned the loss of my studio "home" for years and spent a good while as a yoga recluse primarily practicing at home. This worked for a bit but my asana practice started to suffer. I was at a point where basic yoga poses were not enough. I had the strength & flexibility to go deeper but didn't know how to. Thus began my search for a yoga home in Charlotte and not to mention thousands of dollars spent on traveling to practice with authorized and certified Ashtanga teachers.
I discovered that I actually enjoyed Power as well as other forms of yoga but that Ashtanga is still my heart. Where does that leave me now? Still homeless LOL. Why? Because as I grow in my practice, I have realized that I cannot be put in a box. My practice is the best of all styles and most studios focus on just one or two. I don't need to practice in the heat all the time but I don't need to practice without heat all the time either. Most yoga classes are "all levels" but most people don't teach a true "all levels" class. What they really mean is "average level". And since I have been practicing since Lincoln was president, this does not work for me. Even if someone were to open an all Ashtanga Yoga studio in Charlotte, it wouldn't work because I now practice vinyasa as well. Also I don't need yoga aerobics . I don't necessarily need to do 20 poses on one leg super fast but I do like a challenge.
As you advance in your yoga, the need for a home practice and a firm basis in sequencing and alignment becomes more and more important. You will realize that one person or one place cannot be everything for you because you are too unique and special to be boxed in.
Do I still wish I had a "home" studio? I do. As I practice around Charlotte though and come into contact with amazing yogis, I manage to find a little bit of home in all of them and that will have to be enough for now.
Tell Me About Your Yoga Home or Your Seach For One.
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