"I went into teacher training looking to teach and give back to the community all that yoga had given me. But I found that the real gift was how much it taught me about myself and the person I wanted to be. I'll be forever grateful for the experience." Evelyn Mizell
My journey to find yoga was and is a lengthy one. I wish I could say that I found it, and loved it from the start, but that would be a lie. As a college student, I chose it as a physical education credit. But all we seemed to do in class was lie on the floor, roll around,and then journal about it. If the time I spent in a gym or studio setting wasn't cardio intensive, I didn't want any part of it. Marriage, children, and an aging body seemed to change all of that. When I hit my thirties, my body stopped recovering from runs as well. I queried my runner friends as to what to do. They all said, "Why don't you try yoga?" At the same time, our military moves became more and more frequent and my husband's job increasingly dangerous and stressful. I began to feel nervous and panicky in social situations, even with the people I loved most. It was such an effort to be this high strung version of myself. This time I called my mother to discuss it, "Why don't you try yoga," she asked. Ok. Ok. Message received. I signed up for classes and started going almost immediately. But this time, it was a different style of yoga. There were poses that were new to me, poses that integrated balance and flexibility and after we were all physically spent, we got to rest, and the anxiety that seemed to have a pretty fair hold on me began to let go its grip. I wanted this; I craved it. There were not enough classes at the leisure center I was attending, so I found small group lessons and signed up for those. And when we moved from that duty station, I found another studio to call home. The study of the spiritual side of yoga and the moral codes (yamas and niyamas) came later, but they came. I used to despair and feel a bit jealous that I did not find yoga earlier in life. But I now know that it would have been wasted on the teen and twenty-something athlete who used it solely for vanity and athletic prowess. No, yoga came at just the time I needed it.