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My experience of yoga began in the early 90s, trying different kinds, schools, falling in and out of practice.
It wasn't until October of 2001, a few weeks after seeing the World Trade Center Towers fall from my roof in downtown NYC that I would wake up panicked and so sore all over, I thought, 'If this is stress, and growing old, I'm going to fight it'. That was how I discovered Ashtanga Yoga, a vinyassa or flow practice. It is practiced in a shared space, but not in a class. There is not a teacher at the front of the room telling you what asana to do next or when to breathe. Each person is taught individually and memorizes the series. It is optimally practiced 6 days a week, with the exception of full or new moon or during the first three days of a woman's period.

It changed my life and continues to, I say that at the risk of sounding cliché.This form of yoga is physically demanding as well as disciplined. It is meditation in action. It has led me to finding peace within myself, given me peace in my life, taken me all the way to India (which if anyone has ever been there, challenges internal and external peace like no other. She is a demanding mother, India is) as well as creating art that is informed by Indian spirituality and culture.

Why would a NYC native western minded woman ever reach this point of devoted interest? Maybe it starts with being able to relax (not an easy thing in urban centers such as this one) and then to be able to eventually realize and relax in the oneness of life, the universe.
Reading this over it seems to me filled again with cliches. So much time here in the west is about defining, explaining, categorizing. It is only the surface. The things that swim below that are beyond the grasp of words and concepts, that travel beyond our hearts or mind, through our prana, deep in our cells. Yoga has helped me to believe in the world that swims below the surface. I would wish that for everyone, to touch that realm.

Om Shanti!
Deborah Seidman aka Ganesha Girl

PS attached is a Ganesh sculpture that I made in porcelain