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For a long time I shied away from yoga. I had decided that I was a miserable athlete, and convinced that yoga looked a little bit too much like the gymnastics I had briefly suffered through at age eight, I was not eager to subject myself to that again. Eventually, I tried it, influenced by some older girls. My first yoga experience came hand in hand with my first formal meditation experience (an hour of yoga followed by an hour of meditation). It was hard, it was rough, it was challenging, and when it was over, I can honestly say that I may never have felt quite as renewed as I did then (except, of course, subsequent yoga-meditation experiences). I still do a yoga-meditation practice. Sometimes I'm a faithful observer, sometimes I falter, sometimes the practice is obsolete, but it is my spiritual backbone. I always go back, because ultimately, for me, it is the only path that has ever worked.