It’s simple, really. Inner Fire Yoga is my sanctuary. My get away from it all space. My time to breath, reflect, recharge, let go and grow. Like many, I ventured into yoga to lose those stubborn pounds that had become a permanent fixture over the years. I’d always been active and sporty, but time has a way of slowing the metabolism and storing extra layers like some ancient need to survive the coming of winter. Plus, I was nearing 50 and asked myself when exactly this journey into fitness was going to begin? I’d gone to the Bikram Studio on University years ago and learned it was now Inner Fire Yoga. So, off I went to a Saturday yoga class. Little did I know that both rooms would be filled to the brim with mats separated by mere inches. Trying to look like I knew what I was doing, I found a spot near the front. Not my game plan, but I told myself to enjoy and try not to fall over. And then it happened. Ninety glorious yoga minutes in a room full of sweaty yogis united by breath and movement. I felt fantastic! It wasn’t pretty, but who cared. I looked around a lot that morning for guidance and inspiration. Everyone seemed so happy. Happy to be at Inner Fire. Happy to be practicing yoga. Just, happy. It was a big yoga party and it was infectious. I fell in love with yoga that day and I knew I’d be back—695 more times to be exact. Now, I fully expected to reap the physical benefits of yoga and IFY did not disappoint. Crazy, challenging sequences (@Adrienne Leslie) have made me stronger and more flexible than ever before. I find myself in postures I never dreamed possible and the muffin top is (mostly) gone. What I did not expect, however, was the spiritual and emotional impact both on and off the mat.
I fully recognized the profound impact yoga played in my life when I found myself taking deep, pranayama breath during the tough times. It now comes naturally. I hear Karen Erstad’s voice, “you are stronger than you know,” then take a deep, full breath and proceed to face with grace, calm and determination what life throws at me—and it’s thrown some curve balls, sinkers and high heat the past few years. But, everyone has something. I just hope they too find their way to a yoga mat for the respite and care it has brought to my life.
And so I bow to my IFY teachers and fellow yogis and say thank you and Namaste.