I started practicing yoga in 1988. For 20 years, I practiced faithfully. I studied; I explored different schools of yoga. Finally, I quit, and I haven’t looked back.
The Youngest Yoga Student
I don’t remember the first time I heard about yoga. My mother practiced it from when I was very little. I’d toddle down stairs and watch her practice to Lilias on TV in the early morning. By the end of the ’70’s, yoga fell out of fashion, and my mother gave it up. During the early ’80’s, I had fond memories of it, and never joked about it as others did. From 1983 to 1988, I don’t even think I heard the word “yoga.” Then, in 1988, I saw an article in Parade magazine that yoga was having a comeback. There were a few poses described in the article. Something in the article clicked with me. I was hooked. Yoga was so not cool for a teenager in the ’80’s, though. I look back and laugh at how nerdy it made me.
During the ’90’s, it slowly became more common. I found classes and studios. No longer did I have to wake up at 5:15 a.m. for a 15 minutes segment on PBS. I found yoga books in book stores, and Yoga Journal at the newsstand. I was the only person buying them, but they were on the shelf. I dreamed of going on retreats, but they were so far away from where I lived. At one point, I decided to become an instructor, but never found a training program close to me.
Scaravelli or Nothing
By the 2000s, I finally discovered Scaravelli yoga. I had tried Ashtanga, Iyengar and other methods. But once I found Scaravelli, I knew I couldn’t play around with the other schools of thought. Unfortunately, my instructor moved away in 2005. Her husband retired, and they moved to a resort. While great for her career, it left me without anyone nearby to guide me. I had been practicing for longer than most instructors, but didn’t feel confident enough to continue on my own. I knew I needed support and guidance in my practice, but didn’t understand why.
Then, last year, I learned that I have congenital myopathy. Aha! Now I knew why the other schools of thought never worked for me. Scaravelli is the only method that works for my disability. I can’t expect to ever do a headstand. Now, I understand why I need help, instead of progressing like others do. If I were to find another Scaravelli instructor, I might consider going back. For now, I’m giving up yoga for swimming.