Guest Blog- Daria Faulkner, Sharing her experience

I’ve never ever been into any physical activities and if somebody asked me what the “psoas” was, I’d most likely say “a programming language”. At some point I had to take yoga class back in 2003 or so in order to avoid PE class in school. After an hour I thought I was totally right about separating myself from the world of exercises and especially from hanging out in this ridiculous pose “down (what?) looking dog” for the same amount of time as would take me to enjoy one delicious french cigarette. Eight years later I packed 1 large bag and 1 medium backpack and moved to the US, to Dennison Ave., the corner of the Goodale park, to be exact. I had a pretty limited circle of friends, who were not even my friends, but my husband’s, but I had a lot of free time. Exploring surroundings brought me to 1) the swimming pool, and 2) the nearby yoga studio ‘Yoga on High”. I started taking community yoga classes and swimming. Exercising didn’t feel that bad anymore. It didn’t take long till I found myself in Joanie Delphi’s “Modified Primary” Class doing the third in a row Surya Namaskar A and thinking “when the hell will we switch to something else?”. I started taking more of these classes and came across Jerry Marcom, whom I liked a lot and who took a great care of me during my first months of pregnancy, adjusting and modifying my practice. It’s been my favourite class for a long time. I could never tell what exactly I liked so much about this practice. After my son was born I was very excited to get back to my Monday routine, as Jerry only teaches on Mondays. I brought my friend to the class, who was struggling with some misbalance in her life and she loved it too. At that time I started craving more. My membership and curiosity made me try other classes. Morning worked great for me so I ended up in the Hot Flow class and was lucky enough to meet another teacher who influenced me a lot - Michael Murphy. Michael got me way deeper into the yoga thing. Although by that time I had heard the word “bandhas”, and even knew what it needs to be engaged, I still felt like Alice in Wonderland (“Alice, this is pudding. Pudding, this is Alice”) when he introduced me to pranayama and brought up other aspects of the practice I’ve never thought of. Michael’s classes took place in studio C at 7am and I always peeked in the Mysore room. I had an idea about what the Mysore was about and even tried it once but didn’t really like it. The intimacy definitely didn’t suit me at that point. Michael kept suggesting me giving it another try. And I finally did.

I remember my first day. My legs were shaking while I was taking my shoes off, just as much as during presenting my final paper in school. I kept trying to think of an excuse, why I should just go home. I asked the front desk girl some stupid questions, hoping that maybe she would say “hey, you are totally not ready for this, go home and never come back”. But instead, she said that the teacher wouldn’t bite, but would take a good care of me. I opened the door, didn’t even want to look around. From the very first seconds of being there I wanted this to end. The teacher didn’t bite indeed, he asked me to sit down and relax. Relax. He must have been kidding. I did as much as I remembered from the Primary series and pretty much got out of there as fast as I could. I obviously wasn’t going to go back. But I did. No idea why. After a few more times I figured that nobody pays any attention to somebody else’s practice and there is nothing more to it besides you, your practice, and assistance/adjustments/suggestions from the teacher. Pretty cool, right? A month or two later I couldn’t imagine my morning starting anyway else. The transition to going to bed early, waking up early, not eating late etc. was very smooth. Most of my old friends (new ones are mostly related to the yoga world) obviously think I’m totally insane, but I love this morning routine. Mornings are very intimate to me and dedicating them to myself is very important. I’m still fascinated by how magically it works: even though there are other people involved, I don’t feel disturbed or destructed - I feel like I’m solely with myself. I like how a lot is being said without any words involved. The mood, the intention, emotions, the consequences of the previous day - nothing can be hidden, its a naked, very genuine practice. I feel like I’ve been trying to hide too much even from myself, maybe even to be someone else, but I’m happy now to be free and face whatever I need to face with the strength I gain everyday through the practice.