After several years of yoga, one night recently I wrote to the owner with some thoughts about what Yoga means to me. I was delighted that my letter was published on the studio's website - here's a link and the text:
Thanks – as always – for class last night. I came in with a bunch of anxiety and left as a sort of peaceful jell-o. Your encouragement and compassion are important to so many people.
There’s a saying in marathon running: “God gave us legs to run 20 miles, then gave us a 26.2-mile race!” It’s an incredible truth: I’ve run five marathons now, and the same phenomenon has happened every time. After about 20 miles, the legs are spent and everything is hurting, and for me all time stands still. What happens next is either immense presence, or infinity – which I’ve come to understand are one in the same – and a fantastic opportunity to transcend time and bodily pain in favor of an inward journey. Just as you said last night, it all comes down to deciding to stick with it: for 60 seconds or for 60 minutes – just one instant into another. I’ve evolved emotionally over the past few years as I’ve become a runner. This past October I ran the Athens Marathon – the 2,500th anniversary of the ‘original’ marathon – and found that I was able to focus in to an incredible, timeless place, where time and pain seemed to vanish and the present moments became evident. I went on that pilgrimage thinking that perhaps I would be able to somehow connect to that first run so long ago, and discovered that it wasn’t about something in the past – but something entirely relevant to the exact present. (Here’s a link to my race report)
I give credit to my practice at Inner Fire Yoga for being the single most critical and essential part of all my training for running, triathlon – even the Ironman. I couldn’t have done it without Inner Fire Yoga. I’ve signed up for my second Ironman – here in Madison this fall! What I think will be the most important part of my training – just as we develop in class – will be to set aside preconceptions, inflated egos, and past experiences to approach the race with a joyful and open beginner’s mind. Thanks so much for giving me a place to build the foundations for an entirely new and improved life.”