A Time for Change

Why I contribute to AYCT’s fundraising campaign..

Danielle’s Story
It took a literal wrecking ball to get me inside AYCT.  I watched the home next to mine crumble to the ground an hour before entering the Mysore room for the first time.  Its destruction and the construction chaos lurking around my usual solace spot facilitated the necessary push to finally get me in the door and change my life forever.

I was scared.  Actually, I was very sacred—afraid of being alone on my mat in a silent room surrounded by the confusion of people all doing different things.  Mainly, I was afraid of being accountable for my own practice as well as being unaccompanied on my yoga journey.  Once I got past the initial performance anxiety of memorizing the asana sequence, being alone with my breath became more natural and eventually I began to crave the quiet Mysore room — a luxurious escape from my otherwise noisy life.

As to my fear of being alone, I have come to realize that my practice is an individual journey but it is not a lonely one.  Yes, everyone is certainly doing different things all around me but our minds share a collective purpose. The dedication of my fellow yogis carries me through the difficult times.  I can face my fears and frustrations because those of you around me are doing the same thing.  It is your courage and determination that keeps me on my mat.  It is the collective energy of our community and teachers that inspires me to become a better person.   For that, I thank all of you.

Being part of AYCT is more than yoga.  It is a commitment that grounds me and provides the inner peace needed to truly give of myself.  My time in practice enables me to foster a non-reactive state of mind, cultivating empathy, and priming me to give more to others.  It is in this spirit of giving that the Operation Renovation campaign strikes a resonating cord.  AYCT is not a health club where we scan a card and work on our bodies.  The Mysore room is where we come to grow as people—body, mind, and spirit.

My yoga journey began with a wrecking ball reeking havoc on my physical surroundings.  Aptly, AYCT needs a little physical reconstruction to give us more.  I stand inspired and ready to give to AYCT at this growth juncture and humbly facilitate even greater growth for all us on our yoga journeys.

Ryan’s Story

“You have got to try out this yoga studio!” It all started when one of my best friends, Jeff, told me to go with him to AYCT. He asked me many times. I had been practicing yoga for about 2 years, and one day I decided to give in and finally check out what all the fuss was about. As I walked into the packed, hot Mysore room full of an incredible energy, and of people crossing their legs behind their heads, or doing drop backs, and other kinds of crazy contortions, I was instantly impressed and somewhat intimidated.

After some time, I started to practice regularly. At first I practiced 3-4 times a week and I eventually developed a strong daily practice. Besides yoga, I have been doing triathlons for years. I am also a registered massage therapist. Triathlons and working as a RMT can have quite an impact on my body. I really believe that my practice heals my body and keeps my mind sharp and relaxed. But even more important, my daily practice challenges me mentally and physically.

On top of the positive impact that the AYCT has had on my body and mind, it inspired me to travel to Mysore, India, to study at the Shri K. Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga Yoga Institute. During my time in India, I came to appreciate even more how unique and great the AYCT community is. Many of the people I met there had to practice in small studios that only offered Mysore classes for a couple hours each day.

I am very lucky to be part of such a huge community of ashtangis. I am very excited for all the up coming changes at AYCT. I think that the money raised from Operation Renovation will help this studio grow, flourish and continue to be one of the best shalas in the world.

Anna’s Story

Three years after my first Ashtanga class, David wanted to start a Mysore program. I had explored the odd Mysore class on Sunday mornings and was hesitant about taking on Mysore five to six times a week.  The Sunday Mysore class left me drenched, exhausted and recuperating on the floor for a good 15-20 minutes after class before I could collect all my body parts in to moving again and make my way home.  To do that every day seemed… daunting.  Nevertheless, I kept asking David about it. He encouraged me that the practice would get better with the concistency of the traditional format of Mysore . And so I finally made the commitment.  A love for the practice had taken root and little by little it would take over for hockey.

Nine years later, I realize how lucky I was.  To be given the practice in a space that I shared with only 6-8 people.  In such a small class, it seemed impossible to be under the constant and watchful eye of David Robson, always expecting more strength in whatever pose was being explored.  Today, I am grateful for AYCT.  The space David and Stan offer is not just the room to practice in, but also a community and energy that I get to share and expand. I no longer argue with myself as to why I take the treck to the studio every day. I just do. Even my two sons can’t imagine me not practicing yoga.  It has become who I am!

I love the chance the renovation campaign is giving me to support the studio and its community. Without AYCT I would be relegated to a home practice. And as tough as practice is under the watchful eye of DR, practicing at home, alone, without anyone watching is even tougher. 

Date Added: January 24, 2013 | Filed under: AYCT Blog — admin @ 11:02 pm