Beginning the Journey

I am officially signed up and excited to begin H3 Yoga Teacher Training with Gabriel Azoulay (www.gabrielazoulay.com)!

My path into yoga began in 2003 when I unsuspectingly ventured into my first Bikram class with a friend, utterly clueless as to what was about to hit me. As probably most first-time hot yoga practitioners, I basically thought I was going to die in the class, although the teacher cheerily informed me that I wouldn’t be so lucky. During the class I was absolutely sure I would never go back…what kind of lunatic does yoga in a sauna anyhow?!  But then an amazing thing happened. I woke up the next morning feeling reborn…and I was addicted.

Throughout the years I continued practicing Bikram style, sometimes hitting five classes a week, at other times dragging myself to a few classes a month. Regardless what shape my life was in, I loved that yoga was something I could always go back to, where I could find my center, my balance, my strength, my challenge. And I loved how the same exact 26 postures and 2 breathing exercises and the same exact dialogue could show up so completely different in my body with each practice.

In 2009 I moved to East Germany, where there were no hot yoga studios. I continued practicing Hatha Yoga at a local studio and took up a home Bikram practice. The space heater and long underwear didn’t exactly achieve the hellishness of a real Bikram class, but it was the best I could do, and I enjoyed my daily practice.

Life takes some turns that we don’t always anticipate. By summer 2011 my relationship was quickly unraveling and my career as a massage therapist was hitting a brick wall. I still fought my way through each day, trying to make it work, but was really beginning to question whether Germany was really the right place for me after all.

As chance had it, I signed up for a 10-day Thai Yoga Massage course in Leipzig in July 2011, led by Gabriel Azoulay. In addition to learning Thai Massage, this was my introduction to Ashtanga Yoga and Yin Yoga, which since then have become my primary practice. But the class extended far beyond yoga and thai massage for me. It changed my life and opened my eyes to new possibilities, and it gave me the courage to make the hard decisions that needed to be made…to start my life over. It was not an easy thing to do, and for many dark months I clung to my yoga mat as the only safe space in a world of internal chaos. But the decision was made – I moved back to the states and opened myself to the new path that started to lay itself out before me: to become a yoga teacher.

The day after I moved to Denver, Colorado, I began my 200-hour hot yoga teacher training with CorePower Yoga. It was a wonderful experience in many ways, and I am currently doing an internship at the studio, teaching and assisting classes. It’s amazing how much you learn from each time you step into the yoga room – but I recognize there’s a long way to go.

I look forward to continuing my training through the H3 program because I have seen Gabriel’s talented genius at work in the yoga room and I know his ability to inspire others. Having him as a teacher, mentor, and a friend has truly been a blessing.

And so a new journey begins…

Namaste,

Elina

http://yogielina.wordpress.com/

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