Working at the Dow Chemical Company had some perks. One of those perks was a gym right in the corporate center with FREE classes. A free lunch hour class included yoga. Looking back on the type of yoga I threw myself into, it was Vinyasa, with a strict strict strict emphasis on posture and bandas. I was squeezed and forced into postures/asanas. I developed buns of steel. I sweated a bit during my lunch break. I got into graduate school at the University of Chicago and moved...
That was the end of my yoga for 4 years.
I don't know why I didn't pursue it in Chicago. I don't know why I didn't exercise in Chitown at all, besides my daily walks to and from campus, and some Yoga Booty Ballet DVD. When we moved to Amherst, Massachusetts, there was a Bikram Yoga Studio in front of our apartment for all three years we lived there. I was intimidated by the crowds of people that parked there on Saturday mornings. I wasn't sure where to go, how to start, what to do. I started going to the gym every day instead. I threw myself into cardio and screwed up my hip with what was likely a ligament tear or a stress fracture. I aggravated my old Chicago knee injury from tripping over a huge chunk of sidewalk. I needed a time out.
After the time away from cardio, I knew I could no longer force myself onto the elliptical machine for 40 mins a day. I needed something else. I needed to treat myself better. This, of course, coincided with our upcoming move home to Michigan. We were moving to Lansing so that my husband could attend law school at Michigan State University. I was stressed out beyond belief between moving, quitting my job, and trying to find a new one (with benefits) in the state with the highest unemployment rate in the country.
I needed my yoga.
Coworkers went to a yoga studio about 20 minutes away from me - Florence Yoga. I went there for a 10:00 a.m. class with Michelle. I fell in love. Her adjustments were wonderful and well placed, there was not a heavy emphasis on form but more so on flow, and the class was jam packed. It helped clear my mind, maintain my focus, and reduce my stress. I talked with Michelle after class about how I was moving to Michigan and how sad I was to have only now discovered yoga in Massachusetts - just as I was leaving. She encouraged me to find a studio in Michigan.
Off we went on a 16 hour trip across the country - me and the cats in my car - my husband taking the semi-truck full of stuff. Home to Michigan. Home to find yoga.