A Very Personal Journey of Yoga


Morris County NJ Best Yoga Classes

BY Jennifer Kalawur/Purple Om Yoga Owner


When I was in my 20s, I would buy exercise VHS tapes to use in my home. I remember seeing yoga tapes mixed in with the step aerobics ones on the store shelves. I bought them to use on my recovery days. Nice easy movements and stretches when I didn’t want a workout.
As I got older, I found more teachers sharing different practices. Some were really hard, like holding balancing poses for an extended period of time. I now saw yoga as a way to get stronger. I still had some tapes and now DVDs of gentler yoga that I would mix in with my growing practice. Yoga got sexier in the media, and I felt too self-conscious to practice outside the safety of my living room. However, I did like how I felt, not just during the practice, but throughout the day.
Then life led me through some substantial twists and turns, and I felt challenged navigating my way through it. I became the victim in most situations and relationships. My energy went into complaining. Gone was my yoga practice. Over many years, I lost any sense of life purpose, and I could not move forward. These were dark times, void of any hope.
My husband couldn’t fix me. He was on a desperate mission to find something that would work. One day he told me that his former classmate is now a yoga teacher in Morristown. He said “you’re going.” I said no. He would not give up, so I protested “I’m too old and fat, I can’t do all the poses, and I don’t have the right clothes, which are too expensive anyway. If I walk into the studio, everyone will look at me and wonder what I’m doing there. I don’t want to go through that.” He told me that the teacher is a good person and she would not make me feel bad about myself. To make him stop, and to prove him wrong, I went.
The receptionist at the front desk was very nice, and showed me where everything was. The teacher came over to my mat and introduced herself. She asked if I had any issues that she should know about, and I could only shake my head. She began class by welcoming us. Her voice was kind and gentle. I began to relax. As she led us through movements and poses, she thread insights from yoga teachings and from her own personal journey in with the physical cues. My mind was relaxed enough to receive her words, and I felt them resonate deep within me. After class, she asked how I felt. I told her that I felt like something shifted. Her eyes lit up. That’s exactly what it’s about.
So began my journey of shifting, releasing and connecting. The definition of yoga in Sanskrit, the ancient language used in yoga, is “to unite” or “to yoke.” We get stressed both physically and energetically from life events, which accumulate over time. The physical practice of yoga helps to break up that density held in our connective tissues. The breathing practice helps to create more energetic space in the body as well as calming the nervous system. The meditative practice helps focus the mind, so we are less scattered in our thought process.
It has taken me years to release the behaviors and thought patterns that have limited my personal growth. I am now in a place where I can offer these tools to others. Each person’s journey is unique, and I am honored to share the abundance of benefits and wisdom of the yoga practice.

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