Sunday, February 10, 2013

Yogitales - Kaili Vernoff

Yogitales are your stories. At New York Yoga, we are continually inspired by what we hear from our students, about how yoga has had a transformative effect on their bodies and spirits. We wanted to share those stories with our community of yogis, and Yogitales was born.

 Kaili Vernoff

I started a regular practice more than five years ago. I had dipped my toe in the yoga waters a few times- and always connected with the practice- but it wasn't until I read “Eat, Pray, Love” that I jumped all the way in. The author talked about bringing her yoga mat to Italy, and she said, "I already had a regular practice..." and all I could think was how much I wanted to be able to say that about myself and have it be true.

My life and body have changed incredibly since beginning a steady practice. I have lost twenty-five pounds, and while that is wonderful, to me it is not even the greatest benefit of my practice. One of my motivations for coming to the mat was a terrible tightness in my hips. I was only in my thirties, and couldn't even touch my toes without enormous effort and pain. I had a very young child and wanted to be able to physically participate in her life more. In five years I have not only relieved my pain, but my teachers now call me "gumby hips". I have found greater flexibility than when I was a child. Last year I went for a regular check up and my doctor told me that he believes I have added twenty years to my life expectancy, and said I now have the resting heart rate of a "serious athlete". I was grinning from ear to ear! In addition to these physical gifts, I am more patient, tolerant, kind, and gentle both with myself and others. I have learned through persistent practice that hard work does yield. As one of my teachers always says, "gradually but inevitably" we grow towards the yogi/mother/friend/person we aspire to be.

I learn new things about myself every time I enter the studio. There is always something new to learn, to reach for, and because class is always different, there is no possibility for complacency. I take that lesson into the rest of my day. I have also made wonderful friends at the studio.  It is an incredibly supportive community, and I would miss my yoga family terribly if I ever stopped coming!

New York Yoga has the best teachers in the world. Their entire roster of teachers keep me motivated and focused, but when it comes to broadening and deepening my practice, I've been especially inspired by Lisa and Lulu. These amazing women have been at the studio as long as I have, and have guided me, literally one breath at a time, to a new way of living.  It is clear they are students as well as teachers, and I benefit from their insights and progress as they continue to grow in their own practices.

I can never thank them, and New York Yoga, enough.

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