My first experiment is focused on Atmanivedana. Atmanivedana is the concept of offering one’s life to god. I decided on this concept because I feel this is the reason why I began yoga and all of my life’s choices and crazy turns have led me to realize that this is the path for me. I have begun to realize over the past 10 years or so that this is an extremely difficult decision to make and to stick with. I have had multiple periods of great insight and constant practice overlapped with months of self loathing and pity. However, even in my darkest moments there is something or someone inside telling me that the right choice is to surrender to god and everything will be ok even when it appears that all of life’s normal structures that you have built up around you begin to crumble after a decade of construction. It is also quite relieving to find that they are not very missed.
I entered into yoga through meditation and a strong need to relinquish pain I was feeling as a teenager. I had a very sick girlfriend and lost multiple friends to drunk driving and drugs and my mind was at a very fragile state. I was lucky enough to realize this and found some great people to lead me to Zen meditation. The structure and intensity was a lot for a sixteen year old with no religious background of any kind and the need for long sittings was nearly impossible for me even though I was a very athletic hockey player at the time. The sittings were so intense that I could not even focus on meditation. Up to then I had never been able to even sit cross legged. I endured the pain for a few years not even knowing that there was a way for relief and there where systems designed for this very problem. Much of my practice was on my own, through books and lectures, because the sittings at the Zen center were just too much. Luckily one day I met Candess and she introduced me to asana practice.