The compassion @ 'Yoga is youthfulness'

Yoga is youthfulness is a yoga studio in the heart of Mountain View, right on Castro St. I have attended only the classes that teach the Ashtanga Yoga primary series (as in the Patanjali tradition) here but other yoga variations are also taught. Classes in the evenings are mostly full. Warming up into this beautiful practice at the end of day is like a celebration of making it to the finishing line after running the daily rat's race.

My first introduction to Yoga was by a very inspirational teacher at Raleigh Yoga center.. Chris- he was very agile and approachable- an expert on all kinds of postures, but also with also the groundedness, compassion and patience to teach.. his pronunciation of Patanjali sutras was perfect and very impressive. Mainly he really knew what he was doing. I was grateful to have started my yoga practice with such a teacher. It had an impact on me and I knew that sooner or later yoga will become an inherent part of my daily lifestyle.

After that, other than some bursts and spurts of trying out this or that, I couldn’t find something that would stick. I tried Bikram Yoga with a lot of skepticism only to find that my disappointment was higher than my skepticism. This was neither a gym workout nor Yoga for me. But it depended on the teacher- some were good.

Finally I found it in this Yoga studio. There was something about it that I liked as soon as I entered. I first enrolled for the '3 beginner classes' deal. There was something special about the teacher I hadn’t seen before- her compassion was boundless. She paid immense attention on each and every student that came in and it was more than evident that she truly cared about you. She walked around and sat with you patiently helping you, adjusting you. But it wasn’t just the adjustments to make the posture better, it was the care that was so special. It was motherly. No one was left out. She knew everyone’s name well. She knew your strengths and weaknesses. She had a personal connection with you. I feel grateful to have been a recipient of so much kindness and care, coming unexpectedly from a total stranger at a much needed time.

When I started I was too weak. I barely did a few standing poses, did not try “any” sitting poses and completely ignored the stuff of shoulder stand, head stand etc. I couldn’t even believe that everyone at least tried these poses. "People actually do head stand?" was the first of some of my thoughts. But I started recovering fast. In a year or so I couldn’t believe I was doing the whole Ashtanga primary series sparing just a few poses due to my weak neck/shoulder area to avoid injury. I found great strength in doing it together with others especially when the classes were full. Everyone’s mats came in a myriad of colors all spread out on the hardwood floor, very aligned to some North South. The geometry was dearly orderly. The yellow wall wore the much needed brightness and piety to energize the weary astral bodies. The instruction in the gentle empathetic voice of the teacher was rejuvenating for the soul. And then slowly and finally trickled in the precious rewarding moments so inherent of the practice itself.

My capabilities changed a lot when I practiced at home as opposed to with others under the monitoring of the teacher. In the studio what I endured for 3 mins at home I dint for 15 secs. I loved going there. I went thrice a week. Sometimes I went even daily. Sometimes I went after a gym workout- those days were awesome. You could see the change in the body and mind instantly after the practice. The presence of the breath and the awareness of the whole body along with the pain and the numbness and the sore areas and the strong areas- was very empowering. I went regularly for almost 2 years until I moved out of the area. I have benefited a lot from this practice.

I strongly recommend people to go and take Mojdeh's class and see for themselves what I am talking about. I also loved taking Philip's yoga class and especially his pranayama class. He has a very calm, accepting and respectful manner and is a wonderful teacher as well. I would have loved to go to more of the Pranayama classes but the timings dint work and there weren't many students or classes.