My first experience of Ananda Yoga® took place in May of 1999, when I attended a weekend yoga workshop at The Expanding Light, led by Lisa Powers.
After 25 years of studying various forms of yoga, I felt as if I had “come home” when I experienced the gentleness and inward focus of Ananda Yoga.
Plus, Lisa suggested that doing yoga was a way to get closer to our Higher Selves. I was amazed that I could move toward Self-Realization while doing something I loved to do.
I knew that I had to come back to The Expanding Light, and soon!
I immediately enrolled in the July 1999 Ananda Yoga Teacher Training (AYTT). My initial motivation for taking AYTT was not to teach but to achieve mastery over the asanas. However, about half-way through AYTT, I was struck by something that Anandi said about the eight limbs of Ashtanga Yoga, only one of which even mentions the word “asana.”
She told us that yoga teachers are light bearers, holding up a torch to light the way along the path from Sankhya (loosely, our nature as created, matter-identified beings) to Vedanta (our true nature as spiritual beings).
This image made me think that it might be worthwhile to use what I was learning in AYTT to teach yoga, rather than simply use it for my own personal satisfaction.