In 2013, near the end of my articling year, I got a gut feeling that I should go to a yoga retreat. I tend to follow my gut feelings, so I Googled “yoga retreat” and found one with Anna Radyo (my yoga teacher to this day) and Elisabeth Michielsen.
At that yoga retreat, I laughed, cried, met one of my best friends and got introduced to a yoga I never knew existed. We learned about and worked with moving energy in the body and the breathing muscles in our backs. Wait, what, we have energy in our body and there are breathing muscles in our backs?! How had I not known this when I’d done over 100 hatha, hot yoga and just straight up yoga classes?! I wanted to learn more!
In addition to learning and trying many new things that weekend, I also noticed that my new best friend and I were the youngest people at the yoga retreat. I got curious about why there were not more young people benefiting from this kind of yoga practice. As I talked to the other students, I learned that they’d been doing this yoga with the two teachers for years — most of them for over 15 years! Also, a common thing I heard from the students was how they wished they had found this yoga practice earlier in their lives.
I believed there was something magical and life changing to this yoga if they had been dedicated to it for 15+ years. Well, after 9 years (and counting) of learning from my teacher, Anna, I totally get it. I’m so committed and believe so passionately in this yoga practice that I’ve even booked flights back early from vacation so that I can make it to class (this was before the pandemic).
So, then, you might be wondering why I want to share this yoga with other lawyers?
It has changed my life, and I truly believe this yoga practice has allowed me to stay as a lawyer in private practice for as long as I have (8 years). It has given me coping mechanisms that allow me to be less angry and less reactive in daily life – in all my relationships. I’m a better listener because of it and have tools and techniques that have helped me through situations that cause me to feel stressed and anxious like, court applications; urgent matters and filing deadlines; hearings; presentations and even when I’m running late and feel like I never have enough time. I’ve also developed an awareness of where I hold tension in my body and that I hold my breath when I’m stressed. I’ve learned to notice when this happens and gently remind myself to exhale.
I want to share the benefits of this yoga practice with lawyers. We are a unique group of people who can understand each other and relate to the stressors that come with being a lawyer in ways that non-lawyers cannot.
I’ve been able to apply the techniques that I’ve learned in this yoga practice to my legal career. I want to share this with other lawyers and believe I’m uniquely positioned to provide insight into managing stress through yoga and breathing techniques. Not only do I want to relate to other lawyers by sharing yoga, but I want to create a friendly and supportive environment for us to be open and to provide support for the stresses of daily life and our busy legal careers.
I believe I have a gift to heal and by sharing this yoga practice with you, I’ll be sharing my gift.
You may have read that my husband will be the demonstrating yogi in the yoga classes.
About 5 years ago, I managed to convince him to join my yoga class because of all the benefits I’ve experienced. We’ve been going to class together ever since. And, even though I’ve been going for way longer somehow he’s managed to have our teacher say “Tom, you must have been a yogi from a past life”, while I often still hear from our teacher, “Aman, 10-15% less effort.” He’s a natural, while I focus on trying less — how do you even try less anyway?! Well, I’ve got some answers.
Come join us. We’d love to have you.