Years ago, when I still lived in Colorado and had just started teaching yoga, I made a big decision. I flew to the east coast to take a teacher training with Jivamukti yoga. Then, I flew home. What ensued was one of the loneliest periods of my love affair with yoga. You see, in 2003 when I did this, I was only one of 4 Jivamukti teachers west of the Mississippi river, and I was a very long way from the style of yoga that I craved to practice and learn.
Furthermore, I was 22 years old, broke, and trying desperately to make ends meet teaching yoga full time. Not surprisingly, I was teaching more and practicing less. And when I did have time to practice, it was mostly on my own because I was always teaching at the same time that nearby studios offered classes! It was a vicious cycle which made me feel more and more isolated as I continued wishing and hoping that someone from my favorite tradition would move west.
And, I suffered. Don’t get me wrong, there were great teachers in Colorado even back then, but yoga was still in it’s early stages. As a new teacher hopelessly in love with yoga, I wanted...no, needed more.
Then I did something crazy.
It was something my teachers had suggested as a way to hone and develop teaching skills. I started recording and taking my own classes. Look, I understand that it may sound narcissistic, but if you’re a yoga teacher, I suggest you try it. It was grueling. We are our own worst critics, so every “um” and “...now we’re gonna...” filler line was like nails on a chalkboard. If I forgot a pose on one side, or had the music too loud, the next day when I took my own class I would know about it. It created a gauntlet of self-correction that not only allowed me to practice the style of yoga I’d come to love, but also to refine my skills as a teacher pretty quickly.
Then, I had a bevy of recorded classes.
By this time, it was 2005 and my then-boyfriend came home one evening listening to a podcast. I asked him what the hell that was. He explained that basically it was an audio show that anyone could do. “Anyone?” I asked excitedly. “Anyone.” he replied. I ran upstairs to my computer. Three hours later I ran back down to our living room and announced that I had just released my first yoga podcast.
In fact, I was the first one ever to do yoga podcasts. Back then, it was called “The JivaDiva Yoga Jam.” Within a few years, I’d won some awards and had over a million listeners around the world. And I did it for exactly one reason:
Because I never wanted anybody to be stuck anywhere without the yoga that they loved.
I figured it couldn’t just be me in the middle of America who wanted to practice some rockin’ vinyasa flow. Someone in Adelaide might want to hear about the yoga sutras, or learn to chant, or sit in meditation, right? Turns out they did. And, I heard from people all over the world who thanked me for bringing yoga into their living room. And it thrilled me because I knew how it felt to be without the yoga that makes your heart soar.
After 7 years of podcasting, I have very happily decided to make another move to YogaDownload, because it makes the practice even more accessible to people anywhere at any time. Without the need to subscribe to or understand the nuances of podcasts, YogaDownload makes it exceptionally easy to download any class that suits your fancy. And that’s my favorite part about it.
You see, it’s not just me on YogaDownload. I’m now a part of a wonderful group of fellow yogis who offer their special brand of practice in their authentic way, and practitioners have a variety of voices from which to choose. In 2003, I wish I had a resource such as this to sustain my own practice. It’s pretty cool to think that I have gone from my little computer in Denver 7 years ago all by myself to a community of like minded individuals who are passionate about offering really good yoga via the web.
It’s a pleasure to be joining YogaDownload, and I hope that you enjoy my classes. Now, get practicing!
Start practicing with Alanna:
The Alanna Kaivalya Method