I Love Yoga, by Erin Schuster
When I think about how Yoga has profoundly influenced every aspect of my life, I am grateful for it – and for kind teachers like Rudy and Joyce.
My Life’s Work
I have dedicated my life’s work to sharing this transformative practice with others. Before I found yoga, I did not feel fully alive due to years of numbing any real emotion. I was scared to allow myself to feel and to truly connect to others.
Letting Go of Pain from the Past
My “light bulb moment” when first practicing yoga was in my early 20’s when my teacher taught a class with the theme of “letting go of what does not serve us”. I did not realize until then that I was holding onto so much pain from my past. And this is a lesson that has also been meaningful throughout many years of practice since then.
Lessons from Rudy
I started to train in various educational programs at Kripalu in 2012 which is when I met Rudy and have been continuing to train nationally and internationally since. Rudy has taught me how to live with kindness and compassion. He also taught me that being humble and inclusive is what helps to create a supportive environment for people to heal.
Harmonizing Body and Mind
Some of my favorite training programs have incorporated the philosophy of yoga and the therapeutic benefits of nature. When I practice yoga, my body and mind harmonize and this allows me to be much more aware and receptive to nature. My senses become alive through yoga, breathwork, and meditation that enables me to absorb the healing elements of nature.
Another influence in my life that comes from yoga is what is called “the Yamas and Niyamas” which are my personal ethical guidelines both on and off of the yoga mat. They are great reminders about how I can be a better person for both myself and to the people in my life. The Yama I have intentionally practiced the most is Non-violence (Ahimsa) which to me, is a practice of not holding negative thoughts about myself or others. This Yama helps me continue to practice compassion to myself, to others, and to Mother Nature. The Niyama I have intentionally practiced the most is Contentment (Santosha). To me, this is a practice of appreciating what you already have in life. This Niyama helps me to practice gratitude, which I often do as a daily meditation.
Erin and her family live in Guilford, CT with their dachshund dog Cusco. Erin is a dressage horseback rider, fisherwoman, golfer, and gardener. Her favorite hobby is to connect with the community, she regularly hosts local gatherings including charity events for her local Dan Cosgrove Animal Shelter.