I grew up a very intense athlete. I played the Junior USTA tennis circuit in high school, later trained for the Race Across America (bike riding 100 miles a day), and worked out like a fiend (three hours a day) all through my 20s.
One day I was walking around my apartment, ran into my CD cabinet, and broke my pinky toe. I think if most people were asked what one part of their body they need the least, they would say pinky toe. Well, for me, it meant that I couldn’t walk on it or put a shoe on it, much less run the stairs, spin, play tennis or any other activity that I was obsessed with doing every day of my life up until that point.
As it was healing, still too tough to put in a shoe, but gaining usability, I remembered that there was a guy at the gym who, for years, told me that I had to try this yoga class in Santa Monica on Sunday mornings. And for years I told him, "Yoga? Yeah, right." Well…it was time to try yoga.
I dragged my sister and close friend over to Bryan Kest’s Sunday morning class in hopes of moving something around a little bit, maybe getting a little exercise in. And, boy, was I in for the surprise of my life. My whole life changed that day.
Turns out that yoga was everything I ever needed: mind, body, spirit, intensity in a way I never got at the gym. From the first day I walked into class, I knew that this was it. This was right before the 9-11 tragedy and I guess you could say yoga found me just as I needed it.
Up until that point, I worked in the real world. Started at ICM, moved on into screenplay development, went from there to work for Microsoft and then helped build a number of Internet companies. When I discovered Bryan, I was also getting my MBA at UCLA.
Within weeks of starting yoga, I began ditching work and school to get to yoga classes. I couldn’t get enough. One day I told Bryan that all I wanted to do was yoga all day, and he replied "Well, why don’t you?"
Why don’t I? But I’m in Business School. I have an Ivy League undergraduate degree. I earn good money. What am I supposed to do? Drop everything and become a yoga instructor??!?!?!
That day my wheels started spinning. And a few months later, I withdrew from UCLA, left my job, and put out my new shingle: Shana Meyerson, Yoga Instructor. I didn't know if I'd ever earn another dollar, but something was calling me.
It was a tremendous leap of faith for me. Leaving Business School was harder for me than getting in. I am not from among the quitters in this world, to say the least. But I did what I felt I needed to do. Up until the day I healed my broken my pinky toe, I’d have told you the last thing on earth I could ever see myself doing would be teaching yoga. Now I do it and love it with every ounce of my being.
You will see my passion for the practice when you work with me. You will learn, you will grow, and you will evolve. That’s what yoga does. It changes lives. And I would be honored to help change yours.
Shana Meyerson holds certifications from Sri Dharma Mittra and Mark Blanchard. Her daily practice ensures that she is always learning, growing, and evolving within her yoga. She is also the founder of mini yogis yoga for kids, for which she conducts teacher trainings around the world.