Welcome to Smoked Asanas. This blog started in February 2014, about five months after I started to practice Yoga at my local gym. The name comes from the juxtaposition of my old world of barbecue and my new world of Yoga. On the surface, I see the contrast of smoked meat with the vegetarian principles of Yoga. On a deeper level, I see similarities, which I hope to explore in this blog.
My first exposure to Yoga was through a video at home around 2000, but I only tried it about five times and it did not stick. After finishing grad school in Evanston in 2002, I moved into Chicago and found a marketing analyst job in the suburbs. The commute and work took their toll on me, in spite of my ongoing efforts to eat healthier and go to the gym. I tried a Yoga for Dummies DVD about five times in the mid-2000s, but it didn’t really stick.
Around that time, I also met my wonderful wife, and we got married in 2007. The first few years of marriage consisted of hard work, travel and deep exploration of Chicago’s finest restaurants. I continued to work through various fitness routines, including lifting, cardio, and even rode the North Shore Century the year after we got married. While I trained an entire season for it, in retrospect I realize I was not close to fit enough to do it. I guess it was done out of sheer stubbornness or perhaps stupidity.
My more recent discovery of Yoga has grabbed me on a deeper level than I could have ever imagined, and it was nothing like the few other exposures to it in years past. I started taking classes once a week at my local gym, looking to develop flexibility to complement the strength and cardio work I was practicing on other days. But gradually, the Yoga started to work its magic and resonate both on and off the mat. I wasn’t seeking anything deep from Yoga, but it found me. Outside of class, I dove into the study of Yoga, reading as much as I could.
I started writing this blog not close to fully formed or transformed, but deeply moved by what I have experienced so far. I am hoping this blog will be a channel to keep myself focused and committed, and to share the experience with you. I realize that we are never truly “transformed,” and that our experiences of our lives are always a part of us. But I have learned to appreciate the process and what it may bring to the present.
My intention is to keep walking this path with an open heart and mind to wherever I am meant to be.